Kaity Rae is one of the rising stars on the UK country scene. At just 19 years of age, she has released two EP’s both of which have gained great critical acclaim and has caught the eye of some of the biggest names in the industry. I was absolutely delighted when she agreed to have a chat with us at Belles and Gals!
Hi Kaity, we first featured you on Belles and Gals after I heard ‘Before I Knew’ for the first time and it immediately struck a chord and I couldn’t wait to share it. Tell us all about the song.
Thank you! I’m obsessed with the Nashville concept where you write from a Title, so I had ‘Before I Knew’ written in my phone along with a load of other title ideas for songs that I note down, and then one day after it had been sitting there for ages the first verse just popped into my head and it all came from there really.
The song is the opening number on your second EP “This Time Around”. How exciting was it to hit the studio again and have another record out?
It was amazing! I recorded half of it at The Islington Music Workshop and the other half at The Cream Room in Hertfordshire with my very talented Producer John Dines and Engineer/Co-Producer Martin Lumsden. We were very lucky to be able to use the studio at IMW to record the Drums and Acoustic Guitar, the desk there is insane – I can’t remember exactly how many channels it had but I couldn’t reach both ends at the same time! And of course I always love going back to The Cream Room, I recorded my first EP and rehearse with my band there so I feel very at home.
This week the UK country charts have been dominated by four Ben Earle (from the Shires) penned numbers. You caught Ben’s attention yourself a couple of years ago?
I think it was August last year when he tweeted me saying he loved ‘It Is’ from my first EP ‘Spark’ – I was so excited as I’ve been a massive fan of The Shires since their ‘The Green Note’ EP and have always looked up to them leading the way for UK Country. It was amazing that Ben also took the time to come and support my EP launch in June, and continues to support many other up and coming UK Country artists as well!
On Belles and Gals we’ve featured a number of artists who are signed to ‘Folkstock Records’ and you’ve received great acclaim for some of your songs on their compilation albums. How important have they been to your career?
Being involved in the compilations has been an amazing experience, I think my favourite one to be involved with was ‘The F Spot – Femme Fatales’, which featured a guitar version of ‘It Is’. We were really lucky to be invited to play the Southbank Centre promoting the album and I got to play a beautiful grand piano, it was an amazing experience! ‘It Is’ also got playlisted in Music Week and a mention in The Sunday Times as a result of the compilation so I am very grateful to Helen Meissner of Folkstock Records for inviting me to be involved.
When you look at your career so far, have you got a particular highlight? One moment that really stands out?
Definitely the weekend of my EP launch back in June, it was amazing to see way more people than I thought come out and support the Launch of my new music on the Friday, and then wake up at 6am the next morning to go and sing on the BBC Three Counties breakfast show, and then go back in the evening to have a chat on the BBC Introducing show with Gareth Lloyd! Then on the Sunday it was my birthday, so it was great to relax and look back at the past two days and think to myself ‘I did it!’
I was always obsessed with writing stories when I was younger, and my first dream job was an author. I also played piano and cello from a young age, so when I discovered country music age 12, I was so inspired by the story telling in the songs and instantly wanted to write my own. So I picked up one of my dad’s guitars and it all went from there really.
And who are your influences when it comes to music, and what are you listening to at the moment?
My first country music obsessions were Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood, I still love them and think all the writing on their albums is to die for. I haven’t seen Lady Antebellum live yet, but I saw Carrie for the first time at the Apple Music Festival – we were right at the front and I cried when she walked on stage I had waited so long to see her! The writers behind the songs are also big influencers for me, Jessi Alexander being one of them. She wrote ‘Mine would be you’ for Blake Shelton, and was a co-writer on ‘I Drive Your Truck’ for Lee Brice – I am a massive fan of her writing style and have been lucky enough to see her both in London at c2c and in Nashville at the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival back in April.
As for current favourites, Maren Morris – I cannot stop playing her album over and over at the moment! All the songs are genius and I love her sound.
At just 19 years of age you have many years of performing ahead of you. In regards to your music career, if you could gaze into a crystal ball ten years into the future, what would you hope to see?
I would love to do a headline show at The Roundhouse one day, it is such a beautiful venue and is my favourite venue in London – hopefully that would also be part of a UK tour! I would also like to be visiting Nashville frequently as I loved it when I went in April and hopefully get the chance to write with some of my songwriting heros/heroines.
Time for a couple of fun questions! You’re hosting a fantasy dinner party for four. Who are your 3 guests?
Jessi Alexander, Taylor Swift and Hillary Lindsay so I could turn it into a group Co-write and be in the room when the most awesome country song ever was written! (Also so I could then convince Taylor Swift to return to Country and put the song on her next album)
If you were to be a subject for a film, which actress would you like to play you?
I would love Amanda Seyfried to play me, she’s my favourite actress and she can sing – bonus!
Finally, tell us what we can expect from Kaity Rae in the coming weeks and months.
I’ve got a few gigs coming up towards the end of the year, and then other than that I’m writing new material and planning what’s going to happen next! I’ll be updating my website with gigs as they get announced at www.kaityrae.com !