With her breakthrough debut ‘Made Of Bricks’ hitting ten years old, and a new ‘un in the works - Kate Nash is back, doing things on her own terms.
It's 18th June 2007. Tony Blair is on his way out of office, the first iPhone is launched to market, and a Harrow-born teenager called Kate Nash is signed to a major record label, wrestling it out with Rihanna for the Number One spot with ‘Foundations', a song that gained prominence on MySpace.
Fast-forward nine years and ten months and that same musician has just hit her target of $70,000 on Kickstarter. Tired of old-fashioned business models and industry bluster, she has once again taken to the Internet to fulfil her artistic vision. In ten years, everything has changed, and yet, with fourth record impending, the Kate Nash brand still feels as DIY and spirited as ever.
"I'd had a bunch of meetings with labels and people in the music industry, and it just didn't inspire me. I've been independent for five years, and so Kickstarter seemed like the natural path."
She's a rare artist for whom a crowd-funded campaign feels natural as opposed to a begging exercise – driven by a personal connection with a dedicated audience that have stuck by her through many musical changes; it seems organic to invite those supporters to become her record label. For an artist whose guard was fully up from years of working with "dishonest, shady characters", it wasn't a move that was taken lightly, but came about after the realisation that her ambitions were moving faster than a record label would allow.
"There are so many people in the industry who just wish things were as they were in the nineties - you can never really be sure of why you're compromising on things," she explains. "But things are different now – there are so many cool and positive opportunities that it's time to really appreciate the change.
"Even though things were going well [on Kickstarter], I knew I wouldn't be comfortable until we made the goal, so now we've broken through there are so many more possibilities. I'd love to invest in the stage show; I come from a theatre background so I'd love to experiment more with that. It would be amazing to fully realise some of the visions I have."
The sense of re-ignition that comes with such an outpouring of support couldn't have come at a better time – Kate Nash's 2017 calendar is filling up quickly. Splitting her time between London and LA, she has a role in upcoming Netflix comedy series G.L.O.W, where she'll be delving into the world of female wrestling under the guidance of Orange Is The New Black's executive team. And then, of course, there is the small matter of rediscovering her roots - a whistle-stop ten-year anniversary tour of the UK in honour of the record that started it all.
"I still have teenagers at my show in the front row which feels incredible, because some of them were like eight years old when [debut album] ‘Made Of Bricks' came out," she smiles. "When I first came out, some journalists would write me off and say that I was a silly little teenage girl writing in her diary, but now I can be a defender of teenage girls. I'm so much more confident with myself and the material I have written across the board - I'm so excited to get stuck back into those songs as a whole and do the best performances of them that I've ever done."
With the new record shaping up to a be a very modern affair ("It's quite genreless, I feel like music doesn't have to be just one thing anymore") and the Kickstarter balance tipping over $100,000, her battle for independence remains right on course. All is good in Kate's world, although she does fear for what is happening outside it. With the announcement of a June General Election, she is audibly exhausted at the state of the country she loves so much.
"I just feel like everything is a shitshow and a joke. Nobody is interested in governance anymore – it's such an ancient way of ruling us, and we've advanced socially past that. There needs to be a spiritual revolution, and I think it's going to come through the internet. We need extreme change, which is usually quite painful and it'll be chaotic and a mess for a while - maybe that's what we're in the middle of, and we just can't see it yet."
But what if we never get through? In a post-apocalyptic world where the government has dissolved, all musicians had been wiped out by austerity and ten years was all we had of Kate Nash, what would she like her musical legacy to be?
"Oh god, I don't know!" she laughs. "I think the most satisfying thing for me has always been the connection to my fans as individuals, the way my songs have affected them personally and helped them through certain situations. I just like having conversations. I like chats like this where we just have a conversation about things that feel relevant.
"I don't really care what the music industry remembers me for; I just care about what I've been able to do for people on a personal level. Those stories are why I do it. Fuck the legacy!"
Taken from the June issue of Dork, out now. Kate Nash tours the UK this August.