She is the winner of the Birmingham’s Best Talent competition – but singer-songwriter Kari Roberts has a confession to make: she doesn’t actually own a guitar of her own.
The 21-year-old,from Acocks Green, wowed judges at the final as she perched on a stool, guitar in hand, to sing an acoustic cover version of Bon Jovi hit Livin’ On A Prayer.
But last week she admitted: “I had to borrow the guitar from my boyfriend because I don’t have one of my own.”
That is something she can put right after scooping the £1,000 top prize. Top of the shopping list is a guitar, some recording equipment and booking studio time for professional demos.
“I’ll probably buy some shoes, too,” she adds quickly. “I love shoes.”
Kari started singing when she started at Langley School, and was soon snapped up to join the Solihull Music Service, which nurtures talented young musicians and arranges performances.
“At the time I was still a Spice Girls fan and I wanted to be a dancer,” she admits with a grimace. “I got the chance to sing in one of the groups the Music Service put together and loved every minute of it.
“I think I always knew deep down that I wanted to be a singer. Mum used to record me singing when I was little. They’ve never quite managed to shut me up ever since then.
“Over the years my musical tastes changed.I found myself attracted to The Killers, and more lately to songwriters like Ben Howard, Newton Faulkner and The Staves, mixing folk and rock.”
Boyfriend Adam Creswell, 21, from Dickens Heath was at the final to cheer Kari on.
“He sometimes plays an acoustic drum with us,” says Kari.
“He has been very supportive and let me borrow his guitar because I don’t have one of my own. But as it’s brought me good luck, I may just hang on to it.”