Interview: Kate Lomas
From plays on BBC Radio 1 to Spotify playlist features, 2018 was a great year for our BA Songwriting alumna, Kate Lomas.
A series of great day-glo pop tunes including ‘Drink 2 U’ and ‘Leave Out The Lows’ have ensured she’s top of tastemaker tips for 2019.
We caught up with her to find out more about her year and her secrets for success…
How did you start out in music?
I started writing at school when I was about 14. I played the piano, the guitar and started performing my songs live in pubs and small venues. I came to ICMP after my A-Levels and studied songwriting and continued to write. I developed this solo project under my own name with my producer at home and have spent the last five years experimenting and finding my sound.
This has been the year it’s all started to come together.
Who were your main inspirations and influences?
At the start as a songwriter my main inspirations were Lorde and Lana Del Ray, those kind of artists. Now I’ve moved away from being influenced and am all about trying to define what it is I’m looking to do.
How did you find your time at ICMP? How did it shape you?
A lot of it was about the people that I met there. I’m still working with many of them now, they’ve all gone on to do great things. My best friend who is now a radio plugger Poppy Raine is now managing this project and helping me take it to the next level. Yannis Iliopoulos, the music business tutor, massively helped me and taught me a lot about the industry. He helped me promote my first EP which I put out in my name via his label. It influenced my sound and my music, then people like Yannis kickstarted the project really. Everything I do now is connected to the networks I made at ICMP.
Was there a tipping point for your music career?
Definitely this year.
Before this year I don’t think I knew what I was trying to do. But now it’s all clicked and I understand what my artistic identity is sonically, visually and conceptually too. Once it clicks into place, then everyone else starts being convinced by it too."
I think you can’t be convinced by a project if the person behind it isn’t totally convinced. This year I’ve seen the results - being played by Radio 1, features on Spotify playlists - it’s shown that we’re heading on the right track.
How did you end up being played on BBC Radio 1?
It came about through BBC Introducing. In the initial stages, they are hugely important. You can’t aim for Radio 1 at the outset. You need to get a relationship with Introducing and developing this has been hugely important and advantageous for me this year. One of the best ways to kick start something is with them. This was just through uploading – it got through to Radio 1 and they’re now taking me a little more seriously. The team behind Introducing are on it and always looking for the next big thing.
You mentioned your team – how important is building this around you as a new artist?
One of the best things you can do is build your own team and don’t accept the first thing that comes at you from the industry. I’ve got a manager plus the company Autonomy are on board too - it’s a really strong mix of talent that all fits really well together.
I’m in control of it, I can call the shots and if I’m not okay with something I can raise it rather than being blinded by something which is bigger than I am. It’s better to build something rather than joining something when you’re a new artist."
What’s next for you?
More new music, I’ve got a load of stuff I’ve written which is almost ready to go. More music and more gigging is the plan at the moment. I’m continuing to work with Guy Britton and some of the ICMP alumni.
What’s your top advice to our students?
I would say write as much as you can and remember that at the end of the day it’s about the music. You can’t convince someone if you can’t convince yourself. At the start, don’t worry about marketing or putting it out there. Just think about the music and only go for it once that is right. So be patient as it doesn’t happen overnight.
You don’t need the industry to come to you - in this day and age, you’ve got social media, tech - you don’t need someone to make it happen for you. They’re only portraying their vision of you. It’s a very empowering time to be an indie artist. There’s so many more opportunities out there than there used to be. You can do it and you don’t need anything - you just need to write and create.
Watch the video to Kate's latest track, 'Leave Out The Lows':
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