“I had spent years training to work in musical theatre. On my first West End tour, I started teaching myself guitar during my down time backstage.” – Kerri Watt
The singer/songwriter hailing from Scotland; having spent her early years training to work in musical theatre quickly fell in love with playing her guitar and found songwriting came naturally. We caught up with the breakthrough artist off the back of her highly antipated release “Jessie”, a song inspired by a character from a West End Musical. Explaining how when she first started writing songs, they were often about fictional people, either ones she’d read about or made up. A new part of her life she has thoroughly enjoyed showing people as an additional aspect of her songwriting and her journey of story telling.
Defining Her Music
Watt’s music is a blend of all her favourite genres – pop, rock, country and blues, according to the artist. Watt is keen to no conform to one particular genre, aiming instead to docus on music that is a bit different to what people are used to hearing. This mashed up with her Scottish accent which she highlights occasionally comes through, makes for a truly unique sound. The artists points to “Kissing Fools as her favourite creation to date, a song only released earlier this year. A song inspired by her favourite 90’s romcoms. For her listeners she is keen to offer an emotive sense of “excitement” and “happiness”. With an ultimate aim to connect with the listener in a way that gives them a heartfelt story, something that “could be their own”
Inspired by her parents, Watt found a real sense of ambition from her parents involvement in different sports when she was growing up.
“My family have always been super supportive of my dreams and encouraged me to keep going even when I felt like giving up. I’m lucky to also have some incredible friends who have helped me in so many different ways as I’ve pursued a challenging career. “
Significant of Social Media
Watt highlights how social media has worked best for her when finding fans in real life; whether this be at gigs/people that hear her on the radio; and encouraging them to come over and follow the artist online.
“What I end up with then is true supporters that stay the course and want to be involved in the process. Real connection is important to me and while I do pick up new Instagram followers when people stumble across me, it’s the ones who engage in my music outside of social media that are really invested.”
Whilst social media is a vital tool for keeping the artist engaged, Watt places more importance on being out there in person and making social connections. For Watt, its important to have an open mind. Finding that sometimes stepping outside of her musical comfort zone can be the best and most exciting aspect of her music. Watt places importance on finding common ground with the people you work with. Something the artist believes goes as much for personal
interests as it does musical ones.
Spare Time & Giving Back
In the artist spare time she’s a hiking addict with a love for being athletic. Watt highlights how the first steps of setting off into a career on your own are always the hardest. This being said, she encourages anyone to seeking to follow her path to get out and let their music be heard.
“It doesn’t matter that there’s no gigs on right now, get on the street and busk! I picked up some of my most long standing loyal fans from my busking days. That’s a place to try new material, build your confidence and hone your craft.”
In addition to finding inspiration in new places – books/podcasts/conversations with friends. Watt highlights the importance of listening to a wide variety of music, artists and genres. With specific importance on finding stength within yourself, referencing numerous online resources such as Ditto.
Dealing with Challenges and Looking to the Future
Watt opens up about challenges faced as a solo artist. Having no-one to bounce ideas off, help with big decisions and share in the good and bad times with you. She highlights how travelling to and performing shows alone can be exhausting, especially if you go a long way to get a very small turn out. The key is perserverence. Watt points to her new EP’s aka “Chapters” she is currently working on which on release will contain a host of new music material she has been working on over the last couple of years. With plans to get back to live music and hit the road touring again. In addition to her planned release of her debut I’m debut album next year..