Kate Nash prepares principled new album

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter


Harrow's pop princess explains her feminism influenced new album, taking a year off to work with victims of domestic violence and why she won't be selling her music to TV adverts.

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Kate Nash releases her second album in April

A lot has changed in Kate Nash's world.

In 2006, having posted tracks on her MySpace after being confined to her bedroom with a broken foot, Lily Allen found her songs and began raving about her.

Eight weeks after she released defining single Foundations she had a number one album (Made Of Bricks) and the 19-year-old girl from the estuaries found herself touring the world and meeting long-term boyfriend Ryan Jarman, singer with Wakefield's The Cribs.

It was, she explains, a "crazy" period where her feet barely touched the ground.

Year off

So crazy in fact, on completing her world tour she pulled herself out of the spotlight and told her record label she was taking a year off from music.

"As a writer I need to be surrounded by arts and culture and books and music and film, go to the cinema or hang out with my friends to have something to write about," she says today, perched on a white sofa after completing a magazine photoshoot.

"Just being able to take a step back and chill out. I've passed my driving test and got a bunny rabbit (Fluffy) and a new flat. I've grown up and changed."

Indeed she has changed, the teenager who rhymed "bitter" with "fitter" has cut herself a new sawn-off fringe, immersed herself in riot grrl punk music and spent time volunteering at a local charity helping victims of domestic violence and self-harm.

"It's like a hang out really," she explains. "It's not like every week it's people sitting around crying or anything, it's just there for them to talk.

"It can be really hard being a kid and being at school. At school if people make you feel like you're a freak then you can just come there and be told you're not, that you're just a human being and share with people what's going on."

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Image caption,
Kate Nash volenteered for a charity during a year away

Right back at the start of her career she sang about Caroline Being A Victim.

First time around Nash herself felt like the object of an industry making decisions on her behalf - a position she didn't very much like.

"I was really young when I started. You end up having to really manage yourself and look after yourself and manage a bunch of grown men usually around you," she recalls.

"I feel a little harder and a little edgier, in terms of being a bit colder and not so naive and not being so trustworthy of everybody. I feel like I'm very much my own women."

The wake of her success has seen a litter of solo female artists swamp the music market - everyone from Little Boots to Ke$ha.

"Maybe people are happy to do what they're doing and maybe people aren't. I've always said, female is not a genre," she asserts.

"I don't want to follow any trends or do what's cool, I've never fitted into any scene in my life. I'm not going to start now."

Music is 'rebellion'

Right now, her mind is focussed solely on what is happening going forward.

"I haven't listened to the first album in such a long time, I don't even know what it sounds like any more," she admits with a giggle.

Fans can expect a "rawer and fresher" sound from Nash on her album My Best Friend Is You - but one thing they won't be hearing is her new music appearing on any television adverts.

"I just see it as uncool," she says.

"I've always felt like music is about a bit of rebellion. I said in an interview recently that it's about sticking it to the man, and not shaking hands with him. Even though that sounds stupid and a bit childish, I do think that's true.

"It can destroy a song - songs can change people's lives. They can help you through really sad times - I think to suddenly put it on a soap advert, it's like, 'What are you doing?'

"That every time they hear it they think of a car or a sofa - it's really lame. I know that some artists do it because they're not successful at selling records or whatever but then it's money.

"I don't want to get money for something I wouldn't deserve and is nothing to do with me. I'm a musician and an artist - I'm not anything to do with a phone company."

My Best Friend Is You is released in April.

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