Katy B

Princess of clubs

Words: Florian Obkircher
Photography: Getty Images

The chart-topping Katy B sings about life under the disco ball. So what are the tunes that get her out onto the dancefloor?

In 2011 Katy B pulled off a huge coup. The 24-year-old Londoner managed to combine dubstep and garage in her debut album, On A Mission, bringing together the seemingly incompatible underground club sound of her home town and great pop melodies. The album shot to No 2 in the UK charts and her new style quickly spawned a number of imitators. 

Her new album, Little Red, out now, sees her still innovating while building on the sound she is famous for – and staying ahead of the pack. It’s full of hymns to the night, meetings under lights, and the magic of clubs. Here she tells us about songs that have inspired her, and that she can’t resist when the DJ drops.

Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know

“I don’t really have a soft spot for guitar music, but the way Alex Turner tells stories is what I love in a songwriter. I discovered this song last year when I downloaded all the Mercury Prize-nominated albums, as I was on a panel on the night. The guitar riff is so sexy. It reminds me of Bad Boys For Life by P Diddy. That’s probably why I connect to it even more.”

Indeep - Last Night a DJ Saved My Life!

“My parents would play this at their parties when I was growing up. It’s so simple and catchy, I wish I had written it myself. It’s got a bassline and a drumbeat, a singer and some strange rap at the end: that’s it. No matter what kind of party you play it at, it always goes off. That’s probably the best thing you can achieve with a dance song.”  

Banks - This Is What It Feels Like

“Banks reminds me of the kind of person who, when I was younger, I would look up to – she’s classy and interesting. I love her and her music, which is electronic but quite R&B as well. This song reminds me of Timbaland, but it’s a bit darker. This young British singer is the real deal, and definitely one to watch in 2014.”

Ciara ft. 
Nicki Minaj - I’m Out

“Ciara is an amazing performer. I love her last album, and this song in particular because the beat is so hard and she really owns it. Obviously we all love Nicki, but some of her tunes go to a younger crowd, so I forgot how good she was. She’s spitting for half of the tune. Her lyrics are just so sick and she’s so gangster on it.”

Skream - Rutten

“This track, from Skream’s debut album, was a big influence for On A Mission. It’s dark, but you can still dance to it. It reminds me of when I was 18, going to FWD [seminal club night in London where, legend says, dubstep was born]. Now, Skream and I work together occasionally: it’s amazing when those you’ve grown up respecting, respect you.”

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