Deejays help Brit onto music scene

When David Bedingfield scored a No. 1 hit in England last year, he didn't have a manager. Or a major-label deal. Or even a full-album contract with an indie label.

He had just the one song, "Gotta Get Through This," which he cut in his bedroom and managed to hustle onto a dance mix called "Pure Garage 4."

"I assure you, I had no master plan to take over the world with this song," Bedingfield said. "I just put the thing out myself on vinyl and it had a life of its own."

A "life" animated, to be sure, by a few influential British club deejays.

After the 22-year-old pressed his clattering, garage-style song, he gave it to key London spin-masters, who began playing it as if it were a new Nelly cut. One deejay, Supremo Easy, put it on the "Pure Garage" collection, which led to Bedingfield's appearance on TV's "Top of the Pops."

By last December, the song had shot to the top of the Brit pop singles list.

Fired by support from radio stations, "Gotta Get Through This" shot into the top 40 airplay lists. That should guarantee a big opening for Bedingfield's first full album, which hits stores today under the same title as the single.

Bedingfield grew up listening to the usual heroes of R&B-pop;, including Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Some critics have suggested "Gotta Get Through This" is the sort of song Jackson should have released for his comeback.

While he used a professional studio to cut the album, he had to act fast to exploit the hot single. He had just four months to create the whole CD.

"I wish I had another four," says the singer. "I would have harder beats and better production."

Then again, the spare and fluky route hasn't worked badly for him.

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