Schmidt will support Elton John at Canberra Stadium on November 14. Photo: Supplied
Life couldn't be better for 22-year-old German, Elisa Schmidt. Only a week after the Australian release of her debut album Femme Schmidt, she's home in Berlin taking in all the complimentary remarks comparing her to a modern day Marlene Dietrich or the new ''pearl of pop noir.'' Schmidt is entering one of the most exciting phases of her career where people start to recognise her gifts and understand what all the fuss is about. A trained singer, she left home at 16 to attend a music academy in South London, having realised at the tender age of 10 that singing had to be a central part of her life.
''To be honest my life didn't give me a chance to think about doing something else.'' Schmidt says. ''I guess when you're 10 years old it's a big children's dream to become a singer but I guess from that point I just looked at every opportunity to be on stage to sing and do music. I went to boarding school in London, which was very musical and it was there that I started working on my first songs and I finished my school and three months later I got signed by Warner - so I didn't really have a chance to think about doing something else, luckily.''
In just a short time Schmidt's bohemian ballads and a musical combination of 1920s jazz and modern pop has enraptured a wide audience and if things couldn't get better, she's about to support Elton John on his November shows here.
''It's all so surreal - to be able to play with him on the same stage,'' Schmidt says. ''I am just so super excited to go to Australia with my band and to play for all the people. I had several gigs in LA in April and I was very lucky at one of those concerts the tour promoter for Elton John was there and he came to me after the show and said 'I want you to support Elton John in Australia.'
''I was like, 'what?' and I didn't really believe them 'cause I thought they are like an American and they always talk a lot but it turned out he was an Australian. So we are all really happy and excited.''
Happiness was also Schmidt's heartfelt emotion when producer Guy Chambers (best known for his work with Robbie Williams) offered to make the first record with her. Particularly given it's the only album since Robbie Williams' Escapology to be fully managed by him.
''We were only meant to do one song with each other and we had two days scheduled to go into the studio to do this one song and then we went into the second day he said come on let's write another song,'' Schmidt says. ''And it was all going so well he asked me if we could do the whole album together which I think was the best thing that could have ever happened to me cause he's not just the most amazing artist, he's so talented and musically it was just a perfect match.''
WHERE: Canberra Stadium (supporting Elton John)
WHEN: Wednesday, November 14
■ Sean Palmer is a Canberra writer and a severe tunes enthusiast