Claudia Kate on taking on the system

‘BIG TALK, little girl’ is the best protest song we’ve heard this year, and the fact that it comes from an independent artist talks volumes about how sterile the wider industry has become. Claudia Kate has been riding on a wave of brilliance since her debut album A Damn Good Place To Start was released and in recent months she’s also debuted the wonderful ‘Fizzy’. Claudia is a woman with a LOT to say and is using her music to make her voice heard in the best way possible.

She kindly took some time to chat to us about her music, her influences and how therapeutic it was to get her anger out in song…

Hi Claudia, how are you today?

Hey! I’m doing very well thanks so much for having me.

Would you like to introduce yourself to the TuneFountain readers?

I’m a 23 year old independent artist creating indie-pop music from home! I’ve been writing songs since 15, from little folk songs to the big pop tunes that myself and my partner are creating now.

So, ‘BIG TALK, little girl’ – it’s a banger right? What was one thing that pushed you to write it?

Thanks so much! So I was feeling very overwhelmed by the series of events happening in the UK over the past few years, but the tipping point for me weirdly was the day our Queen died. I feel like her passing actually really hit me as, although I’m not a royalist, she felt like this constant presence in our country/ my life growing up here, and her dying the same week Truss got appointed our PM just gave me this real sense of impending doom. I wanted to write a song from a young person’s perspective to show my Grandparents so they could listen to my POV without having a chance to interrupt me. As the youngest in my family, I’ve really struggled to find my voice as a young adult and to be taken seriously when I express my views. I really tried to write the lyrics in such a way that you can’t miss-interpret what I’m trying to say. I was very aware that young people are often accused of moaning and being too sensitive, but that’s not the case at all, we’re growing up in the digital age, it’s completely changed the game of politics world-wide, and it’s very scary.

Did you find getting all of it out into the song therapeutic?

Yes so therapeutic! To then share it online too and find others feeling the same, and even to change some people’s minds. It took me a good few days to write the chorus lyrics as I wanted to ensure I was covering all bases and acknowledging my privilege whilst still demonstrating the pain young people are in right now. It’s definitely the longest song I’ve ever written but I’m so proud of every single lyric.

We’re huge fans of your album, A Damn Good Place To Start. What is your favourite track on there?

It’s so hard to choose! I like every song for different reasons and I’m so proud of the album as I wrote those songs between the ages of 17 and 21, so it’s a real picture of life as a young female and all the motions we go through trying to establish our place in society. The song I’ve found the most rewarding to perform live is definitely ‘fat’ as the spoken word part of it has the power to silence a crowd. It means a lot to know something I’ve written has influenced people and I always get very touching feedback about that song.

Do you have an earliest musical memory? Was there a record or act that made you think ‘I want to do this!’

I grew up in the early 2000s, so I was a real ‘CD in the car’ kid. A real stand out is Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway’, I don’t think there are many millennial/Gen Z girls out there who don’t know every word to ‘Since U Been Gone’. I also kept getting Lily Allen CDs for Xmas from a young age and once I could upload those onto my mp3 player I was totally and completely hooked. It’s very fun now to listen to her music and realised how I naively interpreted her lyrics when I was younger!

How would you describe your music to newcomers?

My music has been described as a ‘hot water bottle’ before, I totally can see this as at the core of every song I make, I’m really trying to comfort others. Any emotions I’m going through I try to articulate the best I can so that the person listening feels less alone. Sound wise, think if Kate Nash and Wolf Alice had a baby, we love a dreamy guitar loop as much as a comforting British accent and on-the-nose lyrics. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable in my lyrics and I personally think that’s what makes my music special.

If you were to highlight three of your songs as the perfect introduction to your music, what would they be?

‘Fizzy’ is my personal favourite, it’s the coolest production we’ve ever done and real feel-good, dance around your bedroom kinda tune! If you’re feeling a little frustrated at the state of the world ‘BIG TALK, little girl’ blasting through your headphones is bound to perk you up. And lastly, if you’re in the mood for a good cry, ‘Fat’ is your go-to.

Collaborations seem to be a huge thing right now, who would you most like to work with?

My absolute dream collaboration would be Sam Fender, he’s a lyrical genius I can’t fault him! I’d also jump at the chance to write with Kate Nash she’s been an inspiration to me for a long time.

When was the last time you were starstruck?

I got to see Arctic Monkeys at Reading this year which was a real teenage-dream accomplished!

Is there any style of music you just don’t get?

There’s no genre’s I’m closed off to, I think all music has its purpose and place in our society. I personally don’t listen to rap much but I’m always checking out Spotify playlists and trying to broaden my horizons, you never know what might inspire you!

What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?

When can you next see me play live! I’ll be playing my first ever HEADLINE SHOW at the Camden Assembly in London on the 17th January. Tickets go live next week!

You can follow Claudia Kate over on TwitterInstagram and TikTok. And go show her some love over on Spotify!

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