Katy B interview

Ahead of her new album release, ‘Little Red’, we fittingly take pop bombshell Katy B to Big Red, Deptford's famous pizza bus

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  • © Rob Greig/Time Out

  • © Rob Greig/Time Out

  • © Rob Greig/Time Out

  • © Rob Greig/Time Out

  • © Rob Greig/Time Out

  • © Rob Greig/Time Out

  • © Rob Greig/Time Out

© Rob Greig/Time Out

‘It’s got lust and love and danger and jealousy on it. It feels “red”.’ Sadly, Katy B is not talking about the Big Red pizza bus where we’re sat in Deptford. She’s describing her second album ‘Little Red’, the follow-up to her rave-igniting, Mercury Prize-nominated 2011 debut ‘On a Mission’. After digging in to a rocket-loaded Giardiniera pizza, the south London R&B icon opens up about dating, dancing and her past life as Peckham’s answer to Vinnie Jones.

‘I went to Fabric on Boxing Day and left at 7am’


Where’s your favourite place to go out in London?
‘I’ve had so many good nights in Brixton. It satisfies every part of my personality. I remember UK Funky nights at Fridge Bar, then cocktails at Satay Bar, then Hootananny where everyone’s shocking out to live music. Outside someone’s cooking chicken on a grill. That, for me, feels like London.’

You wrote your debut album, ‘On A Mission’, while you were a teenager. Is this record more grown up?
‘It’s still ravey, but it’s true that everything in life has got more real. Your twenties are a scary time, in love and your career. I’m learning about what it means to be in a relationship and what I’m looking for.’

Are you on dating app Tinder?
‘Oh my God! So many of my friends are on Tinder. They love it. I wish I could be. I can’t though, it would just be weird. Actually I’ve heard guys will meet two girls in one night. I don’t think you’re going to meet your lifelong partner on Tinder.’

You have a new song about going home lonely at ‘5am’. Where’s the best place to be at 5am?
‘In Fabric, still going on the dance floor. I went on Boxing Day and left at about 7am. It’s nice when it gets to 5am, you feel like you’re soldiers.’

‘My football coach told us we were giving Peckham a bad name’


How was the recovery?
‘The next day, like an idiot, I volunteered to cook for my friends from Rinse FM. It’s like, “Come Dine With Rinse”. I had this really bad hangover. I managed to pull myself together to cook roast beef with caramelised onions and mustard mash. I was proud of that.’

Do you get starstruck?
‘Totally. Missy Elliott tweeted me yesterday! That was a fangirl moment. I also met Thierry Henry so I had to get an autograph for my cousin.’

Are you an Arsenal fan?
‘When I was younger my brother and my cousins would play football at half-term. They bullied me into supporting Arsenal. Now my best friend supports Crystal Palace so I’ve been to loads of games. They’re a local team so I feel more attached to them.’

Were you ever any good at playing football?
‘I was alright. I played for Peckham Town United. One time I tackled this girl and accidentally kicked her knee. She went for me and then this girl on my team boxed her. We got disqualified and my coach told us we were giving Peckham a bad name. It was too much stress.’

Describe ‘Little Red’.
‘It’s a slice of my life.’

Strong pizza reference. What would a ‘Little Red’ pizza have on it?
‘Chorizo, pepperoni, chilli, red olives… and caramelised onions. Red ones. That’s making me hungry.’

See Katy B live in London

Kopparberg Urban Forest

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The pop-up, Scandinavian-themed musical forest that landed in Dalston last summer is back for 2015. Again hosted by cider manufacturer Kopparberg, this time the action takes place in Hackney Wick, but as before it still offers a packed programme of gigs and DJ sets, plus two bars (as you might expect, there's a lot of cider on offer) and street food from Mama's Jerk, Buffalo Joe and Le Bun. The first acts to be announced include Katy B, Submotion Orchestra, Citizens!, Slow Club, DJ Yoda, Chromeo, The Cuban Brothers and Norman Jay, with many more to be announced. There'll also be a special edition of much-loved London club night Hip Hop Karaoke.The forest comes alive every Wednesday-Saturday from June 10 - July 12 and entry is free, though last time around there were some entry hefty queues to negotiate when big names were playing, so get there early if you're gagging to get in. If you do make it in, you'll be able to enjoy a little of the ambience and aesthetics of a Swedish pine forest without any of those pesky pine needles getting into your shoes or having to pay for a plane ticket. Oh, and loads of great bands, booze and food, too. Line-up details below. Fri Jun 19 – Blancmange Sat Jun 20 – Dinosaur Pile-Up Sun Jun 21 – Norman Jay Wed Jun 24 – Kal Lavelle Thu Jun 25 – Karin Park Fri Jun 26 – Jubilee Club v Camden Rocks Sat Jun 27 – Supa Dupa Fly Sun Jun 28 – Trevor Nelson Wed Jul 1 – Submotion Orchestra Thu Jul 2 – Slow Club Fri Jul 3 – Rock The Belles Sat J

  1. 37-41 Whitepost Lane 37-41 Whitepost Lane, E9 5EN
  2. Wed Jul 1 - Sun Jul 12
More info

Watch Katy B's '5am' video


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