In 2013, Charlie Lenehan (15yo) and Leondre Devries (13yo) met on Facebook. In January 2014 they met for the first time and decided to form a band together – and Bars and Melody was born! They auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent in 2014 with the cheeky duo taking no time to steal the nation’s hearts.
When asked by David Walliams about his big dream, Leondre said ‘I just want to deliver it to you people. I just want to give an awesome performance.’ Though behind his cheeky-chappy persona, there is something much deeper. In his raps, he writes about anti-bullying because he was bullied in primary school and felt he could ‘express myself through my raps.’ Best friend Charlie said that ‘music made him a lot stronger’ – and you can certainly see this strength reflected in the performance!
The duo performed a song called Hopeful, a mashup of the Twista and Faith Evans song and the rap that Leondre wrote. It brought judge Alesha Dixon to tears and earned a standing ovation from both judges and the audience. It’s the reaction from notoriously difficult to please Simon Cowell however that is both shocking and heartwarming at the same time. After prompts from the audience, Simon pressed the Golden Buzzer and sent Bars and Melody straight through to the Semi-Finals.
He was also quick to compliment them, saying ‘I think that record could be a hit!’ – a compliment no doubt welcomed from the man who discovered the likes of One Direction, Little Mix and Fifth Harmony! The end of the competition saw them finish third and go across the pond and appear on the hit US chatshow The Ellen Degeneres Show. They were their typical charming selves and no doubt won over the American audience as quickly as they did the audience back home in Britain.
After this, Bars and Melody released their first single ‘Hopeful’ which peaked at number 5 on the charts and then released their debut album 143, which peaked at number 4. To promote their album, they toured across the United Kingdom and Europe, and even eventually toured in Japan!
Music is not the only thing that Bars and Melody is dedicated to. Alongside performing, they are Anti-Bullying ambassadors. In 2015, they worked with The Diana Award, an anti-bullying charity that was set up in the name of Diana, Princess of Wales.