If you’re into powerful females and pop which packs a punch, then you definitely need to be listening to Scottish singer-songwriter Kerri Watt.
With a string of singles to her name, including her most recent release ‘Cut Me loose’, Keri Watt has been working hard on her debut album, supporting the likes of Keith Urban and killing it with festival performances across the country.
Last Friday, Kerri performed at BST Hyde Park, delivering a stunning set on the Summer Stage. Following her performance, we sat down with her to discuss ‘Cut Me Loose’, signing her first album deal and more.
How was it opening the summer stage today?
It was really really exciting because I’ve loved British Summer Time for the last few years and have been dying to get up there and do it myself so to open the summer stage and kick off the music for the first day felt really awesome.
And do you still get nervous when it comes to performing?
It totally depends I never get super nervous to the point where I feel sick but I think those butterflies are always a good feeling. Days like this and something about playing outdoors just puts me at ease, I’m not sure if it’s the breeze but I get way more nervous standing backstage in a venue when you can’t really see anyone whereas today I knew who was out there so today I just felt pretty chilled and was excited to get out there.
You released your collaboration ‘Never’ almost a year ago now, how’s everything been since then?
Yes, that was a collaboration so it’s actually been 2 years since I released anything on my own which has actually been great because I kind of just wanted to reset a little and in this last year I’ve signed my first album deal with a record label and so I finally have new music coming out a week today.
How did it feel signing that deal?
It was really exciting. I’ve been doing this for seven years writing and playing every pub, bar, open mic that will have me and it’s been quite a slow burn for me but to have someone come on and actually kind of makes me feel like it’s all worth it, it is great and its kind of the start of the journey now but it’s the start of doing it for real now. I have a team of people who believe in it and take it to the next level.
You posted the Artwork for your new single ‘Cut Me Loose’ yesterday, what can you tell us about the track?
I could tell you so much but briefly, this time last year I went out to Austin, Texas and recorded a bunch of songs which were mostly tracks I had written myself with some co-writes but I wanted to go back and remind myself that I can actually write music on my own because I’d been co-writing for the past four or five years and I came up with the song ‘Cut Me Loose’, recorded it with an amazing producer and I was going to self-release it but then the label came on board so it’s been an exciting few months getting everything lined up and ready to release it. It’s a dark, moody, passionate songs about breaking free from someone who has a hold on you and I wanted it to be a song which anyone could relate to so even though I wrote it about a relationship it could be about a friend who doesn’t treat you well or a job that’s holding you back but the message is just about being cut loose.
Talking about music and with you mentioning the album, will ‘lights’ be a part of that project? And where are you in terms of the album process?
It’s actually completely finished so this track ‘Cut Me Loose’ is the introduction of the new music which people will be hearing over the next 18 months. This is the teaser, there’s the full track, a really fun music video that I filmed which will be out at the end of the month and over the next few months to a year and a half we’ll be rolling out the other singles.
What were your inspirations behind the new project and its concept?
In the past when I have released EP’s they were full of songs which I kind of wrote here and there but didn’t really connect but all the songs on the album I sat and wrote within the same three-week period so all reflect where I was at in my life during that period, thinking back on relationships that hurt me, also thinking about the current relationship I was in and how happy that was making me. Other things going on in my life also inspired me and there was a lot of coming to terms with things especially being a woman in my late twenties and what I want out of life, it’s all very personal.
You’re originally from Scotland but moved over and spent some time in California when you were a teenager, how do you think that’s influenced you and your music?
That one year that I studied there I think shaped me as an entire person for the rest of my life because it opened me up not only to not only loads of other genres of music but just other ways of living, looking at things and I met so many new people. Before that I’d always been around Scottish people, I had never even really been to England so I met a lot of people there that have been instrumental to me as a person that I’m still friends with. Relating to where I am, now career-wise, it introduced me to music which I never heard growing up in Scotland such as country, gospel and blues, I learnt to sing harmonies for the first time and its something I’ve just carried through.
And how did you choose which tracks made the cut for the final album track list?
It was a really tough decision. I originally went with 30 tracks and had to cut it down to about eleven or twelve. it was clear to me for the most part which ones would be on the final album but there were 3 or 4 that me and my team had to make a decision on which one would be kept and which three would be cut and that was hard and some definite disagreements in that but I’m really pleased with how it turned out ad I already need to be thinking about album number two and I want to be busy on the road over the next year and then it’ll become time to do album two so it’s always good to have a few songs.
It seems to have been an exciting few months, what has been your highlight of the year so far?
I think it’s hard to beat being on a poster with Celine Dion but I did open up for Keith Urban at the Kentish town forum earlier this year and he invited me to sing a duet with him. We sang his collaboration with Carrie Underwood so obviously I was singing Carrie Underwood’s part which was absolutely epic.
I know we’ve mentioned new music and what’s to come but what are you most excited about for the rest of the year?
So many things, I think I’m dying for people to not only hear the new music but to see the vision behind the album, styling and video concepts which I’ve come up with and you’ll see it as it unfolds but it’s very inspired by the sixties and seventies and I really want to create a community where its music, conversation, style and imagery that everyone who follows me can just get on board with and have loads of fun with.
Kerri Watt’s Brand new single ‘Cut Me Loose’ was released today and is available to stream across all major platforms.
Let us know what you think of the new track and interview over on Twitter @CelebMix