“A once-a-generation talent” Henry Yates (NME, Guardian)
Katey Brooks is an award winning singer, songwriter, producer.
Growing up inside a cult, as a child Katey found refuge in song. Later, she travelled the world with her guitar on her back, writing everywhere from the Occupied West Bank to an abandoned Finnish island. Over a career spanning four continents, Brooks has journeyed from intimate living rooms to opulent concert halls, from dive bars to decorated studios with some of music’s biggest names, boasting admirers like Joss Stone and Nick Van Eede (Cutting Crew)
“Love this lady’s voice…she really means what she’s singing” Joss Stone
She has recorded with Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones and Paloma Faith at Abbey Road for BBC Radio 2’s Children in Need single. She has shared bills with a host of big names including Cat Burns, Yola, Newton Faulkner, Ghostpoet, Martin Simpson, Deaf Havana, and Mike and the Mechanics. She has played some of the world’s biggest festivals including Glastonbury, WOMAD, the 2012 Paralympics, the Cambridge Folk Festival and Australia’s National Folk Festival.
“Had the crowd eating out of her hands” The Independent
Brooks’ music has been supported by BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, 6music, Canada’s CBC, Jazz FM, Amazing Radio. Her music has been featured in the West End and film, which has earned her three Best Original Song awards at film festivals. Her voice features on the soundtrack for Hulu’s ‘Harlots’.
“One of the best albums of the year” Pop Dust on ‘Revolute’
After many years on the road as a touring/self produced recording artist, at the beginning of 2023 KB decided to dedicate herself to her songwriting, and production for other artists. This lead to over 200 songs written, including several for charity Songs Of Love, an organisation who provide songs for poorly children.
For more on what KB has been up to click on the News tab!
For better or worse, it’s hard to imagine a songwriter with a deeper well of life experience to spill onto her lyric-sheet. Katey’s troubled childhood in a religious cult, her debilitating illness in her twenties and the shattering loss of her mother and her best friend: all were blows that might have swallowed up a lesser character. But music was the balm, and it was always made on her terms – evidenced by Katey’s early decision to reject a place at the star-making BRIT School and walk her own path.
First steps on Bristol’s open-mic scene pricked up ears. Show-stealing performances at Glastonbury, WOMAD and the Paralympics spread the word. Top-dollar recording sessions with Brian May, Bill Wyman, Paloma Faith and Joss Stone were offset by guitar-slinging gigs in squats, dive-bars and the occupied West Bank, where raw songs were born amongst the rubble.
Now, following up 2016’s acclaimed I Fought Lovers EP, all of Katey’s scars and redemptions are poured undiluted into the new material of REVOLUTE, inviting all who hear it to wear their pasts on their sleeves without shame. Written and self-produced by Katey herself – with a beautiful and intimate mix from Paul Quinn – these eleven songs run the gamut of genre, but are bound together by their emotional honesty. The standard is set by opener Never Gonna Let Her Go: haunted yet rousing, this gospel-soul single hums with defiance as Katey kicks out against past shamings for her sexuality.
All Of Me is a wrench of a breakup ballad, pairing sparse guitar with intimate vocals, and slow-burning to a gospel-flavoured conclusion. We The People offers a moody stomp and a salute to a lover who’s moved on, while Golden Gun is a glowering standout, with choppy guitars and a lyric full of emotional violence, Katey’s voice soaring as the song escapes its moorings.
Already released as a single to blanket acclaim, In Your Arms is an intimate moment, with Katey’s almost-operatic voice and shimmering guitar locked in unison. The Sweetest Things has folky fingerpicking and a nakedly honest vocal that reminds us that “sometimes the sweetest things were meant to pass you by”. And on an album of personal truths, Katey isn’t afraid to turn her observational powers on the social landscape, with the impassioned soul of Burn It Down reminding women in the #MeToo era that victimhood is not their fault.
Jeremiah is a beautiful piano-led ballad that sails to the stars, while Call Out is a stunning moment of quiet defiance (“Don’t let anybody take you down”). Even as the album plays out, there’s no let-up in emotional intensity. In Light Of You combines ethereal guitar with treasured memories of a departed loved one – then throws a curveball as it breaks into a double-time groove. Finally, there’s traditional standard Trouble So Hard, here utterly owned by Katey, with ghostly chords and a vocal that never stops building.
REVOLUTE isn’t just an album – it’s an awakening for both artist and listener. And as Katey embarks on a tour of select venues throughout late-2019, the wider music scene will be watching the rise of this once-a-generation talent. “Completing these tracks is not only the closure of a difficult chapter for me,” she says, “but the exciting beginning of something new, with my freedom finally found…”