HER debut single…
looks at sexism and the way women are perceived in modern society. Katie Coleman discusses her new track, Not Your Pin Up Girl, and what we can expect from her next. I learn when music came into her life and an album that is especially important; what dates she has coming up – what it was like shooting her new music video in the streets of Manchester.
Coleman discusses her hometown of Darlington; what advice she would give to new artists; what she hopes to achieve this year; whether she gets time to relax away from the music industry – she ends the piece with a rather good song suggestion.
Hi, Katie. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! I’ve been great, thank you!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
In-your-face, energetic and honest...
Tell me about Not Your Pin Up Girl and the story behind the song…
The idea sprung to mind after I saw a silly quote or a meme on Instagram, actually. I was on my way to a writing session and, for some reason, it stuck with me. It was along the lines of: ‘When someone asks you what are you getting so dressed up for…’. Like; do I need a reason?! I’ve had that said to me many times! As if I’m doing it for anyone else. I just needed to write how that made me feel - and tha represented me and other girls like me. It just stands up to that way of thinking.
You should be able to dress, act and be whoever you want to be without anyone judging you! Man or woman.
Given the rise of sexism and the campaigns battling it – was it vital, for the debut single, to come in with something meaningful and urgent?!
Honestly; it all kind of came at the right time - and I couldn’t be happier. I’m all for the women’s rights movements and the campaigns. 2018 is women’s year, and so, why not get in on that! It’s all for the right cause and, I think, Not Your Pin Up Girl really represents exactly what us girls should be standing up for.
Have you faced any hurdles and sexism so far in music? What do you think of the situation out there?
No question about it, of course.
I’m a young woman in an absolutely male-dominated industry. I would think all women have faced some situations they just deal with. It’s a huge shame, but the best way to tackle is as women to pull each other up together. Literally, us girls should have each other in sessions, plus it would be so much more fun!
I’ve, literally, only worked with less than a handful of female producers and that’s the worst thing - is that there are so many women doing what the men are doing; its just they are not getting heard.
The song also addresses expectations placed on young women. I know a lot of people will relate to the song and take strength from it. Does that possibility give you heart?
Yes, because it’s about time young women feel encouraged and they should feel strong in this day and age! Hopefully, they can relate and take away whatever they need to get through the daily struggles.
I believe the video was shot in the streets surrounded by Manchester’s G.A.Y. What was that like to shoot?!
It was, honestly, one of the best days! I worked with the amazing Sitcom Soldiers. They really just got it straight away what I was going for. Strong and simple. So, when they suggested we shoot in Manchester, I was so down for that (being a northerner myself). I had my friends involved and my mum was there - and I just wanted it to be fun and for everyone to feel included.
I’d like for everyone who sees the video to get the feelgood vibes. That’s, essentially, what inspired the video: my friends, family and my gay friends; young girls and guys to feel like they can relate and be fearless after watching it too!
It was a great day - and ended with lots of Prosecco!
Will there be more material coming soon?
Yes, of course. But, honestly; I just want to get back to writing some more, brand-new material…and work with some new writers and producers!
Darlington is where you were raised. What is the area like for music and new sounds?
Darlington is only a small town, so there’s not a massive variety of genres. But, it does have a great live scene: you can always count on a great live music night!
How important is the area to you rereads your songwriting?
It’s where I grew up and it’s my hometown. It’s what you would call a ‘typical northern town’. You know; a close community, and I think that makes you more down-to-earth - not big egos - and that relatable attitude is what I take to my writing.
Which artists did you grow up listening to? Did music arrive in your life early?
I grew up listening to a lot of my dad’s old collection of Northern Soul, Blues and stuff. So; I loved the big female singers like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight. But, the album I got into as a young girl was actually Stripped by Christina Aguilera I loved it. All of this started when I first realised I wanted to sing. I was seven when I performed in front of my school and, from that, I knew that’s all I wanted to do. I even joined the orchestra playing the flute! Ha. Then the guitar came and that was it. I wrote my first song at nine. It’s cringe-worthy now.
At fourteen, I was already gigging around little pubs and clubs around the North East and, even from that, I knew I’d do this for a very long time!
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
Eventually, yes! Can’t wait to go on a tour. But, right now, my next gig will be The Great Escape festival.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
I’d love for a lot more people to hear my music and to enjoy it - and, really just be happy and live in every single moment of the day!
PHOTO CREDIT: @gwardxo
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Always be honest with yourself when working on the music. Work out exactly what it is you’re going for and run with it! Don’t hold back. I have to say to myself all the time!
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Yes. I might not be amazing at it but, I love dancing! I know it’s not the usual way to unwind but I love to go to Brazilian Samba classes! It’s so fun and you think about nothing else…just the beat and the dance and, then after that, a cheeky glass of red wine!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Hurtin’ Me - Stefflon Don (ft. French Montana)! Still can’t get enough of this. I love her at the moment!
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