I caught up with Katy B to chat about her new single, record and tour plans, and to hear her picks for 2014!
So I’ll start with your new single ‘Crying for No Reason’. It’s out January the 26th and it’s a bit more of a ballad in comparison to ‘5am’, what’s the story behind it?
Well I wrote this song because my friend had called me up maybe a week or so before, and she was in tears and she didn’t know why she was crying, but then after a while she realised it was because she split up with her boyfriend six months previously and she hadn’t kind of come to deal with all those emotions that you have to work through when a relationship ends. So she had bottled everything up and it had all built up, and then she was at the traffic lights and burst into tears. I definitely related to that – when you just push your problems to the back of your mind and try to get on with your day to day life, but really underneath it all there’s stuff that needs to be sorted out.
How’s the reception for it been? From what I’ve been searching online everyone seem to be loving it!
Yeah it’s been brilliant actually. The response has been really, really good. I mean I wasn’t sure, as you were saying it’s a bit more of a ballad and I haven’t released something like that before as a single. So yeah, I was a little bit kind of anxious about it, but everyone seems to have responded really well, so I’m really really happy, thanks everyone!
And we’ve just been watching the video, it’s really cool, but we were wondering how much creative input you got into your music videos?
Well you know what, some videos you kind of have this story and this imagery throughout the whole song, and then other times you, you know, you’re like ‘I’m not really sure’ so directors will pitch their ideas to you and I like to hear their ideas and their creative input and I can sometimes choose from that as well. With this video, a director called Sophie Muller had heard this song and said she really liked it and wanted to work with it and I was over the moon as she’s done some amazing videos and worked with people from Annie Lennox to Rihanna, so I was really really over the moon about that.
Onto your album Little Red; after the huge success of your debut album, was it daunting to go back into the studio or was it a natural process?
Oh it was good to get back into the studio! I think that’s what happens really, you tour for ages and ages and ages and just think ‘ahh I want to get back in the studio’ and then you’re in the studio for ages and ages and ages and now I’m just like ‘ahh I can’t wait to do an interview’ or ‘I can’t wait to sing these songs live’ so yeah, I was a hundred percent ready to start recording again.
And how does it differ to your first album?
I just think I’m in a different place now; my live has completely changed from when I was eighteen to twenty-one, which was when I was writing On A Mission. I’ve got more responsibilities, my friends have got more responsibilities, and I think it’s just more experience and stuff. I think the first album had an innocence to it, which I like, but I think Little Red is a bit more experienced.
On the album you’ve got collaborations with people like Sampha and Jessie Ware, how did those come about?
Well Jessie Ware I’d been a fan of for ages, and when she first came out on her Myspace page and I ran a night in Brixton, I asked her to come down and sing a song, and so she came down and we’ve been in touch ever since. Obviously she started blowing up, and I’d always wanted to work with her so I thought why not ask her, and she actually came into the studio on her day off so I’m forever indebted to her now! And Sampha as well I’ve been a massive fan of, with the work he’s done with Jessie [Ware] and with SBTRKT, so yeah, I think he’s got a really, really beautiful voice and he’s such a talented producer, he produced the track on the album as well. So yeah, over the moon to have worked with both of them!
So is there anybody you’ve always wanted to collaborate with? Because obviously you’ve done collaborations with Ms Dynamite and Magnetic Man and now the new ones on the record – do you have any dream collaborations you want to do?
I would love to work with… maybe a rapper actually! Maybe Snoop Dogg, I’d love to work with Snoop!
So you’re touring again in March, and I’ve just seen it’s sold out so congratulations! What do you have planned for the tour?
Well actually we haven’t started rehearsals yet, so I need to start thinking about that pretty soon! But in my head I definitely have a vague idea of how I want it to look and feel. Yeah, I’ve had so much experience of performing over the last few years, so it’s gunna be quite different to the first tour I think. I can’t wait to get on the road, hopefully I’ll have some dancers and a full live band.
It all sounds really cool! Are there any weird touring experience you’ve had – any crazy fans whilst you’ve been touring?
Not really actually, my fans are pretty cool! They just seem to be pretty sane actually. In Birmingham there was a man who gave me a teddy bear and a then big sloppy kiss on the cheek!
So at this time of the year with all the’Sound of’ lists coming out, do you have any picks for 2014?
Sampha. Well I might be a bit biased, but he’s so talented. So yeah, look out for Sampha!
‘Crying For No Reason’ is out on the 27th of January, and Little Red is out February 10th.