Friday Find #17 – Katy Hurt

With only one full-length record released and on the verge of a second, the dynamic Katy Hurt’s talent speaks for herself. From her unique origins growing up in both New York and later the United Kingdom, Hurt was raised with a passion for words and an obsession for melodies.  

Having to consciously lose her American accent as a child moving from the eastern shores of America back across the Atlantic to the U.K. where she was born, she remembers music always being a huge aspect of her early life; throughout her childhood she was exposed to a variety of genres, explaining how music of all styles and origins comprised her listening history while growing up.

As Hurt recalls: When we were living in the states, country music was in abundance and my dad used to play me Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves, and we would hear more modern country artists on the radio. My mom on the other hand, speaks 5 languages, so in the car with her we would be listening to anything and everything, all genres and languages welcome.”

Only a handful of years and countless hours of songwriting later, Hurt is a rising professional musician appealing to audiences on a global scale and impressively landing performances on stages ranging from small bars to England’s largest country music convention, the C2C: Country To Country festival.  

Reminiscing on an experience as ground-breaking as sharing the stage with worldwide acts like Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, (among other rising stars like Kelsea Ballerini and Kacey Musgraves,) Hurt relates: “It’s definitely a huge honour….To be able to see artists who are both starting their careers and also artists at the peak of theirs is really inspiring and makes me want to soak it all in and then apply it back to my own performances.”

After spending the majority of the past year writing and recording, she has a new record on the horizon, an EP that she describes as being a storytelling record that encompasses as many emotions as she experienced while writing it.

The lead single “See Ya Later” is a feel-good, appropriately-confident, pop-style punch back fit to wrap the summer up on a positive note and provide balance against the cloudy break-up tracks that consistently emerge from the country music scene. Consistent with the musical and lyrical stylings of Red/1989-era Swift and sparking a jolt of electrictricity in the chorus that even Aldean and his crew can get behind, the lead single is as convincing as it is catchy — an unmistakable addition to current country playlists and Top 40 radio alike.

Katy Hurt’s new lyric video for the Unfinished Business EP lead single, “See Ya Later”

“See Ya Later” is the first single from the new Unfinished Business EP, which was produced this past January in Winnipeg (by Doc Walker’s Murray Pulver and due out later this year), and has the viral potential to catapult Hurt into the upper echelon of country’s global rising stars. Thinking about the rest of 2018, she admits that she’s excited to start touring the record. “I can’t wait to get back out on the road and show people all the new songs!!”, she writes, tangibly conveying her excitement through the keyboard. “We did name the EP “Unfinished Business” after one the tracks, but […] also from the fact that this is just the beginning for me releasing music… and I’m not finished yet!

Ever since her first trip to the American South as a young teenager, Katy’s desire to be a full-time artist has consistently taken her to new heights. Luckily for her fans, she’s only at the beginning of her journey.

The Official Katy Hurt Rhythm & Boots NYC #FridayFind playlist

As a songwriter, she reveals emotions with maturity well beyond her years and musically she’s as dynamic as some of Nashville’s biggest names. As Katy assures us, “Music is something that, if done right, captures an emotion or a feeling,” and whether you’re listening to her past releases (including the captivating, full-length Pieces of Me record from last year!) or jamming to her new single, “See Ya Later”, she provides a flurry of emotion-provoking lyrics above grippingly-honest harmonies. Here’s to hoping her tour makes it to the City at some point in the near future — if so, we’ll be first in line.

Check out Katy’s music at her #FridayFind R&B NYC playlist and at her website, plus follow Katy on social media platforms to stay up to date on her new releases and upcoming tour dates!

Katy Hurt pages:

SpotifySoundcloudInstagramFacebookTwitterWebsite

++ And don’t forget to check out our full-length interview with Katy Hurt below!

– R&B NYC
Backstage with Katy Hurt:

Rhythm & Boots NYC: Katy, I can see from your Soundcloud bio you’ve performed at the massive UK country music festival C2C in the past. How special is it to share the stage with other influential, rising artists like Kelsea Ballerini, Old Dominion, Kacey Musgraves, Luke Combs, among others?

Katy Hurt: It’s definitely a huge honour and not only that but also a huge learning opportunity. To be a able to see artists who are both starting their careers and also artists at the peak of theirs is really inspiring and makes me want to soak it all in and then apply it back to my own performances.

R&B NYC: Were there any vivid difficulties you remember about moving from Long Island back to the UK early in life? Has growing up in each of the distinct locations impacted your music and songwriting in its own subtle way?

Hurt: I remember being really upset with my parents when they told us that we were moving to the UK when I was little. I guess because I was leaving the first place I called home, and I was leaving my friends and mainly because I wasn’t able to take the yellow bus to school! I also had to lose my American accent when I got to school in the UK because I was teased about it! Growing up in both places however has definitely impacted my view on the world and on music in general and I’m know that has also influenced my writing; most obviously when  I find myself using word and phrases from both sides of the Atlantic.

R&B NYC: Speaking of songwriting, is there anyone you really look up to as a country artist or songwriter?  If you had to pick: what is the best concert you’ve ever been to and who’s one artist you’re still dying to see?  

Hurt: In terms of songwriting the people I currently look up too are Brandy Clark, Nathalie Hemby, Lori McKenna, Caitlyn Smith and Troy Verges. I think that they all have a really unique way of storytelling and I’ve yet to find a song by any of them that didn’t either make me cry or dance around my living room.

If I had to pick the best concert I had ever been too it would have to be John Mayer on his In Search For Everything Tour, his stage show is so flawless and so well thought out! Not only was he musically great live but the whole production left me in awe.

The one artist I am still dying to see is Dolly Parton, she is such an iconic woman and her artistry has inspired and influenced me so much, seeing her live is definitely on my bucket list!

R&B NYC: On the topic of songwriting, let’s talk about the new EP you just released! Is there an underlying theme or feeling to Unfinished Business, and what gave you the idea to endure a Winnipeg winter in order to record it?

Hurt: The reason for enduring a Winnipeg winter is simple – Murray Pulver! When we decided it was time to go and record a new EP, the first thing we had to work out was who would produce it. I wrote a list of all my favourite producers and sent them all an email to see who would respond and Murray got back in touch. He had previously worked on The Bros. Landreth album “Let It Lie” which is just a stunning album and I wanted to capture some of that magic. When we finally spoke and I played him the demos, he instantly understood the vibe we were going for and a week later I had booked our flights and we were off to Canada. It was totally worth being that cold to go and work with him and his incredible team! In terms of an underlying theme, the songs all tend to speak for themselves but the one thing I would note is that each one tells the story of a protagonist who is being very clear about their feelings.  

R&B NYC: If you could choose a single song from the new record to speak for the rest of it, would you be able to? If so, which one would it be?

Hurt: I don’t think I could, each song on the new EP captures a very different feeling, one’s reflective, one’s sassy, one’s sad. I think they all lend themselves to telling a total story so it would be hard to choose just one that’s representative. We did name the EP “Unfinished Business” after one the tracks, but that stems from the song being so personal and also from the fact that this is just the beginning for me releasing music… and I’m not finished yet!

R&B NYC: What’s on the table for the rest of 2018? Are there any plans in the works to tour with the new EP?

Hurt: The rest of this year will see a couple more singles and then the release of the EP and then fingers crossed we will be touring again towards the end of the year. I can’t wait to get back out on the road and show people all the new songs!!

R&B NYC: Self-identifying as a word nerd as well, do you think there’s something valid about music being a universal language? Did growing up on both sides of the Atlantic affect your view of certain genres or artists at all?

Hurt: Oh absolutely, music is something that, if done right, captures an emotion or a feeling. I think regardless of language emotion be translated which is why if you put on a song in another language, even if you don’t understand it, you can still dance to it, or be moved by it. Growing up on both sides of the Atlantic definitely affected my view on genres, but honestly, I was more impacted by the music that my parents chose to put on. When we were living in the states, country music was in abundance and my dad used to play me Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves, and we would hear more modern country artists on the radio. My mom on the other hand, speaks 5 languages, so in the car with her we would be listening to anything and everything, all genres and languages welcome.

R&B NYC: That story about Sun Studios on your site’s bio page is nothing short of incredible. Can you describe the feeling of walking into that recording booth with headphones on?

Hurt: Thank you! That moment was so unexpected and so wonderful I can’t really describe it. I think I just spent the whole time trying to take it in and  pinch myself that it was actually happening!

R&B NYC: If you were to play a dream show at this point, which artist would you want to share the stage with, and what venue would you choose?

Hurt: That’s a really tough question, there are so many people that I would want to share the stage with and so many incredible venues that I haven’t had the chance to play on, there is too much choice!! If I absolutely had to choose though I would say Dolly Parton at The Ryman Auditorium – I think if I ever had the chance to sing with her in the mother church of country that would be something pretty special.

R&B NYC: Last but not least, the official two-part question of Rhythm & Boots: What pair of shoes and instrument can you absolutely not live without? Either presently, or of all-time, what are your favorite footwear and music-maker of choice?

Hurt: My favourite footwear is by far a pair of 5 inch heel, burgundy tassel ankle boots that I bought from Aldo. For two reasons, the first being that they were the first purchase I made at Green Hills mall in Nashville on my first solo trip out there and second because they go with everything I own and i have had all of my flared jeans altered so that they are the same length as the tassels. I wear them pretty much every single day. Favourite instrument would have to be my white gretsch falcon. The boys in my band bought it for me for my 20th birthday and it has a custom mandala on the front, I absolutely adore it.

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