Wednesday, December 29, 2010

South London Pop Star of the Year (2): Katy B

Tinie Tempah was a shoe-in for 2010 South London Pop Star of the Year (male department), but the female department is a trickier one to call. Of course Florence & The Machine and Elly Jackson (La Roux) are both still riding high, and visible in the area - I saw Florence wandering around Crystal Palace recently and Elly turned on the Christmas lights in Herne Hill earlier this month. But arguably they have both been building on the work they released in 2009, rather than doing much new in 2010.

So I'm going to give my vote - and it's my award - to Katy B. OK she's not really a fully fledged pop star as yet, with her first solo single only released in August. But Katy on a Mission got to number five in the singles chart and she also featured on Magnetic Man's hit Perfect Stranger. Her new single Lights On (also featuring Ms Dynamite) was released in the week before Christmas and is already number four in the charts. Expect her to be all over 2011, with her first album due out soon.

Katy B (real name Katie Brien) is South East London through and through, growing up in Peckham and doing a degree in Popular Music at Goldsmiths in New Cross. In an interview with Beatnik Online - conducted in Frank's Bar on top of Peckham car park - she recalled 'I use to go to a studio in Deptford and it was also a place where a load of grime boys could do their mixtape properly. If any boy needed a hook or someone needed help on a demo then I’d be asked to do it! I was about 17. I use to save my money, get my 30 quid here and there...DJ Geeneus was one of the people who would go to the studio and he kind of found me through that.' Geeneus, founder of Rinse FM, has collaborated with Katy on a number of tracks and is one of the producers of her new album.

Wonder which studio it was? As mentioned here before, Crazy Cousinz have used Digital Holdings off Surrey Canal Road, SE14.

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