Sounds European! had the opportunity to have a quick talk with a wonderful talent who is rising in the British pop scene. Her latest single has given us a very positive impression, and this talk has only made it stronger. These are our 10 questions for Hatty Keane:
Sounds European!: You started working with music at a very young age. But what about even earlier? Who did you like to listen to when you were younger? Who were your idols and influences?
Hatty Keane: I was always into big voices. Being a '90s kid, it was Christina Aguilera when I was very young. Then, I really loved the dark quirkiness of Amy Winehouse in my teenage years. Now being in my twenties, I've widened my horizons further and use many influences from various genres and times in my music.
SE!: What were your first experiences with singing? When did you start noticing it was becoming more than a hobby, but a real profession?
HK: My first singing experiences were at school doing musicals – which I loved, but always struggled with the cheesy side of it. I always knew I was going to be an artist. When I first signed to BGM, it was a big shock how much things accelerated in a short space of time, and I realised this was the real thing.
SE!: We can say things have always flowed quickly for you. At the age of 16, you were already generating label interest. You then signed to independent music company BGM. How did it feel to have your first contract so early in life?
HK: It was scary and exciting! I knew I was doing the right thing and taking the right path.
SE!: You toured with huge names of British music scene, as Rudimental, Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran. What are your memories of working with them? What lessons did you take from those experiences?
HK: Supporting bigger artists really inspired me in the early days to work hard, and one day I could be where they are. Lessons I have learnt are to stay humble and always to show respect to emerging talent – that was you, once. Everyone comes from somewhere.
SE!: Afterwards, you had a retreat. You stopped for a while, and went to studios across Sweden. What made you take this decision? How was this period, for you? And what differences can you point out between your music before and after this break?
HK: I realised that everyone, especially female artists doing pop, all started to sound the same – and that's something I have never wanted. I've always strived to be ahead of the game, so I knew it was time for a change. I reached a point where I got sick of playing to the rules when writing songs. I wanted to sing more and really enjoy my voice rather than condense it into beat-driven songs.
It was a real challenge creating and understanding this new sound. Michael, my manager, and I really put our all into finding the real Hatty.
My music before was a young girl growing into herself and her voice, experimenting with various pop sounds searching for the right one. The new sound is worlds apart from the past, being influenced by the 1960s and artists like Shirley Bassey and Amy Winehouse. My music takes the listener on a journey.
"I'd rather die than be normal" (Picture: official Facebook page)
SE!: Being a young female in the music business must not be the easiest thing in the world. How do you see it? What challenges do you feel you had (and still have) to face to succeed in the music world?
HK: I feel females are always put against each other – which is a shame, we can't appreciate two artists at once, someone always has to be better or more attractive. I just want to do my music and for people to see me for that.
SE!: You have just released a new single, "Pointless". We are thrilled about it. It's rare to see such a young artist build a deep ambience to her work as you did with it. What can you tell us about the song?
HK: Thank you! I'm so touched that you enjoy it. "I'd rather die than be normal" were the words I said during the writing session about my life, and it went from there. The song is all about questioning the norm and our expectations in life. Along with its retro orchestral soundtrack, it makes for a real special combination.
SE!: What are your professional projects for the near future? What can your fans expect from you? And what do you still dream to achieve, in the long term?
HK: More singles to follow and the album. My dreams are still the same as they were when I started at 16, for people to enjoy my music and to be able to tour the world.
SE!: If you could choose anyone, who would be some British and international artists you'd like to collaborate with?
SE!: We would like to finish this interview with a song of yours. What is your favorite song by Hatty Keane, and why?
HK: It has to be "Pointless", because it gets you thinking for the full four and a half minutes.