Our good friend Sean Brosnan previously of Warm, Azuli & now running the NeedWant imprint chatted with Kathy Diamond about her release on the label which has been setting dancefloors alight all summer…
Were you listening to disco when you grew up? What kind of music influenced you to get to where you find yourself now?
KD - Yes I was listening to a lot of soul funk and disco as a kid, it was the music that was on in our house, usually when my mum was getting ready to go out dancing!..we had a very small record player then she upgraded to a Hitachi ghetto blaster which I found at my dad’s recently.Im now hatching a plan of how to sneak it out so I can start listening to all my tapes again.
Do song lyrics come naturally for you? And has it always been this way or did you have to teach yourself?
KD – I love writing songs, its my passion and I’ve been doing it a long time, so yes, as long as I’m inspired I find it really easy.It always works out that the songs I do best with are the ones I wrote really quickly, probably because the hook is really obvious to me at the time. One of our KDMS songs, ‘Highwire’ was written on the way to the studio in Warsaw in the back of the car. I was really hungover from our gig the night before and I truly wanted to die! The pressure was on to get it recorded but to be truthful it was easy (once the sickness subsided!) as Max is a star musician and the track was really inspiring.
You’ve worked with some great producers over the years including Idjut Boys and Maurice Fulton. How do you choose the right one or do they choose you?
KD – I think in the early days I was lucky because my friends were looking out for me. In particular,Nesreen Shah,my amazingly talented singbird of a friend introduced me to Chris Duckenfield and Maurice Fulton which then kicked it all off for me. These days I tend to get quite a few enquiries to collaborate and I pick the ones I’m feeling.I’m always on the lookout to work with people and end up getting really excited about an idea of working with someone and stalk them until they give in!!I did that recently with a recording we’ve made for the second album.
I had an idea of recording a big disco track with a full live brass band. It took me a year to set up but after lots of communication I got the band of my dreams in the 32 piece brass ensemble The Grimethorpe Colliery Band. Its recorded now but still in production with my co-writers/producers Keeling Lee and Mat Playford, I can’t wait for people to hear it. I love it, it was very personal to me to see it come to fruition. It was a really emotional and really proud day.
Do you think the digital age has made people value music less?
KD - I think it’s a shame that we treat music as files. There’s nothing sexy or emotional about an mp3 but it’s the way it is.I’m not complaining too much because as long as people are listening it shouldn’t really matter what format it comes on. On a personal level, the whole experience of holding the vinyl or cd and reading the sleevenotes, lyrics and thankyous or enjoying the artwork is all part of the experience for me. Having said that, it’s so expensive for labels to press the 12′s in such tough times it can’t always be avoided. Pressing a proper record is like a trophy for me, something tangible to hold onto, something to shout about. You can’t cuddle a wav!
How long did it take you to write and record Love Saves the Day and have you written many songs about the subject of love?
KD - Love saves the day was one of the easy ones,I completely loved the track from the minute I heard it.I think it took me a glass of red wine and a couple of hours recording the ideas on garageband to send back to Kaine.I got a feeling that it was special.The anthemic quality makes me feel positive now,although the sentiment is quite moving and one that can also makes me a little bit sad.
Do you prefer to sing live or get in the studio?
KD – Now my stage fright is under control I absolutely LOVE performing live.It took me a while to get there,I always thought I had really quiet microphones but my nerves made me sing like a mouse! My ex-boyfriend Chris from Soft Rocks was really supportive and helped me get over it. I remember coming home after the first time I’d actually enjoyed it.It was a massive breakthrough for me mentally.
You live in Brighton, do you ever go down the pier and play at the fun fair?
KD – I love Brighton, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.It’s so lovely to see the sea every day.It makes everything OK. I don’t play on the funfair but I sometimes will go and have a gin and tonic there and watch the sunset. It’s incredible.
Thanks to Sean & Kathy for the words & taking the time.