THERE is no one quite like Floralyn George.

A singer and virtuoso musician, the talented 21 year-old Bulgarian is a graduate of one of Europe's great music schools, has spent a year in China playing in the world's biggest casino and has a successful career as a model.

Now she she is embarking on a headline tour playing pop and R&B. But here's the thing... she is accompanying herself on a harp.

"I'd call my music contemporary R&B. It sounds very pop but has a slice of rock. It's definitely not what you'd expect from the harp; it's my mission to change that.

"It has been described as atmospheric melodic-electro because of the spacey sound and catchy melodies."

The harpist premieres her debut EP When Light falls Asleep at the O2 Academy Oxford, tomorrow. And it is all for a good cause, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Born into a family of musicians, Floralyn has been singing and playing the harp for more than 10 years. A graduate of the Music College in Sofia, she performed harp at the enormous 39-storey Venetian Macao – the seventh biggest building, and largest casino, in the world.

"People said I brought them luck," she smiles.

Last year she came over to our shores after being one of just 12 harpists from around the world to be invited to join a major masterclass in Wales. Now a student at Falmouth University in Cornwall, she is busy revolutionising the way we think about the harp – moving it away from the lilting image of gentle classical music into the realms of pop, rock, electro, dance and ambient.

"I'm busy rehearsing and can't wait for Oxford," she tells me when we caught up yesterday.

"I am really happy with how it's going and can't wait to get on a big stage with projections. This is the first time I will be touring with a full whole band. I have just been writing for myself before and now I am arranging for other instruments as well."

So why the harp? Floralyn admits to falling in love with the harp at first sight.

"My mother is a pianist and my father a drummer so I grew up in a musical environment. I tried to play the piano but I hated it. I started singing and was also told the harp would be suitable – they look at your fingers and body – and when I saw it I was sure that would be it. I just knew; it felt very natural – but it is very unusual."

Rather than carrying around a large classical harp, Floralyn tours with a smaller electric harp.

"People are used to the guitar and piano, but the harp has the same ability and does the same things – it's something between the two in style and the way it makes you feel. It's not very common though because it's expensive – a big pedal harp is 15,000 Euros.

"As it becomes more commercial it will change though. People will see more harps, and harpists won't struggle like I have."

She carries her oversized instrument on a homemade strap fashioned from an old Nike back pack.

"It's easier to carry than a classical harp but I always pay for an extra seat for it next to me on the plane when I fly," she laughs. "I write its name as Mr George and tell them he's my husband. He doesn't have his own passport yet though!"

In terms of influences, she runs through an unlikely list, for a harpist at any rate, of artists ranging from Bonobo to Rhianna and alternative hip-hop act Twenty One Pilots.

"I am trying to create something new. I am always pushing things into the future to play unique music which people will never have heard before. It's pop with nice melodies and good lyrics which people will keep with them, but is touched by the harp.

"Most people think it's amazing and want to hear more."

The tour is backed by Oxfordshire music charity the Yearley Trust, which supports talented young European musicians to be able to continue their musical education outside their own country. The trust's chairman John Yearley, from Wantage, is a fan of Floralyn's music and a supporter of Macmillan after receiving support from the charity.

Floralyn says: "I want people to enjoy the music, and this venue is perfect.

"I wanted my first UK tour to go to charity because if I start by doing something good, that good will come back to me. That's what the whole world is based on."

"People in Oxford should come. You'll see something new and you'll remember it.

"You'll be dancing, relaxing and listening. There are different moods. It will chill you out, but also keep you excited!"

Floralyn plays the O2 Academy Oxford on Friday, September 1. Go to