Cape Town - 140123 - Filipa Da Silva, recently 18, is a finalist in the Ryan Seacrest cover song competition, where entrants sing a cover to a song of their choosing and compete internationally for votes online . PICTURE: THOMAS HOLDER. REPORTER: Wendyl Martin

She is fresh out of matric and she’s topped a competition chart on the website of American media mogul Ryan Seacrest.

South African Filipa Carmo da Silva made several broadcast appearances this week after she achieved success at for her cover version of One Direction’s hit track Story of my Life.

She is now in the third round of voting in the website’s poll for the best cover, and is top contender among the last 15 contestants from around the world.

She clocked 14.92 percent of votes by Monday. Voting for this round closes on Sunday, 2 February, with the cover artists who made the cut moving into the fourth round on Monday.

The website is run by Ryan Seacrest Productions. In addition to hosting American Idol, Seacrest hosts a global adult radio show called On Air with Ryan Seacrest from Los Angeles, but which airs locally on 94.5 Kfm an 94.7 Highveld Stereo.

Although it is unclear what winning this YouTube cover competition could bring Carmo da Silva, there is potential for global exposure.

The Seacrest website team found and approached her on spotting her cover, which is a slick production, filmed in an old Air Force base and it has a Pearl Harbour theme.

Carmo da Silva recently moved to Cape Town to study at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts in Westlake. She matriculated from Cornwall College in Pretoria with three distinctions last year.

She found out about the cover contest when she received a message asking her if she would like to participate in it.

“I was a little sceptical at first, but we looked into it and saw that it was legitimate,” she said.

A campaign has grown around her participation. Last week alone she appeared on Ryan O’Connor’s breakfast show on Kfm, Breakfast Xpress on Highveld and Expresso on SABC 3. On Saturday, she performed at the Waterfront’s Summer Sunset Concert series at the V&A Amphitheatre at 5.10pm.

This is her first live performance in Cape Town and her first since cracking the nod.

O’Connor said of her: “We often profile young talent when we recognise star quality… Filipa has great potential and we encourage everyone in the Western Cape to show their support and vote for her.”

Carmo da Silva said, “I just wanted to share on that platform. I wanted it to seem professional and better than a bedroom selfie thing.”

It seems to have worked. She is one of the top acts of the 15 contestants who pose stiff competition.

“Most other contestants are globally known artists. For example, the Vamps are a British band with a huge YouTube following; Jedward were in XFactor UK and represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, and Josh Levi comes from XFactor USA. Their videos on YouTube have millions of views,” she says.

She says she selected the song because she likes One Direction and the melody.

On Saturday she performed the song, along with Dolly Parton’s Jolene and Lorde’s Royals.


• You can vote for Carmo da Silva at

To view her music videos, visit

- Weekend Argus