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INTERVIEW: SPOTLIGHT WITH KERRI WATT

It's easy to recall the first time #TEAMw21 came into contact with Kerri Watt - it was March 26th 2015 - in a bill consisting of Jessica Ridley and Ward Thomas she made an impression that has stuck with us ever since. Those were heady days, her debut single "Long Way Home" was on Radio 2 and advertisements for it were on the Underground There would be other tours with the likes of Starsailor, The Overtones, Nina Nesbitt to name a few.


SPOTLIGHT WITH KERRI WATT

There was a headline UK tour in 2017 shown opposite and in 2018 her first appearance at C2C, where she has now featured many times across a variety of stages.


It was a C2C that our most curious encounter with Kerri occurred, #TEAMw21 were rushing across the O2 to see some someone else, when the strangest yet sweetest of sounds met our ears. It was soulful yet it was rocking, whoever the front person was, in tracksuit and tinted glasses they were like nothing we'd ever seen during C2C, really strutting around owning the stage, working the crowd.. It literally stopped us in our steps, whoever we were scheduled to be seeing would have to wait, this was far more interesting.


It was only as we shuffled to the front of the Big Entrance stage that it became clear who it was responsible for such a fracas - step forward Kerri Watt.

This format would go on to make Kerri's debut album "Neptune's Daughter", a concept album in the sense that this had not just magically appeared it had been conceived and Kerri had taken steps to effectively reinvent herself and the results were magnificent.


The songs of "Neptune's Daughter" would work as both big production efforts and also as stripped back little acoustic numbers and #TEAMw21 would witness Kerri play a show at The Social where she kept her powder dry while 2 or 3 bright young things would try to impress before being swept away by the strength of Kerri's material and performance. The album and accompanying live show would surely have made a quite stunning statement of intent and then came a covid and then baby enforced gap.


The news that Kerri wold be performing at this years C2C afforded us a chance to have chat, mull over old times, and importantly look to pastures new. Just prior to the festival, a new single "Predictable" landed and along with new material, songs from "Neptune's Daughter" and some revisiting of former glories Kerri would prove to be as vital a performer still offering the entertainment value that she had all those years ago.


#TEAMw21: - We go back a long way - to Ward Thomas at Islington Assembly Halls - Does it surprise that quite so many latched on to you for that one performance


Kerri: It's really nice - It's always good to come back to C2C - this always feels like a home audience, there's lots of people here that I know and other artists that I'm friends with.


Kerri would go on to explain her approach to any live gig


Kerri: I always try to think in my head that I'm playing to Wembley! regardless of how big or small a crowd it is"


Naturally we cannot help but mention that amazing last C2C outing and that new sound


Kerri: It was 3 months of writing and listening to different genres and styles, , trying new things, and then six weeks in Austen Texas, getting to spend all our time in a studio with a band, trying stuff out. I'd never really had the opportunity to do that in the past, it was very much "Oh I've written a song, find a producer, he'll produce and i wasn't really part of the process. But for "Neptune's Daughter" I was part of the process every step of the way.


SPOTLIGHT WITH KERRI WATT

#TEAMw21:- The whole concept with the different band members, gave you a chance to express your more humorous side. I don't think enough people have got to see the smiley side of you, Those video;s contained so much invention.


Kerri smiles and let's loose a little chuckle at the thought


Kerri: I had a really really fun time, It was a shame with what happened in 2020, when it all ground to a halt but I'm back!!


#TEAMw21 - The first single "Cut Me Loose" was just such a different sound, it seemed destined that it should all take off. We were mortified when it didn't - we hope people go back


Kerri: There's time yet.


#TEAMw21: - We loved the whole Kenny Roger's nod in the opening line "You set out to get me like a fine tooth comb" - We wondered how many people spotted that - for a reviewer it was an absolute gift!


Kerri lets out s little chuckle


Kerri: There's a few on that first album, there's a nod to Van Morrison and The Bangles - only real music people pick up on them.


SPOTLIGHT WITH KERRI WATT

#TEAMw21 - The new single "Predictable" is another new sound, a natural development on from "Neptune's Daughter"?


Kerri: It's a different producer this time round and different collaborators on the track I just wanted it to be an evolution of what I had done previously.


#TEAM21 - Is this part of another entire Project?


Kerri - There's an EP at the moment, I just want to get it out there, get some feedback, see how people respond to the new sound. See what works and what doesn't,. the first album I'd had years of trying stuff out. This is me just getting back on the circuit post having a baby and all that stuff. I just want to take my time, I don't want to rush, going to put some singles out, put an EP out, see what people think and then an album will come.


#TEAMw21 - We've seen that you've been working on some film soundtracks?


Kerri: Yes exactly I've started writing for animated films, there are a couple in development, they are very long term projects - it takes seven years to make an animation! It's a different muscle in terms of songwriting, writing for a character rather than writing your own story, but I'm loving it.


SPOTLIGHT WITH KERRI WATT

#TEAMw21: - We caught a glimpse of you on the Big Entrance Stage and are all set to see you on the Icon.


Kerri: Only one of the stages I'm on this weekend allowed drums, so I had to downsize my whole band for the our first away weekend - it's kind of the live lounge version of the set


#TEAMw21: - Are there any future upcoming shows?


Kerri: I'm planning a London headline for May - details will be out very soon I'm really excited it's been so long since I played London properly - Years and years. I'll play with a full band for that.


#TEAMw21 - You can break out the tracksuit and tinted glasses once more






On that note with smiles all round we left Kerri to prepare for her appearance on the somewhat chilly ICON stage.


A truly great advert for the UK Americana scene and her performance at the ICON stage will later show an artist very much with lots to give. We can heartily recommend "Neptune's Daughter" and to enjoy it totally - don't forget to check out the videos which are an integral part of the whole Project.


Cut Me Loose - The "I Tonya" inspired video. It's full of fun and personality and if you've only seen Kerri with a guitar behind a mic stand - this could come a a real eye opener. It manages to have incredibly high production values yet was created on a shoestring budget.



Chasing Aeroplanes - See Kerri play multiple versions of herself in the Kerri Watt Band - it's smart,clever and lets you into a fun side of Kerri that you will not have seen before .










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