We always need some refreshing songs in our lives. Here at THP, we know the drill! Katy For Kings’ hard work is paying off and we are obsessed with her songs. Her musical hero? John Mayer. Between joy and sobs, she mixes modern and classic songwriting. No matter if it’s an original track she’s penned or an emotional cover, she knows how to get viral. Her work is simply genius. Whether she singing an Olivia Rodrigo hit single from a shed, or in a studio with a tearful interpretation of Billie Eilish’s songs; Katy is our versatile alt-pop princess.
Inspired by love, struggles and telling human stories, her latest adventures showcased the production work of John Field. She joins the select club with Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, with her creative sparks. Co-writing her last single with 5SOS collaborator Chris Bourne, she now has all the doors open to her future. With a couple of singles on our plates, will we get an EP soon? Well, we know she is quite productive, as we just found out she is about to release a new single ‘Hard On Myself’ on August 20th. Exciting times, don’t you think?
Do you want to know more about Katy For Kings’ shining career? We discussed the production of her new single ‘Middle Ground,’ her musical heroes and inspiration and much more. Follow the path and discover this new gem. Scroll below to know more about the English singer-songwriter who we have a lot to learn from!
Where does that pseudonym come from? Does it have any particular significance for you?
Forkings is actually my last name! It just so happened that I could put a space in the middle of it and have it sort of make sense. It doesn’t really stand for anything in particular, although I should probably come up with a cooler story.
You’re coming from Chelmsford near London. How’s the scene over there and how did it lead to the decision for you to become a musician yourself?
I’m pretty sure the first time I ever played an original song live was taking part in a competition called Chelmsford’s Got Talent. I was 14 and had been playing guitar for a few months. After that I started taking part in other competitions like Undiscovered UK too. It was a really great experience for me and I felt extremely supported from a young age.
You started your career posting covers on Tiktok, how did it help you to pursue your career as a songwriter?
I was actually writing and posting covers onto YouTube a long time before TikTok even existed, and I was very late to the bandwagon even then but I do love it. I think its a great space for creatives of any ages to come together and share their ideas. It’s definitely helped me reach more like minded people, and it’s really cool because a lot of them are based in places that are quite a distance from me. It’s also a huge positive that my specific feed algorithm is all singer/songwriters too. TikTok for me, is a music app.
When you have an idea for a song, how do you process it?
My notes app on my phone is my best friend! Honestly, you don’t want to read my diary, you just want to read my notes. Inspiration strikes at the weirdest of times so one rule I have for myself is to always jot it down, so I have the chance to come back to it later.
Your interpretations of Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, and many other artists’ tracks are quite amazing. You also have an original called ‘Impersonator.’ Which artist would you like to swap your life with?
Ah thank you so much! Probably Taylor Swift, I feel like she knows everything there is to know about being in this industry. She had such an early start to her career and she’s already managed to make it span over decades without any signs of slowing down, alongside her genre crossovers and ever changing aesthetics. I also just think she’s the greatest songwriter around.
Your track ‘Middle Ground’ is about how we can’t trust people around us and stay down to Earth. Are there any specific situations that inspired that track or was it more a general feeling?
I think it was a very specific feeling that I became very familiar with over a series of events. Writing ‘Middle Ground’ was my attempt to process it. It isn’t a malicious track at all. Ultimately it came from a place of insecurity, I craved validation and acceptance so badly but I quickly learnt that you can’t rely on other people to make you feel better about yourself.
The track was co-written with Chris Bourne who previously worked with 5 Seconds of Summer. How would you describe the work ethic you had together and how did you get along at first?
All of the songs I’ve released so far have been co-writes with Chris! I actually hadn’t co-written before I started working with Chris, so it was a huge learning curve for me as a songwriter! He taught me a lot about collaboration and the importance of being open to new ideas and opportunities. This song, specifically, came together quite naturally because we were so settled into our dynamic of Chris taking the lead on the guitar parts, whilst I navigated the lyrics and vocal melodies. We ended up altering the chorus later in the studio, but the verses and bridges are the same as the original blueprint.
‘Middle Ground’ was produced by John Fields who worked with big names like Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus. What has this experience brought you? What did you learn the most from teaming up with him?
He’s the best! John is also someone who has taught me a lot about collaboration. He helps me remain grounded in my authenticity whilst encouraging me to explore as many different sounds as possible.
You create some eclectic layers of sounds from pop to acoustic and we can also sometimes hear R&B elements. How is it important for you to explore different genres?
I’m always looking to push the boundaries of what I think I’m capable of because I don’t know a lot about music theory, so a lot of my craft comes from initial instinct. It’s a scary thing to navigate but I have to throw myself into new things to learn and grow.
You often cite John Mayer as someone you would have a dream collaboration with. Why do you think you’ll be the perfect match musically?
I just adore his writing, and I’ve seen him collab with a lot of artists that I love. He’s been such a huge inspiration to me melodically over the last few years. I’d love to sing one of his songs with him, because I think it would be an incredible full circle moment for me and anyone who knows me. Maybe one day.
In your Spotify bio, you have some fun facts. You tell people you can recite the whole script of 10 Things I Hate About You? If you had to soundtrack a movie, do you have an idea of what kind of film this would be?
Hmm I love a good romantic comedy! The Dirty Dancing soundtrack is also my favourite soundtrack ever, so something like that would be a dream come true.
You have a couple of tracks out that we can stream right now, but do you have any plans for an EP or album in the near future?
I’m thinking about an EP next year, but a lot can change in four months, so who knows! I would like to be signed to a label or have a really dedicated audience before I release an album. I’d also want it to have a clear conceptual purpose. I love it when people allow themselves to dramatically evolve from one record to the next!
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Featured Image Source: Momodou Sonko for THP Graphic Team/DediKATEd PR