Singer who worked with Gary Barlow and Andrea Bocelli has returned home to Derbyshire
Beulah Jones’ music career started when she was just 18 working as a demo singer for Take That front man Gary Barlow.
Her work then took her far from her home in Chapel-en-le-Frith to London, Nashville and Los Angeles.
Now 42 and looking back on her journey she said: “It’s been bizarre. I never would have thought I’d be living in America working in the music industry but I did it and I loved it.”
Beulah was introduced to Gary Barlow through a her brother-in-law who worked at Manchester City and knew him.
She said: “This was back when he was out in the wilderness, not releasing music himself but writing songs for other people.
“He was writing songs for Westlife and Victoria Beckham at the time and working very hard behind the scenes.”
He needed a demo singer and asked Beulah to work with him.
During this time she provided the vocals for tracks that would then get sent out to various managers and agents to see if they wanted that song for their artist.
Beulah had another chance meeting with a music industry boss she moved to London.
She said: “I never thought me, a girl from Whaley Bridge, would be moving to London to make it as a singer.
“It was very different to the life I was used to.”
During her 18 months in the capital she only performed one gig.
“The plan was to gather all the music industry people together and perform for everyone.”
She got signed to Universal Music in 2005 and made an album called Mabel and I.
The timing of this was not great as a shake up was going on at Universal and new bosses were brought in.
“If you weren’t making hit records you were dropped so I never released my album.”
She then decided to take the plunge and move to Nashville where she lived with the writer who wrote Micheal Bublé hit record Home.
“I loved Nashville. The south of America felt like the north of England everyone was very warm and welcoming and it felt like a community there,” she said.
While in Nashville she got to know music producer David Foster as Beulah lived with his daughter.
“He rang me up one day and said come and work in LA with me in the studio.
“I wasn’t going to say no to that, so seizing the opportunity I packed up and moved to Los Angeles which was very different to Nashville and more like living in London. Everyone was out for themselves and it felt very competitive.
“It was cut throat and I felt people thought I had jumped into my position but I had worked hard to get where I was.”
While working with David Foster Beulah sang a duet with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, an experience she says she is eternally grateful for.
But outside of work Beulah says she was not happy.
“I had nieces and nephews I had never met, I was missing home so one day while skyping with family back home I decided I was ready to return to England.”
This change of heart came at the right time as Gary Barlow, with whom she had remained friends, messaged her saying he now had his own label and would sign her back in the UK.
Since returning to the High Peak, Beulah now lives in Chapel and writes music for television and films and is currently working on a new product in the baby technology industry.
She said: “I never stop and look back on all I have achieved because to me it’s just my life and my journey and everything I have done has made me the person I am today.
“But it has been wonderful and I know I lived a life that to many is unimaginable.
“There have been highs and lows and wonderful times but also lonely times and times when I didn’t know what was coming next for me.
“But even when you take out the travelling around the world I have worked in the industry I have loved for decades and not many people can say they have done something they love for so long so I really do appreciate my journey.”
Now Beulah will be sharing her musical knowledge with local primary school children.
She said: “My daughter, Wolf, goes to Combs Infants School and this year we have planned something a bit special.
“I am going to be working with the students and taking them to sing carols at local care homes and bringing some joy to residents who may not be able to get out any more.
“I want to give back to the community and make those magical memories for both generations and show the younger ones just how important giving your time to others can be.
“It just makes them a bit more aware of the people in our community, the ones who have led great and interesting lives and brings home the Christmas message of kindness to others.
“I know when my own grandmother was in a hospice her most favourite and lasting memory was a group of local Carol singers visiting her at the home and singing is magical and a gift so I’m excited about the coming weeks.”