Her 2005 hit song Big black horse and a cherry tree might have a title that's sometimes too hard to remember, but it did fetch KT Tunstall numerous awards. The song catapulted the guitar-wielding Scottish singer to global fame. It was probably her brand of music - simple, emotive yet fierce - and
the fact that she took a departure from the manufactured pop of the time that distinguished her from her contemporaries.
In this exclusive interview with HT Café, she speaks about her stage debut in India at the Fly Festival, being a one-woman band and her upcoming album.
At this festival, you will be sharing the stage with some of the biggest bands and artistes around, such as Limp Bizkit, Anthrax and The Wailers. What do you have to say?
I am honoured and thrilled to be part of the festival and performing alongside these acts. I am looking forward to a great atmosphere, because I know that Indians really know how to enjoy themselves. It's nice to know that India is experiencing this growth in music. I am sure that these festivals will be a great way to connect with people.
This is also your first concert in India. What are your expectations?
I've always wanted to play in India. When I was offered to perform here, I jumped off my chair. I have visited India before. I spent three weeks travelling across Delhi, Rajasthan and Kerala. I love the colours in the country; they are so vibrant. And the people are amazing.
You are usually seen performing solo. Is it a challenge to be on stage minus a band that can back you up?
I started off as a solo artiste. It was only when my career took off that I could afford a band and pay my band members. I have performed a lot with them. Usually, during my acts, I'd also play a few songs solo. I remember once, after one of my performances, someone told me that while they loved the entire performance, they preferred the part where I'd sung alone. That's when I thought, 'Why am I taking a big band when I can perform solo'? I love playing that way. I'm never stressed or worried. The advantage of being the only one on stage is that if I goof up, I can make up by cracking a joke or something; and not blame anyone else.
Looking back at your career, what do you feel has been the best time for you?
I'd say that 2005-06 was a crazy time. That's when all doors opened for me. I was performing at major global concerts and festivals around the world. You've released many albums and an EP. How do you think your graph has evolved over the years? I don't like to be stuck in a particular kind of sound. I find Beck's (American singer-songwriter / multi-instrumentalist) music very inspirational. He plays different sounds; I've always wanted to be like that. In my career, I've experimented a lot. Some of it worked while some didn't. How difficult is it to be on the big stage and not let all the fame get to your head? It's difficult for it to not get to your head. But I'd also say that it's okay to ride the wave a bit.
What are the recording projects you are working on currently?
I just finished recording my new album in Arizona. The album has a mellow sound and the focus has been on expressing my emotions. It's due for release in May.
What to expect at the Fly Festival
The festival will be held on February 16 and 17 in Bengaluru and Delhi. It will feature acts by The Wailers, Anthraz, Limp Bizkit, The Cuban Brothers, and others.
An initiative by Percept Live (organisers of Sunburn), the festival will be themed around 'flying'.
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