The Colourful World Of Kat Cunning
18th April 2019
Ice breaker alert – tell us a joke!
I used to be addicted to the hokey pokey but I turned myself around.
You’ve got an incredible resume, including stints on Broadway – introduce yourself as if your life is the script to a theatre spectacular!
HAZAAAH! Behold Kat Cunning. That’s Kat with a “K” like a human. She can do everything but cook and tell a joke off the cuff. She’s here, she’s queer, she’s hungry for a snack.
Comparisons and complete opposites between London and New York?
Both cities have iconic cabbies.
Your drivers know everything about the city and are always charming.
Your music is a beautiful concoction of sounds – sum it up if you may…
I used to have a blues/rock band and thought I’d never write pop but I had an epiphany when Beyonce’s “Beyonce” came out with the visual album. Not so long before that, I discovered James Blake. I think I realised that pop production can be warm and inventive, and it can elevate the story within the song. For me, it is all about story. If I don’t believe the words, I don’t want to sing them. The songs are also harnessed by my abilities as a singer. I have kind of a weird voice and was always told to keep my day job when I sang. It’s really liberating to write songs for my voice after a lifetime of being told it wasn’t an option and every Disney princess was a belting soprano.
Your shows offer much more than just the music – introduce us to your colourful, theatrical and immersive artistry world!
It’s my personal standard to put on a show instead of a “show and tell.” I don’t really think of my shows as particularly theatrical or outside the realm of any other produced concerts, but I suppose all my experience in immersive theatre and dance has shaped the way I want to relate to my audience. I want to have a real exchange with them, where they feel me intimately, and I try to give them a reason give the same back. I think of performance like film. You have a lense through which you see it. As a performer, I like to control the ability to let people zoom in and see me very vulnerably and zoom out to see the landscape of something they want to step into. I watch Beyoncé, Pink and Justin Timberlake’s hugely produced concerts and see the same design elements that elevate Broadway shows and the same things I’m bringing to my concerts. The only difference is I’m doing it on a dream, and with the help of a community that believes.
Talk to us about your new single Birds – what’s the story?
If you’ve heard it- you probably got the gist it’s not really about birds, but it was really helpful to make the pain that I was experiencing more universal with the metaphor of birds as my safety. I think it speaks to anyone that’s ever felt down, overwhelmed or misunderstood.
What bird is your closest spirit animal and why?
Pterodactyl? I actually don’t have any feelings about real birds. In “Birds” the birds are the villains. Very Hitchcock. I do, however, have a tattoo of one, because (I was 18 once) and the metaphor has always spoken to me. Birds fly and sing and are often caged. I feel strongly that I am meant to fly and use my voice.
You’re an incredible advocate for the LGBTQ community – what does pride mean to you?
Pride is necessary. LGBTQ people deserve the basic rights to thrive or mess up like everyone else. We are real people. Every marginalised person that is challenged doubles down in the face of adversity. You tell me I can’t be by my partner on her death bed, I’m going to shove rainbows in your face and kill you with the kindness and beauty of my community until you cave. Pride is a way of fighting for the basics. I am proud of who I am, and I am proud of the people to stand up beside me in any way they can.
How do you define beauty? Diversity. Ownership of one’s natural qualities, flaws and proclivities.
I’m attracted to body types, skin types and smiles that strike me as different from how we are told to look. Among my favourite beauties are Julia Roberts, Ashley Graham and Issa Rae. Princesses are everywhere.
You’re confident and loud in the best possible way, but what makes you shy?
I get tongue tied around people I respect, am attracted to and even my peers sometimes. I get nervous every time I perform. Being loud is actually my response to being shy a lot of the time.
If your tour rider had no money limits or a grasp on reality, what would it include?
Oysters, popcorn and human minions.
What makes you roll eye the most in life?
Apathy? People who roll their eyes…? My dad told me “never say I don’t care.” I’d rather have someone throw a hair dryer at me than roll their eyes.
You swung by Superdry on Regent Street, and it was lush! What did you pick out, and what’s your style vibe?
OMG I got so many cool things. I’m still rocking the big blush hoodie – I think that’s my favourite. They bodysuits are cute and so comfortable, and I love this bag to death. Keeps me sunny in the winter months.
What can we expect from Kat Cunning for the rest of 2019?
You can expect my DEBUT EP! And to see me as an actor in Trinkets on Netflix and the third/final season of HBO’s The Deuce! Playlist the tunes and connect on Instagram to get updates about an upcoming tour too!