When first listening to Kate Bond, it’s easy to get stopped in your tracks. The Bradford born now Newcastle based soul songstress reignited her passion for music when moving to the North East for university, and since her first single ‘Beauty Sleep’ last year, has been played on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 6, with her debut also featuring on BBC Radio 1’s Best of 2021 Introducing show.
Realising she had found a unique sound early on, heavily influenced by Lily Allen sultry pop tones and Joy Crookes R&B vocals, Bond then continued the momentum she so quickly built with sophomore single ‘Yasmine’, which was also played on Radio 1’s airwaves. Her feminism centred lyrics are what defines Bond, who wants to make a difference not just in this industry, but provide as a mouthpiece for all women everywhere who have subsided to sexual liberties and violence.
Kate is a lover of collaboration and the creation and fusion of music, which is why she very recently formed NEWISM, a female collective co-founded by her and several other women in soul music. They played shows across the city and curated stages at local festivals, in an aim to inspire younger women to pick up an instrument and more importantly, listen to one of the oldest, greatest and sometimes forgotten genres of music. With her debut single and beyond, Kate has invited other artists to feature on her tracks, to help spread awareness and the community aspect of being a musician.
Combining a neo-soul sound with intricate pop melodies and sensibilities, ‘We Just Want To Be Loved’, perfectly showcases Kate’s refined and genre defining sound, in a song all about impunity in cases of violence against women. It is powerful lyricism coinciding with a heavy blues and R&B rhythm section that you can’t help but get swept up in, making for a hugely intoxicating combination.
The messaging and ideology of ‘We Just Want To Be Loved’ is what Bond really wants to pursue as part of her debut EP to be released later this year, with a full frontal political tone. Written post Sarah Everard and pre the overturn of Roe vs Wade, it feels as though Kate’s message is timeless and tells so eloquently the fight that her and all women around the globe are still having to fight in 2022.
What makes Kate stand amongst the crowd is that there is no bullshit, and her sonically vibrant and exotic formula has gained the attention nationwide and will only grow further and she grows as an artist and performer to relate to and invest in.
With neo-soul being one of the biggest genres to rise again over the past year or so, it is certain that Kate Bond is at the forefront and is the shining beacon for the North East of England and clearly way beyond.
What was it like to write politically-charged songs for this upcoming EP? There’s so much going on and so much to feel defeated about, but how did you organize all the anger into coherent thoughts?
It’s strange I actually wrote this song on my bed one night around October last year. It was when there was a spiking endemic in the city I went to university in. I was a huge party goer, so it was unusual for me to be sat with time to write like this. So I think the fact that then I couldn’t go to any of the gigs or pubs I usually went to out of fear of getting spiked really brought something up in me. I think the way I write is quite weird, 90% of the time it’s drivel but when I get a tune that resonates with how I feel I can write a song in 30 minutes. This was one of those tunes, sparked by the internal anxiety I felt by simply existing as a women and then sub consciously influenced by my outer world, which saw Sarah Everard killed by a police officer and other issues.
I wrote the EP at different stages of the year, the song divide and rule (title track) actually was the most recent one I wrote for the EP. I knew I had to write a song called divide and rule, but I couldn’t figure out how, and then I realized what I wanted to center my thought process on was power, how it’s misused, which is the essence of the EP. The name of the EP really made my music make sense in the context.
Specifically with “We Just Want To Be Loved,” you’ve mentioned that you took a moment of rage and turned it into something positive and beautiful. Did the song go through multiple iterations before settling where it is now, or was your first-pass the final version?
This was the first version I wrote. I’ve found that my writing process is very honest, I write lots of tunes and then come up with the title of the one I want to write. It somewhat centers my focus. Lyrically the song is the same but the production and guitar sound really started when Sam Turnball joined the band. He’s an excellent guitarist who really brought this song to life. I really have the band to thank and producer Andy Bell for bringing my vision to life. I wanted this song to be catchy, so you can listen to it unconsciously or focus in on what I’m saying.
How did you approach arranging the song? You’re very interested in musical community, especially with your collective NEWISM. Did collaboration with other musicians help to refine the song?
The arrangement again was thanks to the brilliant musicians I have around me. Though I have a very strong direction with where I want the song to go, especially with collaborating with other artists. I knew I wanted to have a gospel style sound that really represented powerful women. So I thought who better to get on the track then some of the rising soul singers in the north east like Frankie Jobling and Jamilah as well as Jessica Ward who fronts The Redroom. I think collaboration is key when creating music, you never know what other artists would fit into your track and really spark excellence.
What can we expect from your forthcoming debut EP? “We Just Want To Be Loved” is such an amazing single – do the rest of the songs have that same feel?
Thank you so much! We can expect bigger dramatic starts, a sprinkle of lyrical sarcasm and of course a lot more feminist politics. The next song to release will be around November time and is my favorite track to date.
Are you planning to play these songs live? Where can listeners expect to find you the rest of the year?
We have a lot of gigs coming up which are very exciting here’s a few so take your pick:
- 1st of September Next Door Records London
- 15th of September Sage Gateshead
- 16th of September Sofar Sounds Newcastle
- 17th of December Boiler Shop Newcastle