Broadway musicals, vampires, Willow Smith, and vintage clothing all in one interview? For our Halloween special we get to chat all about music, style and horror films with one of our favourite British pop stars, Kate Nash. Oh, and did we mention that she would gladly fight with zombies if she had to? Our kinda gal!
Last year you did a stage version of the Buffy musical episode “Once More With Feeling” for Halloween. What are your plans for this year?
This year I’m in Chicago as part of my American tour. We are all collectively trying to figure out what to go as. There have been talks of Anchorman! We’ll have a day off and my friends’ band FIDLAR are playing just by chance, so it should be awesome!
Who is your favourite villain, style-wise?
Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because he’s rock ‘n’ roll and a hot villain with a heart and a sense of humour.
What’s the creepiest soundtrack you have ever heard and is there a horror film you would like to write music for?
Probably Nosferatu is the scariest. But, The Exorcist and Halloween are scary too. It would have been cool to do the music for the original Black Christmas, or for The Munsters!
What about your most epic costume failure and the one time that you really nailed it? I once went as a prostitute…when I was fifteen. And I think my evil clown was the most epic.
What would you describe as your perfect horror film setting? Zombies, aliens, who would you like to fight against?
Zombies are the scariest for sure. I’m so into The Walking Dead. Aliens are the coolest! And this 80s film, ‘Night of the Creeps’ has both! I really like Strange Behaviour aka Dead Kids, which is kind of psycho killer/bad medicine/teenage horror, and there are really creepy masks too. My all-time favourite horror movie though has to be Ginger Snaps. Werewolves and the transformation from girl to woman and girl to werewolf is genius! I think I would like to fight zombies.
Ok, time to talk music. What are the basic ideas behind your new album?
‘Girl Talk’ is definitely a pop record, but I’ve grown and my sound has evolved, so it does feel different. Since I wrote the whole album on the bass, it has more of a raw punk feel, but it’s full of colour, pop harmonies and melodies. It’s been nearly a decade since my first album ‘Made of Bricks’ came out and my voice has matured and can do so much more. I can shout and scream, which I love! I needed a way to be loud and powerful, as I went through a lot personally last year. Music is my craft and my escapism, and ‘Girl Talk’ is my best work to date.
You got to spend time in Los Angeles with Willow Smith. Can you tell us about it?
Willow had been doing some collaborations with Rihanna and Beyoncé, and when she decided she wanted to write some of her own material, her management got in touch with me. I was invited to the Smith house in LA and it was amazing! She is by far the coolest, most stylish 13-year-old that I’ve met. She knows who she is and wants to be. She’s just this cool punk who is starting her career in the music industry and it was fun working with her.
You would like to do more about the lack of girl bands. What are your plans?
I found out that only 14% of PRS goes to female songwriters and other depressing statistics in relation to women and the music industry, which made me want to get more girls into music. I learned about rock ‘n’ roll camps in New York and Portland and it really inspired me. I wanted to contribute in some way to the United Kingdom and the future of the music industry, so I approached six schools in the UK about starting after school clubs. I visited the schools for about 18 months and worked with the girls on self-esteem issues and lyric sessions, and we had guitar, bass and drum lessons and encouraged them to write their own material. It’s something that I will continue doing as it’s an important part of changing the industry – through education.
You went from the music studio to the film set in order to star in the movie Powder Room. While you are no stranger to acting, what did it feel like this time? Is acting something that you would like to explore more in the future?
I studied acting before I went into music, so it’s not entirely foreign to me and prior to Powder Room, I was in a film called Syrup and one called Greetings from Tim Buckley with Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley. Powder Room was particularly fun as it’s a British comedy, and I got to work with some amazing girls: Sheridan Smith, Jaime Winstone and Oona Chaplin. I would definitely like to explore more on the acting side. I like performing and entertaining people, whether it’s on stage or in front of the camera.
Could you tell us about Only Gold, the musical that you are planning to create? Where did you get the inspiration from?
The Broadway musical is based on the music from all three of my albums and I’ll be co-writing the musical based on my songs. The story is about a maharajah in Paris in the 1920s, making the choice between love and material things.
So, let’s chat about fashion now! Your style has evolved over the years. What has changed and why?
Everyone’s style changes and evolves. When I first started I was a teenager, so thankfully I don’t look exactly the same! I really enjoy experimenting with fashion. It’s an important part of my stage show. I like mixing high-end fashion with emerging designers and vintage, and my current hairstyle is inspired by Diane Lane’s character Corrine ‘Third Degree’ Burns in the 1980’s film, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains’.
What’s in your shopping bag for this season?
I love almost everything from Bora Aksu’s SS14 collection and I’m having a blast wearing Dutch designer Bas Kosters on tour, and I always like sunglasses and shoes from Miu Miu.
You are a big fan of vintage clothing, and you like shopping at places like Paper Dress Vintage. Care to tell us more about your passion for vintage?
When I first discovered vintage clothing, it was an epiphany. Vintage silhouettes suit my body type, and the older fabrics and embellishments can often trump what is available from contemporary design.
What kind of combinations make you cringe when you see them?
I guess I’m not a fashionista in that sense. I like when clothes show someone’s personality, even if it’s not hip or cool, I think it’s cute.
What’s the one thing that you are waiting patiently from a fashion designer to discover?
The perfect mod orange two-piece. And white shoes to go with it.
If you could press a button and control everyone’s taste, what would you make people wear?
Whatever they want. Fashion and style is about personal expression and with so much choice available, you can be anything you want, sartorially and otherwise.
We couldn’t agree more!
Check Kate’s website, My Ignorant Youth here.