Introduction to the series
Welcome to a new series on Proudly dedicated to showcasing the amazing array of talented LGBTQ+ artists in the music industry today.
Each article we will be sharing a new singer who has reached out to us who we feel our readers will relate to and will hopefully love their music.
Music as a whole can be subjective and is the most diverse artistry in the world. So we are going to bring you a variety of different artists from all different backgrounds, music genres and stories. We have already shared the stories of a variety of LGBTQ+ musicians such as Long Rainey, IAMREBELWILL and Miss Christine.
Our fourth music artist is the stunning singer Katy Rose Bennett who’s music fits loosely in to the genre of Americana-tinged folk. Katy spoke with Proudly all about her new album that will be released on Friday 30th October.
This is Katy’s 6th solo album and is titled: ‘Where Does It Hurt? An Introduction to Katy Rose Bennett’. We urge all our readers to go give Katy’s music a listen as you can find her music collections across all music streaming platforms.
Proudly were honoured to have sat down with the Birmingham based folk singer and discuss everything from music to sexuality. Here is everything you need to know about the artist behind the lyrics.
Introducing Katy Rose Bennett
Katy Rose Bennett has been writing and performing her idiosyncratic brand of Americana-tinged folk for over 20 years.
In this article proudly will be discussing with Katy about big moments in her career, the highs and lows and telling our readers all about what they can expect from her new album.
On October 2020 Katy will release her 6th solo album: ‘Where Does It Hurt? An Introduction to Katy Rose Bennett’.
Katy’s early life
Whilst growing up Katy took a keen interest in music especially in folk. Katy would always listen to songs her father or brothers would play and she Idolised singers such as K.D Lang, The Beatles, Patsy Cline, The Band and her all-time favourite is Gillian Welch. This is somebody who Katy regards as an Americana singer who she emulates her own musical style from.
Katy has been a songwriter since 12 years of age. In the early 2000s Katy took her first big steps into the music industry when she became a finalist in the BBC Young Folk Award, performed on the main stage at Truck Festival, played at SXSW festival in Austin, Texas and released her debut album, All Calm In Dreamland.
But then, aged 20, it all went a bit sideways – Katy’s mental health suddenly declined with the start of a cycle of brief manic episodes followed by seemingly endless months of silent depression, which continued for several years.
The effects of university
Whilst Katy was studying for her music degree these mental illnesses heightened and was one of her most difficult times in her life. During that time society weren’t as aware or were not quite so open about mental illness and was often referred to as a nervous breakdown.
Alongside suffering in silence from an intense mental health illness during her time at university, this was where Katy battled with accepting her sexuality. Coming out as lesbian during her second year at Birmingham University, only then Katy could really begin to live her truth.
During these turbulent years, Katy wrote and recorded her second album, the aptly titled ‘Bluebird’ receiving glowing reviews, performing across the UK and again almost reaching that next level of success. However, her fragile mental health continued to hamper her career and confidence.
“One thing I remember so clearly was that, even though I could sometimes barely string a sentence together, I could still perform and sing every word of my songs.”– Katy on how bad her anxiety was in public situations but could still perform her songs on any stage in front of packed out crowds.
After finishing her degree, and with her mental health improving, she continued to write, perform and record which lead to her third album ‘The Rich and Varied Indelible Ink’ in 2009. Katy then trained as a music therapist, started running community choirs, bought a house and became a parent whilst living in Birmingham.
During this time is where Katy recorded her 4th album, the joyful and tender Songs of The River Rea (2016) inspired by life alongside Birmingham’s hidden river.
This was really the biggest turning point for Katy as she could once again focus on her music and follow her passion with no setbacks. Except it wasn’t.
Katy’s battle with Functional Neurological Disorder
A year later, Katy’s life imploded with the sudden onset of a bizarre and little understood condition, Functional Neurological Disorder. In Katy’s case, it caused her legs to stop functioning properly for significant periods of time, causing her to be often unable to walk. It changed everything.
Katy quit her job as a music therapist and she found herself living with a friend for a peppercorn rent in a dilapidated, Victorian park keeper’s lodge in the centre of Birmingham.
“It was a strange time. In some ways the hardest period of my life, and yet also one of the most musically fruitful. I must have written nearly fifty songs in the year I lived there.”– Katy on what it was like being diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder and how it affected her.
With some of those songs, Katy released her 5th solo album, the raw and emotional ‘The Meantime’ in 2019, recorded live and mostly in first takes in Bristol with her friend Jim Cornick of Ersatz. What Katy realised was that, for her, writing songs and being a creative artist are not occasional hobbies.
“They are my reasons for being and my purpose in life. Connecting people through song is what I Iive for!”– Katy describing her passion for music
What does the future hold for Katy?
2020 has been a very difficult year for everybody around the world due to coronavirus changing our lifestyles completely. This period has been especially painful for music artists like Katy who have missed performing on stage. Although things seem to be looking up for Katy.
Alongside the release of the new album, which comprises of eight of Katy’s favourite songs from her considerable back-catalogue and two new songs that were recorded during the UK lockdown (Where Does it Hurt, When I Close my Eyes. We urge our readers to follow Katy’s social media pages as Katy has been promoting her 6th album across all her social media pages recently in the build up to its release. Especially today, Katy’s followers were blessed with a fun contest to win some memorabilia of hers including a signed latest album and the winner reveal video was truly remarkable, our viewers can see it for themselves here.
Katy will also be touring the UK for her new album when it is suitable to do so. This is something Katy is really looking forward to doing again who spoke with us about what she considers her biggest career highlights.
“The things I love most of being a musicians is playing music with other musicians live on stage in front of an audience”– Katy discussing her excitement of returning to the stage and performing her new album
Fans of Katy can expect to see some amazing videos shot by Katy during lockdown who described it as a passion for to be creative and express her musical self.
Katy will also be working with theatre-maker Francesca Millican-Slater to develop a music, song, story-telling and spoken word solo piece about her and others’ experiences of Functional Neurological Disorder.
Proudly are delighted to have spoken with Katy and being able to share her story on our platform.
Our readers are now aware of Katy’s journey and extraordinary life experiences but now it’s time for her next chapter. On Friday 30th October 2020 we will see the release of Katy’s long awaited 6th album. We urge all of our readers to mark that date and explore the discography of the incredibly talented Katy Rose Bennett.
‘Where Does It Hurt? An Introduction to Katy Rose Bennett’ out this Friday.
Katy Rose Bennetts Socials
Our readers can stay up to date with everything Katy by viewing her social media pages below.