Inverness singer/songwriter Katie Gregson-MacLeod literally became an overnight sensation last August, when she posted a performance clip of a new song called Complex on TikTok late at night and woke to tens of thousands of views and admiring comments from some musicians she can now call her peers.
The delighted reaction to her song led to a label deal with Sony, an Ivor Novello Award nomination for Best Song Musically and Lyrically and her relocation to London earlier this year, among other pinch-me moments for the former history student.
She spoke to Entertainment Now about the past whirlwind of a year and her future plans.
“The last year I struggle putting into words. Being nominated for the Ivor Novello was beyond anything I could have anticipated. It wasn’t even something I put in my sights because it felt so far-reaching. To be recognised in that category with some of my idols, to have my songwriting affirmed like that, it was all very surreal. As a songwriter, I couldn’t really have asked for a greater honour – unless I’d won of course…
“Then it was into the first proper festival season of my career. I played lots in mainland Europe as well as around the UK. I always go into festival slots with a bit of uncertainty, but every gig was the loveliest surprise. Everywhere I went people were attentive, even if they weren’t previously aware of my music. There were also a surprising number of people who were aware, which is even more bizarre. My highlight was probably Radio 1 Big Weekend or Belladrum – the former was really cool and was the first time I’d heard people singing Complex back to me that loud. The latter felt like coming home, and was a really full-circle moment.
“I’ve had a lot more time to reflect this year than at the end of last year. More time and space afforded to me amongst the madness. I still find it hard to process quite how much my life changed, but I do have a great team around me keeping me sane. I made a conscious decision early this year to throw myself into the writing process, because for me when that isn’t the focus, I feel thrown. I was in the studio a lot in the first half of the year, making my next EP Big Red and demoing for a later project aswell. Being in the studio is the best and most fulfilling for me. I leave with the sense that I actually might be a singer-songwriter rather than a social media content creator or whatever else my role demands of me.
“I’m really excited to be releasing new music now. Big Red comes out on the 13th of October. It’s the story of one relationship in five songs. The first two, Your Ex and Guestlist, are already out now and I can’t wait to have the rest unleashed and to be playing them live on tour in November/December.”
Katie Gregson-MacLeod plays The Grand Social, Dublin, 28 Nov, Summerhall, Edinburgh, 30 Nov, King Tut’s, Glasgow, 3 Dec, Deaf Institute, Manchester, 4 Dec, Hare & Hounds 2, Birmingham, 5 Dec and Tabernacle, London, 7 Dec