Kitty Cowell XWHY Magazine music

Style and Substance: Kitty Cowell

Name: Kitty Cowell

Location: London, UK

No relation to the high-waisted trousers sporting music mogul that introduced to the world the stellar talents of Steve Brookstein and Leon Jackson; London born, Cardiff bred Kitty Cowell is a no nonsense trifecta of talent; rapping, writing and modelling her way through life.

She’s shared the stage with some big names, including Basement Jaxx, Example and BIGkids. She’s also something of an “it” girl of the underground scene. Add to this that she is alumni of the British Academy of New Music and you have the beginnings of an impressive CV.

Although Kitty’s main focus is the music game, she is certainly kept busy by running her own fashion blog The Unisex Mode that specialises in combining streetwear, vintage pieces and the latest kicks. If a brand’s worth knowing, then chances are Kitty has worn it!

Kitty Cowell music XWHY Magazine

London is a silly place. Dreams are made and shattered on a daily basis. How did you fair when you made the move and what’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to adjust to?

Mainly for me it’s how big it is. I have had to get used to it not being so easy to pop round your mates after work, for example. Plus how expensive it is! It’s a bit of a change from being in South Wales.

When musicians break they inevitably get labelled as “The New… X”. Who is the last person you’d like to be labelled the new version of?

Well because of where I studied, I’ve been called the next Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora. I’m not that similar to either, but I admire their success and don’t mind the comparisons. Everyone is trying to do their thing so it’s not so much who I wouldn’t like to be compared to. I guess I’d like to be called the new Gwen Stefani, but again musically I’m not very similar. I just love her!  I don’t see many people that I could be compared to, maybe M.I.A at a push. If I wasn’t different, then I doubt people would be that interested.

Kitty Cowell music XWHY Magazine

If you were going to create a musical crew along the lines of Young Money or G.O.O.D. Music to party and make music with, who would you draft?

This is a tough one! My mate Young O as he’s a great UK rapper. MNEK (who appeared on the BBC Sound of 2014 Longlist) because he’s a great producer and singer/song writer. Rizzle Kicks because they’re a laugh and I think they’re great! In a dream world, Pharrel Williams would executively produce it. And me and Ellie Goulding would be the girls: one singer, one rapper.

You’ve worked with some pretty well known faces in the music world, who are the ones that have left you in awe of their talent?

I guess Basement Jaxx left me with a great sense of passion, they really love what they do and work hard at it. They also told me to stop using my nickname ‘KC’ because my name Kitty is better and they were right and I have ever since. They have a very creative way of working and it was so much fun to be around.

What was your first passion, music or fashion?

Well I grew up with two parents working in the fashion industry, so I always thought that was my calling. But music took hold of me from a very young age and eventually took me away from fashion school. It’s hard to say, because if I wasn’t born into fashion I would say music would have been more natural.

Androgyny, in fashion and music, has been around for ages. But why is it still so intensely intriguing/alluring?

I guess because it’s such a juxtaposition next to the extreme sexualisation of the rest of the music and fashion industry. Anything different is alluring and I think it’s incredibly strong if a man or woman can take on the opposite sex in some form and still be sexy with it.

Kitty Cowell music XWHY Magazine

Your love of Tattoos is no secret. Would you class them as a fashion statement nowadays or still something very personal?

I think the culture has become very fashionable. I’m very heavily rooted in traditional tattoo culture; sailor tattoos, maori tattoos etc. I’m in it for the historical value and artistic qualities. I want artists who are great. Not just anyone to give me something that’s ‘cool.’ But it’s always been the same, tattoo trends come and go within fashion. Traditional tattoos have become very popular over the past few years though. I think it’s becoming a lot more mainstream. Which is, in some ways,  good that it’s more acceptable, but it others ways annoying when you see things you like constantly ripped off and repeated.

We recently invited some musical folk to provide us their top tunes from 2013 for the XWHY Guestlist series, what were your top 5 tracks of 2013?

It was a good year for music last year, so it’s tough, but I would go with:

Jay Z – Tom Ford

Daft Punk ft Pharrel Williams – Get lucky

M.I.A – Bring The Noize

A$AP Rocky – Fashion Killa

A$AP Rocky ft Kendrick Lemar, Drake, 2 Chainz – Fuckin Problems

QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS

Who are your favourite brands at the moment?

Rook, Vans, Acne, Supra, Kr3w, there are a lot.

Who are your fashion inspirations?

Pharrel Williams and Gwen Stefani.

Who would be your ones to watch out for in 2014?

MNEK and Young O and me ! 😉

Do you have any big projects in the pipeline?

I have a single / video coming out early 2014, to start with… You’ll have to follow me to see the rest.

 

You can follow kitty on twitter/instagram @KittyCowell, at her WEBSITE or on FACEBOOK.

Expect a video for her New single ‘Super Rich Kids’ to come out in the next month.

PHOTO Credit: James Hazlett-Beard for the photos

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