Katy B plays no games. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter, born Kathleen Anne Brien in Peckham, South London, covers all genres with her soprano vocal prowess. She has collaborated with today’s most wanted producers, including Diplo and Kaytranada, and covered Queen Bey. The around the way girl, who can get a party started in a heartbeat, shared a few of the pastimes and places she keeps close to heart.
1. Charity shop hunting. When I bought my place last year I knew I wanted to fill it with loads of odd stuff. I’m not really a fan of walking into someone’s house and knowing they’ve bought everything from Ikea (I love Ikea, by the way! No hate!). I could easily waste a day wandering round my area looking for crockery and picture frames in my local charity shops. I always come home with something I adore. My latest find was a pink, 1970s candle holder. It looks so expensive but it was two quid, or something. You can take the girl out of Peckham but I still love a good bargain!
2. Peckham. I grew up in SE15, and it’s still my favourite place to hang out! My mum even used to have a three-wheeler just like Del Boy [of the TV show Only Fools and Horses] back in the day—thankfully before I was born! Although Peckham’s changing, it still has a lot of its charming trademarks, with some added niceness. The independent Peckham multiplex cinema, where you can watch any movie any time for £4.99, has so many memories for me! Food definitely has to be at Pedler or Peckham Bazaar. I can honestly say, of either place, [they serve] some of the best food I’ve ever tasted! Nunhead Cemetery is also one of my favorite places to clear my head and walk my dog on a lazy Sunday. There’s a bench that I love to sit on that has a view of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
3. Candles. After a long day, I love going into my room and lighting a candle while I have a good old read or get my stuff ready for the next day and play my favourite songs. My favourite candles at the moment are from Milkhouse Candles. They are completely natural, made of beeswax and soy wax. They have a shop in London, in Crystal Palace near my house, and they have some lovely smells: My scent at the moment is “sweet potato pecan pie.”
4. Marmite. I have started this new love affair with Marmite, I never really ate it growing up but recently I had it at Brown and Green cafe in Crystal Palace. It was [a dish called] Aussie Eggs: Marmite with scrambled eggs and avocado on toast, with some arugula and sweet chilli sauce. Oh my days, I was in heaven! So now I seem to just have it on everything.
5. Dancing. I love dancing! That’s why I make the music that I do, I guess. There’s nothing I like more than being with my friends and having a joyous night out. I also do dance classes where I can. I did a Beyoncé “Formation” class the other day, which was a lot of fun, with these guys called Seen on Screen Fitness. My neck was killing for about a week after, though, with all the hair whipping! ♦
Interview as told to Erika Ramirez. Collage by Maria Ines Gul, using a photo courtesy of Katy B. Illustrations by Maria Ines Gul.