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Off the Bat with Katy Alex

Following years of growing and honing her craft within the heart of Liverpool, Katy Alex is finally in her pop element.

Emerging in the oaths of chaos and a year that no one could ever expect, newcomer Alex continues to build from her six-track demo EP and tracks such as 'Loving You' ft. Piero Pirupa and 'Maliblues'. With the rising singer-songwriter now boasting a vastly built discography that screams influences of Charli XCX & Remi Wolf with her own spec of sounds, Alex attention is going further than the UK music scene.

As 2021 nears an end, we bring to you a new interview series to get the lowdown on some of the most exciting prospects out there. To start, we caught up with one to watch Katy Alex about her latest work & what's to come, her secret talents and finally what needs changing in the music industry.

Congratulations on your latest release, 'Maliblues' - what have the past few weeks been like for you and to those who may be unfamiliar with Katy Alex, how would you describe your sound and journey so far?

Thank you so much! It’s been a bit crazy, to be honest. I’ve been travelling a lot the past few weeks, mostly doing writing sessions. I find it easiest to describe my sound as “pop music with whatever I feel like throwing in on the day”.

I tend to write just me and my guitar, so when production comes into play, I already know what emotion needs to be attached to the track and, my producer Alex (Quinn) is really great at reading the vibe from my lyrics or demo, I trust him to produce bangers every time, he’s extremely talented! My journey has been long-winded but full of wonderful experiences and lessons, and I seem to have done a full circle from toplining dance tracks to focusing on pop, and then back to dance music. I’ve found a sweet balance with the two now and I have never felt more comfortable in what I’m doing.

Now how would you describe yourself in three words, and how would your friends describe you?

I’d describe myself as Loyal, feisty, clumsy.

Others I’ve asked have said: Emotional (haha, I totally agree), creative, kind, sensitive (helps being a writer, so I’ll take that).

If you were able to time travel back in time, where would you go?

I think a lot about being a child again, back to when times were simpler. I lost my brother 13 years ago, so looking through old family photos always gets me thinking about how easy life was before becoming an adult - no bills to pay, you don’t understand much, so there’s no stress, just playing with my siblings and watching Disney or Nickelodeon all day.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

People pushing in! Especially when they see the queue and try to be smart about it, and then have the audacity to get annoyed at you for telling them to move...GET TO THE BACK, BYE BYEEEEE!

What's the biggest misconception about being a musician, and one thing you want to change about the music industry?

That it’s easy. I think people just think because you’re following your dreams or doing what you love that it’s always sunshine and rainbows. It’s super hard sometimes. You can be faced with a lot of failures. It’s a constant road of trial and error as an artist with no funding or backing, then throw being a female into the mix, and you’ve got even more pressure to be a certain way.

One thing I’d change about the industry is the stigma surrounding mental health. I think things are starting to change, but not quick enough. Artists shouldn’t be afraid to talk openly about their mental health, we’re all human, and I think having an open conversation only helps listeners connect to music, even more, they want something to relate to. I know as a listener; I want to feel like I know the people sharing their stories. But there’s this stigma attached to sharing. I think some artists are worried that the industry people we try to impress don’t want to see us sharing these stories. To quote an old manager I had, “labels don’t want to invest in someone who’s unstable”. I’m actually annoyed at myself for not sacking him off sooner.

If you weren’t working towards your dream job as a musician, what would you be doing?

Working with doggos. I’ve always said if I wasn’t a musician, I’d be working with dogs. There’s nothing else in this world that brings me instant happiness. If I see a dog out in the street, I point, smile and shout “dog”, it’s like a knee jerk reaction - obsessed would be an understatement.

Do you have any hidden talents/party tricks?

I’d have to send you a video to explain this properly, haha. I have weird knees that can bend in strange ways. It freaks everyone out and gets many screams when I do it. Maybe I’ll post an Instagram story when this goes live. Although my Mum keeps shouting at me and says I’ll regret it when I’m older and need new knees, haha.

What has been your favourite work so far, and what are you working on right now?

This is a hard one. I’m probably going to say my latest dance release with Piero Pirupa. We wrote ‘Loving You’ during one of the lockdowns, and it came out mid-September with D4D4NCE. It’s a label I’ve loved for quite some time. On release day, the song got played on Danny Howard’s Radio 1 show and added to the Capital Dance playlist. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all weekend!

Right now, I’m working on finalising my debut EP. I wrote and produced a song called ‘Glow’ and decided I needed a rapper, so with the help of BBC Introducing North West I found the perfect person to collaborate with. We’re currently finishing that off, and it’s sounding HUGE!

What is your biggest pinch-me moment so far?

I was recently sent a song to work on by a big-time DJ that I used to listen to every day without fail in my teen years. Working on the song has been unreal. If someone had told 15-year-old me I’d be getting the opportunity in 10 years’ time to write with this producer, I wouldn’t have believed them.

Finally, what's the dream?

To play a home show at Anfield. I’m a massive red and get so excited just driving past Anfield. I used to play cover songs before all the home games in one of the lounges, and the pride I felt just doing that was immense, so singing my own songs and hearing people sing them back in a place I love so much would be a dream come true!