J'AIME JUNE 2019

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Song award for her self-penned hit Suddenly I See,

and a Q award for Track of the Year.

I wondered which she preferred – performing up on

stage or working in the recording studio?

“I used to answer that very easily; stage. Recording

just felt like a vehicle to get more gigs,” says KT.

“I have absolutely changed how I feel about that

now, I love both equally and thank god don’t have

to choose between them! The studio for me now

is a playground of experimentation and endless

potential, I love it.”

She has performed in so many different places

around the world and in so many different settings.

What were the most memorable?

“60ft up in a one-woman air balloon inside The

Eden Project in Cornwall… Giants Stadium in

New York to 65,000 people for Live Earth... Japan

is always a thrill. I busked at the top of the Empire

State Building last year, that was great!”

Other accolades have included a Grammy

nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

and having her tunes chosen for a host of movies and

TV shows - Suddenly I See was used in the iconic

opening scene of the Meryl Streep-starring The

Devil Wears Prada.

The year 2016 hailed the arrival of the first of a

trilogy of albums, the critically acclaimed UK top

10 album KIN. The trilogy evokes, separately and in

sequence, spirit, body and mind. The second album,

WAX, appeared in autumn 2018.

So how easy did she find songwriting? Had it become

easier or more difficult? At the Lichfield Festival the

evening after her concert is a tribute to Ivor Novello.

What was it like winning a Novello Award?

“I am extremely grateful that song-writing has

always come very easily to me,” says KT. “I wouldn’t

try to pretend that I completely understand how it

happens, but I’m more aware now of what helps me

create: solitude, interesting travel, and journaling are

three big ones.

“Winning the Ivor Novello award was really

special. It is a songwriting award ceremony that is

not televised and therefore feels very authentically

focused on the work we all produce.”

In Lichfield KT will be playing in a medieval

cathedral. Had she done many of those before?

“I grew up with a medieval cathedral down the road

in St Andrews, so I’m hoping I’ll feel very at home!

The crew and I have a game where we talk in ‘Castle

Speak’, and I feel this may reach some sort of peak

the day we play Lichfield!”

The last few years have seen something of a creative

rebirth for Tunstall, including relocating to the west

coast of the USA.

Asked if California now feels like home, and whether

she misses St Andrews, KT says: “I really am a

nomad at heart. I don’t feel the need to have roots so

deep anywhere that I’ll stay forever. There are many

places I would like to live. I love living in California,

it is an amazing part of the world with extremely

beautiful nature and many interesting people. I am in

Scotland quite regularly which I enjoy, but I miss the

LA sunshine when I’m away!”

KT Tunstall is appearing in Lichfield Cathedral

on the opening night of the Lichfield Festival,

Friday July 5 2019. More information and ticket

booking for all Lichfield Festival events is at

www.lichfieldfestival.org

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