Scottish singer songwriter KT Tunstall came to everyone’s attention after her performance on 'Later With Jools Holland' in the autumn of 2004.
Scottish singer songwriter KT Tunstall came to everyone’s attention after her performance on 'Later With Jools Holland' in the autumn of 2004. She might well have stayed obscure had U.S. rapper Nas not pulled out of his performance. Tunstall was drafted in at the last minute and did a show-stopping version of her Bo Diddley-style song 'Black Horse and the Cherry Tree'.
Katie Tunstall was raised in St Andrews, on the East coast of Scotland. She was adopted as a baby by a Scottish couple, she was always aware that she was adopted. KT was musical from an early age, learning to play piano, flute and guitar as a teenager.
KT moved to the USA, hungry for experiences and independence, she gained a scholarship to Kent School in Connecticut, New England. Whilst out there KT spent time on a hippy commune and formed her first band, The Happy Campers.
She returned to the UK to do a music course at Royal Holloway College in London, before finally moving back to St Andrews, and getting involved in the local alt/folk music scene. KT served her musical apprenticeship with a large group of Scottish folk musicians, known as the Fence Collective, and spent years with them, gigging all over Europe.
In time, she realised her music wasn't folk, but something more individual, and she moved back to London to start her solo career. Finally things started to fall into place, working relationships were forged and deals secured.
She began writing projects with Swedish songwriter/producer Martin Terefe and London-based Orcadian Jimmy Hogarth and London’s Tommy D. She started work on her debut album with her new band and legendary U2/New Order/Happy Monday’s producer Steve Osborne at the helm. 'Eye to the Telescope' saw her whittle down a massive catalogue of over 100 songs to just 12.
Following her performance on 'Later With Jools Holland' the single 'Black Horse and the Cherry Tree' went on to become one of the most played songs of the summer. Her double platinum selling debut album 'Eye to the Telescope' was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize. Since completing ‘Eye To The Telescope’, life has been a blur of gigs, first as support to Joss Stone, then a tour of Europe, singing with ‘klezmer hip-hop’ band Oi Va Voi, who ignited the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury. She has released three albums since: 'Drastic Fantastic' (2007), 'Tiger Suit' (2010) and 'Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon' (2013).
KT is the latest in a line of outstanding contemporary Scottish songwriters including Texas, Fran Healy, Teenage Fan club and The Beta Band, her unique perspective offers a rare emotionally connecting intensity through gripping lyrics and heartfelt melodies.