Originally a contestant on Sky1’s “Must Be The Music” and current Rollacoaster cover star, Manchester born musician Katie Pepper rose to prominence after signing to Dizzee Rascal’s Dirtee Stank label. As well as updating Wonderland on all things Pepper, the singer/songwriter is offering readers the chance to win two tickets to her gig at London’s Notting Hill Arts Club on Friday. Send responses to the following question to editorial@wonderlandmagazine.com by 5pm tomorrow for your chance to enter into our prize draw. Winners will be notified by 12pm on Thursday.

What year did similarly titled pop act Salt-N-Peppa release hit “Push It”?

Hi Pepper. In light of “Must Be The Music”, what is your stance on reality music television? Do you think it’s “good” for the industry?

I think it’s a great way for people who don’t have contacts in the industry or haven’t been to stage school to be heard. The shows are obviously mainly for entertainment, but what it can give you is an opportunity and it’s what
you do with it that is matters.

How would you compare life on an independent label to how you’d imagine it under a major?

I love being part of an independent label; it has a real family vibe and ultimately having creative control is very important to me.

How would you describe your relationship with Dizzee?

It’s great, given his wealth of experience in the industry. I learn so much from him and as a friend he’s wicked – the banter is endless and he buys great birthday presents, too.

What is your musical background?

My mum sings, so I’ve always been surrounded by music and I’ve sung for as long as I can remember, but just for fun. From a young age, I’ve found songwriting a great way to express my thoughts and feelings.

What sort of music were you listening too as you were growing up and how has it shaped your own sound?

I’ve always listened to big, strong female vocalists like Aretha Franklyn, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Nina Simone. Having not had any form of vocal training they were kind of my teachers, so I think they’ve probably had an influence on my style of singing.

What other interests do you have outside of writing, performing and recording?

I am such a girlie-girl and I love to shop. I love a mini pedi, I love baking – I make a mean banana loaf. I also enjoy watching football and I’m really into boxing at the moment.

What will your debut album sound like?

It’s going to sound like the soundtrack to my life so far, it’s like a diary – each song tells a different story of things I’ve done.

If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be? Can we expect any guest appearances on the record?

The list of people I’d love to work with is endless, but right now I’d have to say Nicki Minaj. A certain Mr. Rascal may feature, [but] aside from that it’s pure Pepper.

As well as supporting Rizzle Kicks on tour, what else does 2012 hold for Pepper?

Dizzee and I have written a song together called “Scream”, and I will be performing that with him at all his summer festival dates. Also, look out my first single “Running Rings”.

Pepper plays the Notting Hill Arts Club on the 25th May.
Words: Shane Hawkins.