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Katy B's Ultimate Playlist


Katy B arrived on the scene in 2010 with the huge hit Katy On A Mission, before her debut record followed up all the initial promise with some style.

She returns with her second album, Little Red (released 10th February), which features both Jessie Ware and the hotly-tipped Sampha, and is sure to cement her place as one of the UK's premier artists.

We spoke to Katy ahead of the album's release to find out her Ultimate Playlist and the stories behind each of her choices.

Listen to the whole playlist on Spotify


Favourite Movie Soundtrack Song

"I used to have the Romeo & Juliet soundtrack - I can't remember where I got it from, I think I won it - on the tombola or something really random - and I remember this song always stuck out. Even though Des'ree is known as a soul singer, her voice just sounds so operatic on this song..she sounds like an opera singer to me on this song, and it really shows how incredible her voice is. It's just so moving, the way that it grows and swells - I find it so emotional, that kind of feeling of just kissing someone and feeling that the rest of the world doesn't matter."


Favourite Sad Song

"Everything I Own by Bread. My Mum's parents passed away when she was quite young and I always remember seeing her listening to this song, and just the way that it affected her - because I think the guy in the song wrote it about his Dad passing away, saying how nothing in the world matters, "I would everything, my house, my car, anything" so that I could see you again. I remember my Mum playing it and her feeling attached to it. I listened again to it yesterday and it definitely brought those memories back to me."


Favourite Song From Your Childhood

"TLC - No Scrubs. I remember my friend got me the single for my birthday...I actually have this vivid memory of me being in the pound shop in Peckham and it was playing! I just remember it being everywhere, and when that other song came out, No Pigeons - the man version or something, and it was like a battle or whatever - and then we'd be in Primary School and we'd sing it to the boys, and then they'd sing that back to us, it was like battle of the sexes. I got the album after I had that - and that album I used to play to death as well. TLC were just brilliant - even in my later years I still listen to them."


Favourite Song That No-One Else Knows

"Brandy - Necessary. She had an album called Afrodisiac and I remember with my last ten pounds, going to buy a CD at the record shop and sort of looking at, like, what one shall I buy? And I bought that one and I remember putting it on and thinking "oh, I'm not too sure"...but I remember playing it to death because I'd paid my big old money for it! And that song Necessary grew on me and I used to play it all the time, like every day, I took it on holiday with me, I would just sing it over and over and over again. And when I listen back to it I realise how much that song has influenced me as a singer as well. It's just a nice song - everyone I play it to has never heard it, or never thought about wanting to hear it!"


Favourite Club Anthem

"Crystal Waters - Gypsy Woman. I used to have a keyboard player who used to play the riff over and over again - and I remember I did a cover of it when I was about 16 for these grime MCs, then a couple of years ago I used to sing it in my festival sets, so I just feel like I have a real attachment to it. If you listen to the lyrics, it is kind of a strange story to be on a club song, her singing about this random woman in the street, and her life, this kind of sad story over some sort of really catchy song. So I think that's why I quite like it as well, because it's a bit weird."


Favourite Song to Hear At A Wedding

"Candy by Cameo. I love dancing - and this has a special dance for it...and I know the dance, the electric slide and it's just fun to do it. Everyone ends up bumping into each other and having a laugh. I've been to a couple of weddings, but I've noticed a few people from my school have started getting married and things like that and it's really freaking me out!"


Favourite One Hit Wonder

"Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie. I don't know why...I think they're just so cute - the guys who sing the song, Musical Youth. I dunno, it's just one of those songs - I've grown up listening to it, even though it's not really from my era, but it's just such a tune that it's always been around and makes me smile."


Favourite Lyric From a Song

"The mistake was made/Love slipped from my lips/Dripped down my chin and landed in his lap/And us became new"

"Well Jill Scott's lyrics were extremely influential on me growing up. I'd loved R&B and soul and stuff before - listening to people like Destiny's Child or Aaliyah - but when I listened to Jill Scott I just thought "Wow, this woman is a poet". The way that she put words together and described things in such detail and used such brilliant metaphors and similies...it's like she was a poet, it just made me feel "Wow, I'd love to be able to write a song like her". I remember one time with my friends, I was putting a song on at a party - y'know when you have YouTube and it comes up with the lyrics - and we literally...I mean, we were a bit mashed up [laughs]...but everyone else was talking and dancing, and we just sat there in silence for three minutes, looking at the screen and our attention not being taken off it for anything. At the end of it, we just looked at each other and were like "that was pretty epic". It was a moment that I'll always remember in my life."


Favourite Song Currently in the Top 40

"Storm Queen - Look Right Through (MK Remix)''' - just because I really, really like MK's production - hopefully I'll get to work with him one day - I just think that whole sound is such a big sound at the moment...it's the kind of thing that I'd put on when I'm getting ready with my friends to go out or that I'd hear in the club."


Favourite Song From Your Own Music

"Tumbling Down...from the new album...Geeneus, he produced it and he got this new synth - he's addicted to buying all these old synths and telling me that "oh this is the keyboard that all the grime producers made the tunes on in 2001!" and stuff like that...and he had this new synth and he felt really inspired and he wrote the beat for it and I heard it and I loved it. It made me feel really dreamlike...and so the lyrics are about falling in love and just basically tumbling down...saying that the wall you put up to protect you is tumbling down, but you don't care. I think the lyrics take you on a bit of a journey and so I just close my eyes, when I listen to it I go on that journey with so, so that's why I love it."



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