|Katy B photographed in Peckham by Katherine Rose|
'A January afternoon in Peckham Rye, south London. Clouds cluster and part over muddy green grass, pouring occasional light on the post-lunch dog-walkers. A 24-year-old is among them, balancing on perilous black wedges, clasping her white coat, on loan from Topshop, against the cold...
Here, in her old manor, doing the old stuff, is Kathleen Brien, aka Katy B, who returns next month with her second album, Little Red. It's been nearly three years since her debut LP, On a Mission, came out, blending the sounds of rave and dubstep into high-octane pop. Made on a shoestring, it got to No 2 in the album charts, and was nominated for the Mercury prize and the Ivor Novellos. It also put strong female vocalists centre-stage in mainstream dance music again; Jessie Ware and AlunaGeorge have a lot to thank her for.
Although Brien now lives in east London, everything began here in SE15, an area slowly succumbing to gentrification. "I quite like that in a way," Brien says, Ruby dragging her along. "I mean, I had a 40-year-old man taking my phone here when I was a teenager. And some crackhead snatching my bag." We walk past the kids' 1 o'clock club Brien attended as a child, a few streets from the house where her plumber dad and postwoman mum brought her up. "Maybe that doesn't happen now because I look older, and can handle myself a bit better." She bites her lip, has a think. "Yeah, that's it. Plus I like to be able to go get a coffee with a friend somewhere other than McDonald's."'
(full interview here- the newspaper version includes a nice photo of her sitting on a bench in the park, but that doesn't seem to be online)
Meanwhile in Time Out (23 January 2014), Katy is interviewed.photographed in the Big Red Pizza bus in Deptford next to the Birds Nest pub, where she talks about playing football for Peckham Town United and nights out in Brixton: 'I’ve had so many good nights in Brixton. It satisfies every part of my personality. I remember UK Funky nights at Fridge Bar, then cocktails at Satay Bar, then Hootananny where everyone’s shocking out to live music. Outside someone’s cooking chicken on a grill. That, for me, feels like London.’
|'Katy on the buses' - at the Big Red Pizza bus in Deptford|
Previously at Transpontine:
Katy B, ex-Goldsmiths student, South London Pop Star of the Year 2010
Katy B used to work in JD Sports Lewisham
Katy B, Ikonika and Ayres Bakers in Nunhead
As well as a period at BRITS school in Croydon, Katy went to Lyndhurst Primary School in Peckham and Haberdashers Askes in New Cross,going on to do the Popular Music course at Goldsmiths at the same time as James Blake.