Introducing the Hauntingly Beautiful Voice of Katey Brooks
If alt rock and Americana had a foursome with indie pop and Brit soul, Katey Brooks would be it…
British singer/songwriter Katey Brooks is a rebellious troubadour that resists formula. A devastating songwriting talent that has drawn comparisons with Jeff Buckley (Supajam), this ‘rising singer-songwriter has the crowd eating out of her hands’ (The Independent), and is simply ‘not to be missed’ (Time Out).
The ‘powerful’ (Evening Standard) songstress defies easy classification, with a sound blending folk, soul, blues and country. Her finger-picked, harmony-inflected sound on the 2016 I Fought Lovers EP received an enthusiastic reception from radio stations around the UK and internationally, including BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and CBC Canada. To watch her sing live is to witness emotional exorcism, but when you know her intricate backstory, it’s hardly a mystery why…
Who is Katey Brooks?
Growing up inside a cult, as a child Katey found refuge in song. She began singing gospel and old spirituals, and the songs of dead legends like Lennon and Elvis. As a teenager at an inner-city school in Bristol, she entertained her peers with soul renditions. When she was sixteen, she turned down a spot at the Brit School, the performing arts college where a lot of the UK’s biggest musical exports – Adele, Amy Winehouse, Katy Melua – hail from.
“It would be interesting to know what would have happened if I had gone there, but I try not to dwell on that. I always think that you’re where you’re meant to be. And if I had gone, I probably would have ended up writing slightly less authentically to myself. But who knows, because if all the things that have happened in my life nevertheless happened, maybe I still would have written the way I do.”
Later, she travelled the world with her guitar on her back, writing everywhere from the Occupied West Bank to an abandoned Finnish island.
For Katey Brooks, singing is more about heart than head. It’s about reaching to the most authentic place within oneself and screaming from it, which is probably why her live performances are so affecting.
One of the things she needed to get out was the truth about her sexuality. Only recently has she been able to sing about who she really wanted to: women.
A Rising Star
Over a career spanning four continents, Brooks has journeyed from intimate living rooms to opulent concert halls, from dive bars to decorated studios with some of music’s biggest names, boasting famous admirers like Joss Stone. She has recorded with Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones and Paloma Faith at Abbey Road for BBC Radio 2’s Children in Need single. She has shared bills with a host of big names including Newton Faulkner, Ghostpoet, Martin Simpson, Deaf Havana, Lou Rhodes (Lamb), Mike and the Mechanics, and Mystery Jets.
She has played some of the world’s biggest festivals including Glastonbury, WOMAD, the 2012 Paralympics, and Australia’s National Folk Festival. And now she graces LauFest!! To say we are excited is an understatement. Catch her on the BBC Introducing Stage on the Saturday night (8:30pm) where we are delighted to see her headline! Catch the full line up complete with times here.
Follow Katey on Spotify here