Verge Sits Down with the Lovely Koo Read

The very talented young Kate Koo Read made the time to chat to Verge last week. Koo was a successful contestant on the first series of The Voice back in 2012, and has been lucky enough to work with the incredible Read on for her experience on the music scene, her top tips, and what she has planned this coming year.



So to start, can you tell us a bit about your background in music. How did you start out?

So going back right to the start, I would write music on my breaks at college and I was in a band with 5 guys; they were on the music course and I was on the dance course. We would get together in our breaks and write. Whilst I was on my dance course, I went onto a show called The Voice. I guess it was on The Voice that I realised I really wanted to take music seriously, I wanted to sing and I wanted to produce and get involved with the DJ side of things. I think probably the voice kicked it off seriously and professionally for me.


How did you get onto The Voice, were you approached? Or did you sign up yourself?

My friend applied me for it, I actually had no idea what it was. He just messaged me saying there’s an audition on Sunday in Manchester, you have to go. And I was just like.. oh okay! I wasn’t really that bothered at the time. Then I turned up and saw massive banners of Will.I.AM, Jessie J, Tom Jones and then I realised that it was a big deal.


So who turned around for you?

Will and Tom turned around, I was so surprised!


And you chose Will?

Yeah, I just had to! I said all along the audition process, I don’t want anyone else I really want Will! So luckily he turned around.


A Cardinal Sin to the Welsh! Haha. How was it working with Will?

He was so good to work with. Luckily he’s still involved with what I’m doing now. He’s an unbelievable person, not just with music, it’s all the stuff that he does with side projects. He’s amazing, there’s no one like him.


I’ve always said while watching The Voice, I want to be’s best friend. He seems like such a cool guy! So what would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

The first thing that I wrote, which got signed last year, was signed to Skrillex’s label. That was a big boost of confidence because it’s the first thing that I got involved in so I’m very proud of that. But I think, just everything that has gone on this past month, and just putting my own stuff out, I’m really proud that I’m an unsigned artist and it’s gone well, it’s happened very quickly. I’m very proud of my own stuff, of my new EP.


So you’re EP Into the Night is out on the 15th March. Can you tell us a bit about your experience recording that and what your favourite track is?

The whole process has been really natural and cool, I’ve got a few producers who have produced things on it and we’ve just made the tracks really naturally. We start in the studio, it’s not been influenced by anything else, and we just come up with something. I don’t know if I can pick a favourite track. They all mean so much, they’re all feelings that I genuinely felt. So, it’s taken a while, I’ve been writing this EP for a year and a half now. It’s been a really natural process, and when you hear this EP it’s all me. Completely me. I’m happy with it, really happy.

So you’ve been likened to the amazing Ellie Goulding. I would love to know where you get your musical inspiration from! Is there any specific genre, or solo artists or bands?

So many different people. It’s so difficult to say. I love really heavy bass-y music, but I also like soft chilled and ambient stuff where you can express vocally. You can chop vocals up, process them and do so many different things if you’re doing a chilled track. There’s so many areas that I pull from I couldn’t possibly say.


If you could collaborate with any one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Oh that’s really tough. I’ve got two. Is that okay? At the moment, I’m really excited by a producer called Charmi. I’d love to vocal with him or write something for him.

If I just need some acoustic, it would have to be Ben Howard or Passenger. I’d love my voice against theirs.


I think that would sound amazing. We should get that idea going! What are your plans for 2015? What’s next for Koo?

I’m getting involved with Spinnin’ Records, I’ve got something else coming out on Monstercat, and a few other EDM labels. I’m already writing my next EP. So yeah, it’s gonna be a big year. Just keeping up with collaborations, I’m writing with some really cool people. So it’s time to get the next EP underway, I just want to write fresh stuff now!


IF you had one piece of advice for any upcoming musicians, students, or young people, that want to break onto the music scene what would it be?

I think it’s really important to start off with a real love for music, a real genuine love. I think it’s so important; you need to get into it for the right reasons, not because you want a huge following. Just really love what YOU do, it’s OK to take influences from produces or singers but don’t let that define you. Find who YOU are. Don’t lose yourself. It’s really important to find your own sound, I’ve definitely found that now, but you’ve got to really dig deep to find the sound that you love.


Follow Koo Read on Twitter: 

Download Koo’s brand new EP Into the Night on iTunes from March 15th.



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