My Interview with Kate Miller

The list of artists that inspired you as a youngster is quite a unusual. Who influenced the sounds that you absorbed as a kid? Are you from a musical family?

I suppose they are quite unusual.  I was inspired by Paco Pena when I was younger and I went through a phase of wanting to be a Flamenco guitarist (as you do!). I went to see him live at the Wigmore Hall and I was in awe of his talent. He inspired me to keep playing the guitar more than anything else! I don’t come from a musical family at all but my parents had a very eclectic record collection so that has probably rubbed off on me over the years!

You were songwriting from the age of nine. What sort of topics were your writing about then?

I started playing the guitar when I was nine so the natural thing for me to do was sing along! I have absolutely no idea what I wrote about – probably about teachers that annoyed me or wanting to be a princess.

Do you remember what you got out of it then?  Was it purely fun, was it just a natural thing you did, was it a release?

It was a completely natural thing for me to do, I never thought of it as ‘song writing’ or even a song, and in a way it was and always will be a kind of release for me. 

Do you remember a significant moment when you realised this is what you wanted to do for your career?

Whenever I go to see a band play live I always think ‘I want to be on that stage’. I’ll always have the impulse to create a piece of music whether it’s as a hobby or a part of my job. 

Was there ever an alternative route or career? 

I study Fine Art as well as writing music, and I’ll continue doing both for as long as I can!  I get a lot of inspiration to write my songs from my art, whether it’s from an installation or a sculpture that I’m working on. The two are symbiotic for me. 

You change a lot as a person during your teenage years. Has your music been quite schizophrenic over the past for years or has your sound always been quite defined?

My sound always differs slightly from song to song, and in 10 years time I’m sure my sound will be completely different, which is such an exciting thought. There is too much pressure on having a distinct style that people can label. I like to think my voice is recognisable and is a strong element that ties the songs together. 

How have family and friends reacted to your choice to pursue music as a career?

My family and friends have been very supportive, giving me lots of encouragement but without any pressure whatsoever.

Have you mapped out career goals or are you someone that just goes with the flow?

I definitely go with the flow!!

How important have open mic nights been to honing your sound and performance?

Open mic’s have been very important for me in getting myself noticed, but more importantly to build confidence. It’s always a good place to try out new material too! I’d highly recommend Watford open mic night… What a lovely crowd! 

I’m guessing till now you have largely written on your own. How easy has it been to adapt to working with other songwriters and taking on their opinions?

Working with other songwriters is a strange dynamic that can either produce something really special or nothing at all! Writing a song with someone who understands you and likes what you do is such a fun experience. I still write on my own too, I think it’s important to keep doing that. 

You have/will work with Charlie Hugall on your debut EP. How important is initial chemistry when working with a producer? How do you know you are on to a winning partnership?

Yeah, I’m really looking forward to working with Charlie, we got off to a great start, we both love Beach House! Having a shared vision of what you want to create is key to any partnership, but it’s also about being open to each others’ ideas or concepts. 

How comfortable are you with the amount of presence artists are meant to have on social media in 2014?

Very uncomfortable! What happened to mystique?!

Your vocals have been used on the new campaign for H&M. How did that come about?

I was asked to do the vocals on Monsieur Adi’s remix and I jumped at the opportunity. Although covering Blondie is very risky as Debbie Harry has the coolest voice! 

Are you someone that is into fashion and style? Is it an important part of who you are as an artist?

I love fashion and style and dress up for every occasion but I don’t feel it defines what kind of artist I am. 

You see musicians filling up the front rows of fashion week these days. Would you like to do this, or would you rather keep a low profile?

I’d love to do that! I can imagine it would be quite stressful deciding what to wear though. 

You’re tipped for big things this year. Do you feel a pressure from others, or is it you that puts pressure on yourself?

As someone who likes to go with the flow – all I do is work hard and try to make music I’m happy with – if success comes with it then great.

What are the main themes tackled in your debut EP?

The themes I develop in my art are reflected in the tracks on my EP – mystery, dreams and emotional conflict.

Stage you’d most like to play?

Inside the Rothko Chapel in Texas! 

Recently played on your iPod?

Lonnie Holley – Six Space shuttles and 144,000 Elephants.

Dream collaboration? 

Beyonce obvs! 

Best advice you’ve ever been given?

Love this quote by Salvidor Dali ‘Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing’ 

Something surprising about you….

I want to design stained glass windows… Really, I do.  

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