Popstar Anne-Marie gives Marie Claire a karate lesson

Alarm singer, Anne-Marie shows off her world-class karate skills

Not only does hot new popstar Anne-Marie have a badass Rihanna-inspired sound (are you as addicted to her new single Alarm as we are?), she’s also an international karate champion. Here’s what happened when we asked her to show us some of her best karate moves – you don’t mess with Anne-Marie.

How would you describe your music?
It’s a mash-up of everything I love – old-school R&B, rap and even reggae.

You were Rudimental’s lead vocalist for two years. What did you learn from that?

Working with them has propelled me further than anything else. They’re not afraid to say, “You can do that better.”

Was touring with them fun?
Will Heard [Rudimental guest singer] does all these funky dance moves – you can’t control him. When we performed Rumour Mill in New York, he whipped his arm back and hit my microphone into my face, chipping my tooth!

You’re also a three-time world karate champ. Has that made you tougher?
I’m used to being hit in the face! I had a proper angry teenager problem, so karate sorted me out. I haven’t had to use my moves in real life yet, but I’d definitely step in for a friend if they needed it.

How did you get into the sport?
I started when I was nine and I worked my way up to the England elite squad. If I know I can be good at something, I don’t stop.

Who has given you the best advice on surviving the music industry?
Ed Sheeran told me to stay in contact with my family as much as I can because it’s easy to get lost in it all. He’s on the same label as me and is really down to earth. We just hang out and watch TV.

We hear you’re pals with Jessie J, too…
I met Jessie when we both starred in Whistle Down The Wind in the West End. I was only 11, but we reconnected recently. Doing musical theatre I’ve had to sing, dance and act, but I’m not much of an actor. You won’t be seeing me in Coronation Street!

Do you sense a new wave of female solidarity in the music industry?
Yeah, it’s nice to see. I don’t just want to be a singer, I want to put myself in a position where I can change things for women. I put messages on Instagram encouraging people to feel good about themselves and when people tell me I’ve helped them through something it fills me with happiness.

How would you describe your style?

I’m the tomboyish one rocking baggy jeans and flip-flops at an awards ceremony. I like one-offs, so I shop in charity shops or on eBay. When I was 17 I used to go to parties in one outfit then bring another in case someone else was wearing the same. How bad is that?

Anne-Marie’s single Alarm is out now.

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