A Waitrose worker has been signed by the former manager of Blue after she gave him an impromptu performance with her guitar in a store in London.
Music manager Dan Glatman asked Karina Ramage to sign with him “on the spot” after she played in her shop uniform in the Little Waitrose in West Hampstead.
Mr Glatman had entered the shop to buy a packet of biscuits and some flour when he noticed Ms Ramage carrying a guitar as she entered the shop.
“I’m in the biscuit aisle and I see Karina walk in with a guitar on her back,” he told PA.
“I said, ‘two questions, firstly where’s the flour… and what’s with the guitar?’
After a brief conversation where he explained his background in music management and the 25-year-old explained that she is an unsigned singer-songwriter, he asked her to play for him.
“We ended up doing an impromptu audition in the biscuit aisle,” he said.
Mr Glatman said he was “blown away” by Ms Ramage’s performance of her song Wasteland, which was was met with cheers from a small crowd that gathered in the shop.
The young musician, who lives in Hemel Hempstead, has known Mr Glatman for three years whilst working at the shop, but never knew the local customer’s background in the music industry.
“Every day I’m working with music doing rehearsals, doing session work and busking and trying to share my music but it never gets through,” she said.
“The one place where I’m not expected to do music I meet someone who’s really sorted in the music industry.”
Aside from British boy band Blue, Mr Glatman has also managed the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir and the Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards.
“I’ll start contacting record labels,” he said. “(Ms Ramage) can focus on her art and I’ll focus on the business.”
Ms Ramage said she was on her way to put her guitar away into a back room of the shop, having just arrived from a writing session, when Mr Glatman spotted her.
“My shift was about to start and I was just like ‘okay I’ll do it quickly now’,” said Ms Ramage. “Then a really big crowd appeared in this little shop.
“I was wearing no make-up and I wasn’t ready for a performance, but the adrenaline kind of pushed me through it.”
Mr Glatman said: “The moral of the story is great things happen when you’re least expecting them – be unconventional.”
Asked what message she takes from the story, Ms Ramage said: “You never know who you’re going to meet, or when or where – and always be ready with a guitar.”
Mr Glatman lauded Ms Ramage’s song Wasteland, which carries a strong environmental message, as “the song people need to hear right now”.
The song features lyrics such as “we throw trash in the oceans, fill the water with toxins”, and Ms Ramage said she wants her music to convey a positive message.
“When I was 16 and in love I wrote silly little love songs, but when I got a little older I started writing about stuff that really mattered to me,” she said.
“It could be stuff that was eating me on a political level or in this case on an environmental level.
“I wrote (Wasteland) because I started to change my habits… It might be a nice way to tell people how their acts can make a difference.
“I want to continue to make music on that theme but not necessarily only about the planet – there’s plenty of subjects that need talking about.”
Mr Ramage said it would “be amazing” to get a record deal and would “love” to write an album, but that it’s still “early days”.