A BULPHAN starlet is forging a solo career for herself after playing a successful supporting role to the Happy Mondays.

It all starts for 18-year-old Kirstie McNally this weekend when she takes to the stage at trendy Camden venue Barfly to perform material she has been working on for the last year.

The former Grays Convent School pupil is hoping the gig will be the start of a successful music career and will be showcasing her soulful voice for the first time.

In November 2011 Kirstie, then a student at Collins Performing Arts in Romford – where Jessie J, Rochelle Humes and Frankie Sandford from The Saturdays learnt their trade – was a backing singer for Tariq Wooding when he supported the Happy Mondays at the Indigo2 in London.

Kirstie, who also works for an underwriting agency in London, said: “That’s what triggered me to go into doing it full-time and working on my own music. It encouraged me.”

Now, after a year of working with her twin sister Samantha and producer Dave Matthews on writing and recording material, Kirstie hopes playing at the Barfly, a venue which has showcased some of the country’s biggest bands and artists, including Kasabian, Coldplay and Adele, will kickstart her career. The gig is her first as a solo artist.

She said: “I’m very much looking forward to it. “It will be the first time people will have seen the type of artist I am. I want to do this live performance and go into it all with a bang.

"I had been doing some work at a studio in London and sent some tracks to Mama [a music promoter] who liked them.

“The songs are based on my experiences, it’s real. The production is very soulful, but also quite rocky. It’s interesting, modern and soulful.

“My inspirations go from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Otis Redding to more modern artists, like Beyonce and Rihanna, music that’s timeless. I think that’s a really important thing.”

You can catch Kirstie performing at the Barfly on Saturday, April 20, where she is supporting Miss Terry Blue, a pan-European group described as “one of the most promising up and coming acts in the capital”.

The gig starts at 7pm and entry is £5.