Since signing a deal with Simon Cowell, Escala have had a radical makeover

But Escala, the glamorous string quartet who were finalists on the ITV show Britain’s Got Talent, have cancelled the launch of their debut album, after admitting that the record was not good enough to release.

The band, whom Cowell described as having “star potential”, signed a multi-million pound deal with his SyCo record label earlier this year after finishing fifth in the television talent competition, for which Cowell was a judge.

But Escala have proven controversial with the classical establishment, some of whom have accused the band of “dumbing down” classical music and “patronising” their audience to sell more records.

Since signing a deal with Cowell, Escala – violinists Victoria Lyon, 25 and Izzy Johnston, 24; Chantal Leverton, a viola player, 25; and Tasya Hodges, 26, a cellist – have been the subject of a radical makeover.

Their website features the band posing in low-cut red dresses and heavy make-up without any of their instruments, while they also appear in Sky Sports television advertisements for the Premiership football season, playing their instruments wearing minidresses and stiletto heels. Their first video, a rendition of Karl Jenkins’s Palladio performed by the band on a beach in short sequinned dresses, has received more than 640,000 hits on the video website YouTube.

The last-minute decision not to release their album in time for the lucrative Christmas market will be a blow to Cowell, who hoped that Escala would emulate the success of his other classical act, Il Divo, whose pop ballads sung in a “classical style” have sold more than 22 million albums.

(Complete article here.)

I had blogged earlier about this group. (And even before that, but I’m too lazy to find the link). Looks like they want whatever they put out to be “good enough”.


  1. Personally, I admire their decision, and I’m jealous about the fact that they have that kind of authority over their own work.

  2. I was actually pleasantly surprised; I didn’t know they would have any say at all over the quality of the thing, as I assumed they were under “Simon’s Rule” or something. Good for them!

  3. Rezackly.