In our ongoing support of younger writers and future journalists, Milton Ernest teenager, Nicholas Goldwin continues writing for the Bedford Independent, this time speaking to country singer Katy Hurt.
For country singer Katy Hurt, music has always been a fundamental part of life.
Having grown up in the US and arriving in England at the age of seven with a fully-formed passion for country music, she found herself bemused by the fact that country wasn’t nearly as popular in the UK as in America.
It appeared that this passion, fostered in her by her parents (similarly big music fans) who played her the records of Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves, ran in the family.
The desire to write and play her own songs came about as early as ten and she, fortunately, didn’t have to wait long before this ambition was realised recording her first single at the age of thirteen.
Hurt’s beliefs regarding songwriting are two-fold: to pay homage to the artists that have come before and influenced her, as well as to entertain an audience and create something that relates to them.
Having described herself as “a songwriter, a singer and then a musician,” it is evident that what is most important to her is how much of her thoughts and feelings she can channel through her creativity and whatever inspiration comes her way into her music.
Hurt believes that, like herself, all musicians constantly strive to better themselves and hone their craft to achieve their own personal aims.
Taking this into consideration, Hurt believes that if she had already become big by this point in her career, she may not have had time to become the best musician that she sees herself capable of becoming, as “everybody’s got a different race, so to speak, and different path to get there.”
In terms of musical skills she has at her disposal, Hurt has noted a disparity between her own raw talent and the subsequent refinement of that talent.
Having fallen in love with music from a very young age, Hurt found that singing came naturally to her, as did songwriting. Hurt has commented on how she would rather record her own original material than perform covers, as a result of a deep passion of the songwriting process.
However, it was with the actual process of learning the theory and practising the instruments that the proverbial pencil had to be sharpened.
Hurt has, on occasion, stated that she finds it difficult to be sufficiently disciplined to practise her chosen instruments of her own volition, but ultimately always succeeds in developing her skills once the initial hesitance to practise is overcome.
With regard to the pandemic, Hurt and her career have naturally been affected by the constrictions imposed by lockdown — albeit in a more positive light than most.
She started off lockdown in a somewhat fortunate position, having returned from Canada (where she had a recording session for her debut album) in February and managed to do three shows before quarantine came into effect.
Hurt has described being at home constantly as “unnerving”, a feeling familiar to most at this point.
However, being at home has allowed her to shift her focus towards the planning of her music videos and artwork, as well as having some more time to practice her guitar.
Hurt has performed on stage 155 times in the last year alone. Her biggest ever performance was at the Pilton Party (Glastonbury’s annual “thank you” to those who helped in organising) for a crowd of between eighty-nine thousand people.
She maintains that stage fright has never been a major pressure for her, citing her early start in stage performances as a key factor.
“If you learn to swim from a very young age, you’re not going to be afraid of swimming when you grow up. But if you’ve never been in the water before, it would be kind of scary,” she says.
Instead, she often felt pressure from herself to perform well for the people below her but has since learnt to overcome this train of thought through the realisation that, as an original artist, doing what she loves matters most, and if you love what you’re doing, the audience will love it too.