Interview with Katy Steele of Little Birdy

Katy SteeleKaty Steele, set to grace the stage at Valley Fiesta 2008, talks with our Tara-Kai Hammond

TH: So you grew up in the Perth Music scene didn’t you? What’s it like now, in comparison to say 10 years ago?
KS: Well, I have only been in the scene for the last 6-7 years as an actual musician. Before that I watched my brothers grow and gain success, the old school way, by playing gigs and gaining airplay, the way we did it. But for most of my teens, I watched my dad perform. He is a survivor who I have never seen play a bad show. True professional.. I would say that it was hard then and its even harder now. But It seems that music has taken a very serious turn. The only way, is to survive. We are all surviving, which is all I have ever asked for.

TH: Who are you looking forward to seeing perform at the Valley Fiesta?
KS: I’ve heard that the John Steel Singers are quite good. Other than that, I d love to check out some local Brisbane bands.

TH: It’s quite a rare treat to see you perform solo acoustic, isn’t it? So what made you decide to perform for the Valley Fiesta?
KS: Well we have been tucked away, recording and writing for the new Birdy [Little Birdy] album, so any excuse for me to perform is wildly exciting for me. I have realized in the last year, that performing is what I really love. The adrenalin and the fire that you get in your belly is an unexplainable emotion. Nothing else measures.

TH: Have you ever performed at, (in Little Birdy or solo?) or been to the Valley Fiesta before? If so, what did you think?
KS: No I have never been to Valley Fiesta. I am very much looking forward to it. Brisbane is a great place.

TH: Speaking of handling things…Your last record, with Little Birdy, received a lot of mixed responses from the critics. How do you handle criticism, positive and negative? Do you pay attention to what’s said and written about your music? Take it to heart? Let it affect your artistic urges or directions? Or just shrug it off and do what feels right?
KS: Well If we made music to try and please everyone I would have a very hard job. Of course I want to effect people. I have always said that I want to touch people with my lyrics and my melodies. Our last album was what we wanted to do at that point in time and I will always stand by that. I think that doing the same thing over and over is not only boring for us, but I would of thought it would be boring to an audience too. I cant spend my life being stagnant and not moving , it is my biggest fear. I will always do something different with my music. Always move somewhere. There is some many wonderful genres/instruments/toys/beats/ sounds out there, why would you want to settle for one style?

TH: Your vocal range and song writing style have been compared to the likes of Kate Bush, PJ Harvey and Chrissie Hynde. How do you feel about being compared to such female artists?
KS: Obviously to be compared to such artists is an incredible honour.

TH: Are you working on anything musical at the moment, or otherwise?
KS: Im currently working on the Little Birdy album which is coming out next year. That takes up all of my time, but when I am able to have my own space, I think I will start producing a solid solo record. I want my first record to be something of an experience, so there will be no measure on how far I will push things. After all, music is meant to be an experience. Memorable and emotive.