They’ve been described as Kylie fronting The Knife – meet Stockholm-based quartet Kate Boy, whose delicious electro-pop has been getting all the blogs buzzing.
Kate Boy are the epitome of a geographical hodgepodge. Members Kate Akhurst, Hampus Nordgen Hemlin, Oskar Sikow Engstrom and Markus Dextegen fuse in unison to create a strident statement of intent, with killer melodies and soaring hooks. Their debut single ‘Northern Lights’, proved just the ticket for whipping up fevered blogger excitement – and it’s not been succeeded by the excellent track ‘In Your Eyes’. A self-produced full length album expected in early 2014.
You guys are from all over the globe. How did you become Kate Boy?
We all met in Stockholm and wrote ‘Northern Lights’ in the one day we had before Kate flew back to London. A few weeks passed, we finished the song by sending files back and forth, and we realised that it was the best thing we’d ever done… And that Kate just had to come back. She did, and the days turned into months which turned into Kate Boy.
You have a very distinct and stylised image. How important is dress and style to the aesthetics of your image and music?
We are collaborating with designer Jana Hipp at the moment, creating clothes for live use and for video. We are also working with lighting designers for our live shows. We put as much time into these aspects as we do into creating our music, so it’s all just as important for us.
Do you have full creative control over your videos and sound?
Having creative control is the only way for us. We make all the music ourselves, shoot our own videos and take our own pictures. It can take longer doing it this way, but it’s so much easier to do it ourselves since our vision is clear. We don’t fall into any misunderstandings or creative clashes. So it means we can keep it all in-house, clean and tight. It definitely helps that we are a team of four, we all sit in the studio and work video/concept ideas while producing, mixing and writing… Although getting four people to all agree usually takes some tweaking!
Who have been the main inspirations when you’ve been penning the full length record?
Electronic music pioneers like Kraftwerk, Peter Gabriel and Jean-Michel Jarre are very important components of our inspiration box. We are inspired by the mix of organic and electronic, almost robotic ingredients. We love anything that can allow you to enter a world and experience the feeling of wanting to stay there. This is the aim for our album.
You’re making the album yourselves. What can we expect from it?
All four of us have a diverse taste in what we like, ranging from electronic pop to experimental ambient music. It’s not until we’ve ticked all those boxes that we’ll feel we have the album in front of us… Onene step at a time… But you can expect a new single and video this summer!
Are there any other bands or artists that you’re really enjoying and championing at the moment?
Planningtorock’s track ‘Misogyny Drop Dead’ blew out our speakers the first time we put it on. We had to get new ones anyway but it’s definitely a good sign when you want to pump a track that loud!
Kate Boy are playing the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on 19th June and playing at Body & Soul Festival in Ireland on 23rd June. kateboy.com
Words: Shane Hawkins (Follow Shane on Twitter @piccadilly_boy)