Continuing our new series of interviews where readers ask the questions is one of the most vivacious British pop stars in recent memory: Katy B, who is returning to music after a five-year hiatus.
Raised in Peckham, she trained at the star-minting Brit School but cut her teeth on the London club circuit amid the UK funky craze of the late 00s, guesting on tracks including As I by Geeneus. Soon signed by former pirate radio station Rinse FM and firmly embedded in a dance scene where dubstep was also flourishing, she drew different sides of nocturnal London together on her debut album On a Mission (2011). The Benga-produced single Katy On a Mission, with its distinctive police-siren vocal riff, championed the jaw-jangling dubstep sound, while Lights On with Ms Dynamite used the nimble rhythms of UK funky – it was an astonishing one-two punch that launched her into the mainstream, each track going Top Five in the UK.
Another Top 10 hit, Broken Record, showcased Katy’s gift for crying-on-the-dancefloor tracks, continued on chart-topping second album Little Red with one of her defining songs, Crying For No Reason. She scored her first No 1 single, though, with a celebration of pure hedonism: Turn the Music Louder (Rumble) with Tinie Tempah and producer KDA in 2015.
Third album Honey was ambitious – collaborators included Major Lazer, Four Tet and Kaytranada – but failed to make as much of an impact, and Katy went on a lengthy hiatus. She retreated from years of hardcore touring, built a studio in her basement, and eventually returned with a remix of UK jazz star Moses Boyd earlier this year, followed by her own new solo single, Under My Skin. It’s an atmospheric track – somewhere between R&B and Afrobeats – about a deceptive partner she can’t shake the feeling of. Her gift for yearning vocals is undimmed.
It features on a new EP, Peace and Offerings, out on 29 October. To mark its release along with the recent 10-year anniversary of On a Mission, Katy is joining us to answer your questions about anything in her career. Post them in the comments below, and we’ll publish her answers on Friday 5 November.