Interview 60 Seconds With: Katy B

Gaining respect in the underground scene isn’t easy, but Katy is on a mission.

Katy B is no stranger to hard work. Born and raised in Peckham, South London, it’s no wonder that she’s one tough cookie. Gaining respect in the largely male-dominated underground scene can’t be easy, but Katy is definitely on a mission.

Your debut album is out in April - how did you go about writing and recording it?
I used to go to [record label] Rinse’s studio once a week to lay down my ideas. I’d get loads of instrumentals from producers and I’d pick the ones I thought I could do something with.

Are there any stand out tracks on it for you? What are you most proud of?
I love ‘Why You Always Here’ because it’s sad but has attitude and hope. It takes me on a roller coaster of different emotions, and makes me want to dance.

You’ve been around on the underground scene for quite a while. How’s the pop world treating you?
I’m still working with the same people I was working with three years ago so it feels exactly the same for me. It’s just on a bigger scale, I guess. I’m a lot busier.

How important is it to you to stay involved with Rinse?
They are my label and production team, it’s like a big family. I’ve been with them from the beginning. I love their ethos and passion and I feel really a home at Rinse.

Last year, you participated in the Red Bull Music Academy. How was that?
The lectures were amazing! I really enjoyed Busy P’s lecture he was really funny, and Moody Man’s was outrageous. You can watch them on the website [redbullmusicacademy.com].
The students were lovely too, it really made me see how much of London is ingrained in me, meeting everyone else from all over the world.

Having attended BRIT School, RBMA and doing a Popular Music degree at Goldsmiths, do you think it’s important for musicians to be formally educated?
I don’t think it’s essential, as loads of amazing musicians in this world are self taught. A lot of becoming a musician or an artist is from life experiences but I do feel that it gives you a good foundation, and allows you to meet other like minded people. If you need a band they’re all there in your class or if you want someone to write you a song there’s a songwriter.

BRIT School has given us some pretty big names recently. Who should we be looking out for at the moment?
My friend Joe Worricker is releasing his album soon on Rough Trade, The Illersapiens, a sick live Hip Hop band based in Brixton, have a new EP coming out soon, and Paul Saunders has just signed to Atlantic, I’ve heard. He makes beautiful folk music.

Katy B’s debut album ‘On A Mission’ is released on 4th April via Rinse.

Taken from the April 2011 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.

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