A sassy R’n’B starlet who was headhunted after a friend posted a video on YouTube of her belting out a Beyonce tune in their college bathroom is now on the verge of global stardom.
Nadine Samuels, who was born and brought up in Aylesbury, found fame in bold R’n’B girl group M.O two years ago with bandmates Frankee Connolly and Annie Ashcroft.
And this year alone the girls - who were snapped up by Operator Records - have performed at Wireless and V-Festival as well as supporting X-Factor girl group Little Mix on tour, and their new single Dance On My Own has been featured on the Radio 1 playlist.
The trio have been compared to classic catchy 90s girl bands TLC, En Vogue and SWV, and the talented ladies write all of their own material.
The next stop will be Los Angeles, America after the girls landed a publishing deal with Rondor/Universal across the pond.
But despite big things on the horizon, Nadine still has a soft spot for her home town.
The 23-year-old was a pupil at Meadowcroft Junior School in Aylesbury before it closed in 2000 and she went to Thomas Hickman before studying at Quarrendon School (now Aylesbury Vale Academy).
Her love of singing was sparked from an early age thanks to her dad Brian’s enthusiasm for reggae and old school garage music.
The artist said: “I remember when I was about seven, my dad shouted at me to come downstairs. He was playing Say My Name by Destiny’s Child, and my sisters and I were jumping around the living room screaming. It was all him – he got us excited about music.”
Nadine’s family still live in the Vale – with her mum Amanda in Meadowcroft and dad Brian in Stoke Mandeville – and she says her siblings Rhianne, Georgia, Jared and Olivia are equally as passionate about music.
She said: “My dad set up a microphone in the living room and we’d all sing and perform together.”
But despite her obvious talent, Nadine instead decided to pursue her other love of dancing at Amersham and Wycombe College and Urdang in London.
A friend recorded Nadine belting out Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy in the college bathroom – which Nadine says was ‘embarrassing’ – but little did she know it was this clip that would catapult her to stardom.
Talent scouts headhunted her after spotting the video on YouTube in 2009, and she was gobsmacked when she got a call to audition for new girl band Duchess in London.
She said: “I remember walking past Quarrendon School and picking up the phone to Sony, then it all went from there really.”
The four-piece band – including M.O member Annie Ashcroft – broke up two years later, but the two girls joined forces with Frankee to form M.O – which stands for Latin phrase Modus Operandi – and are now as ‘close as sisters’.
Nadine – who counts Little Mix’s Leigh Ann Pinnock among her close friends – said: “We’re constantly laughing, and we get on so well. I’m so grateful for that, because if we didn’t it wouldn’t be worth doing what we do. The last two years have flown by.”
The girls have embraced the non-stop 24/7 culture of the music industry and treat it as a way of life, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tulisa Contostavlos of X-Factor fame.
Nadine said: “When we met Tulisa backstage on the Little Mix tour, she gave us some really good advice. She told us to stay humble, work hard and always stay true to yourself.”
Womens’ champion and international artist Beyonce Knowles remains one of the girl’s biggest inspirations, and they were thrilled when she handed them the mic in the front row at her concert.
Nadine said: “She looked straight at us, and said “What about you, pretty ladies?” and we sang part of Irreplaceable. It was incredible.”
Like any artist worth their salt nowadays, M.O are very active on social media and have more than 23,000 followers on Twitter, nearly 38,000 likes on Facebook and endless snaps on Instagram.
Though the girls have made it onto glittering VIP guest lists and bagged clothes and make up freebies, Nadine says these are just small bonuses.
She said: “When we go out and perform to thousands of people, we get such a buzz. Those fans are our best reward. We get to work with so many amazing people.”
Talking about the inspiration and messages in M.O’s tunes, Nadine said: “They just come to us. I thought of Ain’t Got Time when I was cooking a fry up at my dad’s!
“We always try to make sure we have important and positive messages in our songs, like Dance On My Own is about not worrying about what other people think.
“I don’t want to sound too deep, but I think if you believe in something enough, it will come to you.”
Nadine is living proof of that, but despite her blossoming success she says there’s nothing better than coming home, putting on her PJs and sleeping in her own bed.
She said: “It sounds so silly, but it makes you so grateful to be able to just come home, chill out and light your own candles.”