If Gigwise was put in charge of a music festival (nudge nudge, hint hint) we would do whatever it took to get Katy B on the line-up.
With that in mind, and her upcoming show at Somerset House on 8 July, 2012 we spoke the lady herself about all things music, fields, warm cider and general outdoor summer fun. Read on to find out about her new album, thoughts on Madonna and who she would want at her own dream festival...
Hello Katy B. We’re a few weeks in now so how is festival season treating you?
It’s going really well. I jumped on stage with Magnetic Man at the Hackney Weekend and that was so much fun. I’ve been running around with the Olympic torch, well not physically but I’ve been following the torch around recently. I’ve done shows in Windermere, Blackpool and York too.
We hear you have been playing a new song in your set called ‘What You Came For’. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Yeah, I’ve been working on new material recently and there’s a DJ called Mosca who has a tune called ‘Bax’ (see video below). That’s the song I’ve been playing, it’ll be his tune featuring me and hopefully that will be out soon.
What other new material have you been working on?
I’ve basically been hibernating in the studio and working on my new album. It’s never an easy task to write an album and when I wrote the first album I was ridiculously free because I didn’t know who would like it. This time around I’d definitely be lying if I said I wasn’t more aware than first time around. I’m trying my best to not be too aware and not critique myself too much.
Your rise to success has coincided with a rise in dubstep/ electronic music in the charts. What do you make of that rise?
I love electronic music and dance music so it’s good for me that that is what’s current at the moment. It’s great that it’s popular at the moment.
Have you heard Madonna’s latest album?
I haven’t actually. What’s it like?
It’s OK but there is a feeling she’s jumped on a bandwagon with some of the production choices.
The thing is though, to stay a relevant artist you have to evolve. If she went and made ‘Like A Prayer again it would be a bit boring. To stay interesting you have to work with your contemporaries. I think everyone jumps on a bandwagon in some ways, it just depends on what level. When I first started writing songs I was jumping on a bandwagon a bit, even if it was a bit lower down the food chain so to speak. I guess Madonna is doing the same thing but just with the whole world looking at her. As long as she’s passionate about it, that’s all that matters. She’s been making dance music before I was even born.
Back to festivals, who would you choose to perform if we could arrange for a Katy B Festival to happen this Summer?
That would be my dream! Madonna as a headliner would be cool actually. She’d be a good headliner but I’m not sure if I’d want to see her get her boobs out! Have you seen that video? Haha. I saw Rihanna play at the Hackney Weekend and it was cool to see someone play all their hits and to see people proper dancing and so many girls singing along so I’d have her too. I love hip-hop too so Wu-Tang Clan and Watch The Throne too - might be a bit weird with Madonna but I’d enjoy it. Obviously I’d have Magnetic Man too, they do about four stage dives per show - the other day Skream jumped from his DJ booth onto the actual stage because loads of people had rushed on there.
Is there a track around that you would call your festival anthem for this Summer?
I think ‘212’ by Azealia Banks is amazing. It’s been around a while but it’s still so good.
How are you feeling ahead of your big show at London’s Somerset House in July?
I’m very excited. It’s my one big headline show of the year and we’re rehearsing at the moment. We’re trying to make it extra special and are getting extra production to make it like an outdoor rave in the middle of London. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain, although I love partying in the rain. It definitely won’t happen on my night though, promise!
Have you made arrangements to ensure that it doesn’t pour down?
Yes, I’ve paid a little extra to the man to keep it sunny for me!
Has anyone else on the line up caught your eye at all? Jill Scott is playing, Paloma Faith…
I’m the biggest Jill Scott fan. I’m going to camp out and stay over, whatever I can to get close to her. Hide in her wardrobe and make her my best friend. Jill Scott is a massive influence on me, I know all the words to her all albums.
You have also recorded Olympic single ‘Anywhere In The World’ with Mark Ronson, which sport would you be going for gold in this Summer if you were an athlete?
Football. I grew up around boys and all my cousins played so I used to play with them and go to things like cubs to spend time with them. I played in defence and played after school a lot, I was the only girl for ages. I wish I could still play but because it’s a team sport it’s quite difficult with my job - I can't get a team together!
Katy B plays at London’s Somerset House series on Sunday, July 8th. Click here to see the full line-up, which also includes M83, Paloma Faith, The Enemy and The Temper Trap.