10 years ago, Myspace threw Nando’s waitress, Kate Nash, into the world of pop stardom in basically no time at all. Surfing on a wave of chirpy, sarcastic lyrics such as in the ever famous, now classic, anthem ‘Foundations’, and breaking when her 2007 debut album ‘Made of Bricks’ became a platinum number one seller.
To this day, ‘Foundations’ especially, is a go-to party, singalong anthem. A clear and concise representation of British pop in the mid to late noughties and the power that Myspace had, which arguably marked a change in the music industry forever. Of course now, Myspace doesn’t have that same influence that it did, but the premise that it’s the people who hold the power over what is and isn’t popular has been a notion that has stuck – unfortunately for the big record labels.
Fast-forward to 2017 and we see Kate Nash utilising this same notion in a different way. Kick Starter! Allowing her fans to be her record label, offering a variety of things from merch to secret shows, to Skype sessions in exchange for funding for her upcoming album and all that comes with its creation, release and distribution.
“Basically, my friend convinced me to do it, I met with a load of people in the industry and it didn’t really inspire me very much, I felt a little bit devalued from it and I felt it be quite old fashioned still, the idea just became more and more appealing of trusting my fans to help propel me.” Kate tells us, explaining further: “They’re the ones that show up to my gigs and have backed me thus far and allowed me to have freedom, so it’s really cool to work with them directly.”
Despite all of her personal issues with record labels, including being dropped by text, Kate Nash doesn’t advise for everyone to rule them out, “I think there are definitely benefits to it. Especially for people that don’t have the kind of platform that I do, I would just say, make sure that you have a good team around you, make sure your manager has your back, look through your contact and just engage with your fans, having that connection with them will mean that no matter what happens you can still find a way to keep going.”
‘Keep going’ – something which Nash has certainly done over the past decade. We’ve seen her adapt and overcome all obstacles thrown at her, growing from the 19-year-old girl whom we fell in love with, to the inspirational woman we see today, taking back the music industry for herself, being free to sonically experiment with her sound, whilst also being a fantastic role model to people, especially young girls, everywhere; not one to shy away from speaking out on social issues and trying to use her platform to help.
“I think that with having a platform you have a responsibility to have a voice. We are in a really intense political climate, we all have to do as much as we can and if you have a platform then you have an influence on people and you should use that”.
A lot has happened in ten years, 2010’s My Best Friend Is You, 2013’s Girl Talk, Girl Gang TV and soon, thanks to you, there’ll be more to add to this list. But, for the most part, we have Made of Bricks to thank for their fruition. So, it seems fitting that fans will have the opportunity to celebrate that, with Kate, on the anniversary tour in just a few months, “these shows are gonna be great to build up a real sense of nostalgia. Looking back I’m really proud of what I made.”
“I really recognise that I was a teenage girl when I wrote that. I guess there were people that would have said stuff like ‘oh it’s just a silly little teenage girl, writing in her diary’ and that’s something I was made fun of for, whereas now I’m proud of that and I feel really good about that,” Kate explains, adding that, “it really represents a time capsule in my life of what it was like growing up in London when I was that age.”
Now, it’s not just London that is home to Kate, living back and forth between London and LA; this year she’s in London over the summer for this anniversary tour and a few festival appearances, but recently in LA she’s also been working on Netflix Original series ‘Glow’ soon to hit our screens later this month, all about female wrestlers from the 80’s, from the creator of Orange Is The New Black.
London will always be close to Kate’s heart, however, ask her why she thinks Made of Bricks was as successful as it was and she’s quick to mention both London and Myspace, “I think it was the time period and Myspace and what that kind of meant for music in London, the stories that people connected with, that was a really good time for discovering and sharing independent artists that didn’t fit into any box” she explains.
Now, of course, Myspace is no more and somewhat in its place we have streaming platforms, such as Spotify, offering a different method of music discovery. One that ultimately, unlike with Myspace, they have a degree of control over. “There was something really pure about Myspace, kids were in charge of it. They were listening to music that they liked and the fact that music had a lot of plays… that would mean that that’s what was popular. There’s so much power in that and now, you’re looking at manufactured playlists.”
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Kate Nash has first-hand battled with the ever-changing landscape of the music industry and yet, she’s still standing. Not only that, and she’s had the courage to experiment sonically with her sound, never been one to confine herself to any particular genre.
“I think at different times you just want to express a different emotion, it depends on what’s going on in my life, that will definitely effect the music that I make.” She reveals, explaining “I’ve just been doing a lot of experimenting really, with genres and myself and trying to push myself as a writer to try and write in a different way. Also, to write about my personal experiences, I write very personally.”
All of which is clear when listening to new EP Agenda (listen below) and we’re sure, with the upcoming album, will only solidify the sheer talent that lives within Kate Nash and hopefully, she’ll continue to develop that further, inspiring many along the way to take back control as independent artists, “Artists should have more control, to keep it free really, I think it should be about who’s listening to what and discovering artists and empowerment, Chance The Rapper won a Grammy and he’s an independent artist, I think that’s the future. I think we should keep moving in that direction.”
Catch Kate Nash on her Made of Bricks tenth anniversary tour in August and also at a series of festivals including Secret Garden Party, Camp Bestival, Godiva and more.