Monday, April 18, 2011

The agoraphobic YouTube star: British singer is a huge hit in China


Home studio: Jemma Hixon from Malvern, Worcestershire, who is agoraphobic, has become an internet sensation

Blessed with a beautiful singing voice and a talent for song-writing, Jemma Pixie Hixon had always dreamed of becoming a star.

But her fledgling career came to a halt when she developed agoraphobia, a condition which left her so frightened of the outside world she has been unable to leave her house for two years.

So she decided to film herself singing in a makeshift recording studio in her bedroom in Malvern, Worcestershire, using a webcam then post the footage on the internet.

YouTube star: Jemma Pixie Hixon has racked up 2.3m views of her YouTube cover songs, despite battling agoraphobia for two years

Thanks to those recordings Miss Hixon, 20, is now a big name in China and Japan, and more than two million have watched her performances on the video-sharing website YouTube.

She performs a mixture of covers of chart hits and her own songs, and last month, one video achieved ‘most viewed’ status in China.

She said: ‘For the last two years I’ve been struggling with agoraphobia. I used to perform all the time and I really wanted a way I could continue.

‘I decided to put my songs up on YouTube so I could share them with lots of people, even though I’m still housebound.’

Household name: The 20-year-old's performances made her videos the 'most viewed' in China last month

Miss Hixon, who lives with her parents Tonia, 50, and Mark, 49, in a six-bedroom detached home, has never suffered stage fright and even once sang on live television.

She said: ‘When I was 13 I won a competition on The Saturday Show on BBC1 to sing with the Sugababes.

‘I sang on live TV and it didn’t bother me at all, but I just turn into a big panic ball when I try to leave the house.

‘It’s a strange thing because I know logically I have nothing to worry about walking out of the house but it’s a completely different thing when I actually try to do it.’

Ambition: Miss Hixon hopes her online success can help her land a recording contract

‘If I was able to get better – and I know it can happen – I would want to sing because all I have ever wanted to do is to be a recording artist.’

Miss Hixon started suffering panic attacks when she was just six years old and gradually her condition worsened.

She has seen dozens of psychologists and hypnotherapists but they have so far been unable to make any breakthrough.

She said: ‘I want to be cured and lead a normal life and I would love it if my music would help that.

‘I would like to think that one day I will have the courage to leave the house and perform on stage.’

Jemma Pixie Hixon- Parachute Acoustic- Cheryl Cole- Cover

Jemma Pixie Hixon- Now We Are Free Cover- Gladiator Theme Tune Soundtrack-Lisa Gerrard

source :dailymail

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