Interview: Kitty Perrin

Kitty Perrin

Del Osei-Owusu interviews Kitty Perrin…

Hello Kitty, how are you? 
Hey, I’m good thank you! 

Congratulations on the release of The Escapist, how does it feel?
Thank you! It feels great to finally have this track out in the world, it was the first track I wrote for the EP, and the recording process was interrupted so many times by the lockdowns so this song was a long time coming. I was really nervous about releasing this song because it’s so introspective but the response has been amazing.  

What’s the story behind it?
I always hated being told off as a kid or made to feel I was in the wrong in any way and recently, I discovered this personality trait is still present in my adult life.   

The Escapist came about six months after a bad break-up. I was telling a friend that everything had been perfect until the break-up, but he started pointing out all the signs that it was never going to work, things that had been there the whole time but I’d been ignoring. I realised that I’d been glad my ex had ended things so badly, because it meant that I was the victim. I was the one that got hurt in the end so I didn’t have to accept responsibility for any of the bad stuff before.  

The Escapist is about that and the ways we reinvent our own history to paint us favourably.  

Your debut EP is now out, what’s your favourite track from it? 
That’s tough because all these songs are really personal, but I love Superheroes because it is the happiest of all the tracks. It’s based on a conversation I had with my band about what superpowers we’d pick. In the end, we realised that each of them would change something about our lives at that moment and we didn’t want to risk that so we decided against the idea of being Superheroes. The song ends with the line “Lucky I’ve A Lot To Lose” sung over and over, and it’s such a nice reminder.  

You are a singer songwriter based in Norfolk, how did it all begin for you?
I don’t really remember a time when music wasn’t part of my life. My dad and my siblings are all musical so I started young. I first started playing aged 8, and performing and writing aged 11. I don’t remember deciding to start writing songs at any point it’s just something I’ve always done and loved.  

I also busked from the age of 11, something I continued to do all through school and my first year of university. From there I got my first gigs in pubs and small venues, often getting kicked out immediately after my sets because I was under age.  

When I moved to Norwich for university I got a residency in a bar in my first week just so I had somewhere to play regularly. I sent my music to BBC Music Introducing in Norfolk shortly afterwards and it all sort of spiralled from there. I got more gigs locally, started playing bigger shows too and that led me to meet my band, all local musicians in other projects. It’s funny because I’m not from here, but I feel like my identity as an artist is inextricably linked to Norfolk and the local music scene.  

What did you listen to growing up? 
Like so many people, I was brought up primarily on Bowie, the Beatles, and Lou Reed, but I really fell in love with the folkier singer-songwriters like Suzanne Vega, and straight talking pop artists like Lily Allen. Later I was introduced to a mixture of indie rock/pop and folk music by my older sister. I fell in love with artists like Fleet Foxes, First Aid Kit, Arcade Fire, The Shins, and most of all indie duo Slow Club. 

You are originally from Brighton, is there anything you miss about it?
I miss the city itself sometimes and that beautiful combination of city, sea and countryside. But Norwich is really home now and nowhere compares for me.  

You are also a radio DJ for BBC Norfolk and BBC Introducing Norfolk, that must be exciting! What’s the best way to catch Kitty Perrin’s ear?
I like everything in terms of genre and style. One of the best things about presenting this show has been discovering so many new genres that I would never have naturally been drawn to, but now I love. Generally speaking, I like hearing music that feels truly original and distinctive to the artist. It might just be that the lyrics are so personal they couldn’t possibly be by anyone else, or it might be a totally original style. But just something authentic.  

You also hosted the BBC Introducing Norfolk live shows, what was a stand-out moment for you there? 
Yeah! We recently hosted a stage at Norfolk and Norwich Festival which was absolutely incredible. Hard to pick a stand out moment but Mama Oh No were pretty awe inspiring. They’re a local soul rock band, who really harness that 60s sound but have made it totally there own. I’ve seen them so many times but hearing there golden hour sounds in actual golden hour was magic.  

COVID impacted the creative industry as a whole, what kept you motivated?
I was still presenting BBC Introducing throughout and hearing so much incredible music every week from local artists really helped. I especially loved seeing the local bands finding all sorts of ways to keep making music together during the lockdowns. Just to know people were still out there doing it was really motivating.

The last two years have been a time to reflect what did you learn about yourself?
It really has and so much of my EP is based off that reflection. The main thing I learnt that I’m not very good at being content or living in the moment. I spend a lot of time planning the next thing but this year I’m really trying to just appreciate things as they come. 

Did you pick up any new skills? 
I broke my finger right at the start of the first lockdown so I couldn’t play guitar. I ended up learning a bit of bass and harmonica to compensate!

What are you listening to at the moment?
The last few months I’ve become obsessed with a band called MUNA. They’re a queer indie-pop trio based in LA and their music is incredible, really emotive and personal but also fun and addictive. I have also fallen in love with Christian Lee Hutson’s debut album again recently after seeing him play at the Slaughtered Lamb in London. He has this way of turning mundane observations into beautiful poetry, like Conor Oberst or Elliot Smith.  

What are you looking forward to next?
I can’t wait to get back in the studio to record some more music, got loads of new songs I’m really excited about. Also hoping to go on another tour soon. We went on our first tour round the South-East of England in February and had the best time. 

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Del Osei-Owusu

Del is a songwriter, producer, keyboard player arranger and musical nerd from South London, Del comes from a gospel music background but listens to anything, everything and nothing. Read More

4 Comments

  1. Great work as always Del and really interesting answers from Kitty. A joy to read. 🙂

  2. A really good interview Del and Kitty.

    A really nice read, thank you

  3. A wonderful interview!

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