Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Birmingham’s Katie Canning. Together we discussed their home of Birmingham, music as therapy, self love, their upcoming single “STATEOFURLIFE”, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?

I’m very well thank you! I’ve just walked my dog, it’s a beautiful crisp day and I’ve got a Sunday roast on the go.  No complaints here! Hope you’re good?! 

2. Mustard wonders what your relationship with music was growing up? Was there an artist or band you found yourself attached too when you were a young human?

I’ve grown up around music since I came out the womb. Cliche I know. I have such a musical family. We are the type that wack the guitar out for a sing song at every given moment. I’d say Taylor Swift was the artist that inspired me to write music and play the guitar. 

3. You hail from the workshop of the world. What type of workshops take place in Birmingham? How has Birmingham helped shape you artistically?’

Birmingham is growing each year and i’d go as far to say it’s becoming a strong contender with London! It has such an amazing music scene and I hate that I have only recently discovered it in the last few years! There’s lots of promotors and venues that support upcoming artists. 

4. Is Birmingham still under order by The Peaky Blinders? Have you come across Thomas Shelby or any other members?

Haha no I have not however I do live 5 minutes away from places that part of The Peaky Blinders were filmed… The Black Country Museum! I would simply pass away if I saw Tommy Shelbz not gonna lie. 

5. Your last name is Canning. Do humans often ask you if you have jams or pickled products?

Hahahahaha funnily enough no. This is in fact a stage name. My last name is actually Dugmore. Canning is from my Nan’s side of the family who were very musical so I decided to stick with it as a ‘stage name’ 

6. Is there an album or song that had a significant impact on you growing up? Could you share more?

A Night at the Opera – Queen 

My dads brother Brian died in a car accident when he was 21 and Queen was his favourite band. Brian was very musical himself and played in numerous bands. This album has always held a special place in my families heart.

7. What is your songwriting process? 

I wouldn’t say I have much of a structure tbh. It can at times be quite chaotic. A lot of my time  can be spent on trains commuting from work, this is usually where I get random lyrics that pop into my head. The notes app on my phone is like a diary of song writing for me. 

8. How has social media helped you as an artist? Do you have a favorite platform?

I would say Tiktok is my favourite however I haven’t quite mastered it yet, aka still waiting to go viral hahaha… I love Instagram it will always be my baby. What was life like without social media ay?

9. You consider music to be therapy. Could you share more about this notion?

I think music is such a beautiful and magical thing and can be therapy for so many people. I’m not one to speak about how I feel with ease ,on a deep level, but I feel like with music it’s different. Without sounding too cheesy it makes me feel free. 

10. You are trained in Musical Theatre. Would you say theatre helped prepare you for an artist? Are there any commonalities between the two? Do you have a favorite production you’ve been in?

I have always struggled with performance anxiety. I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to overcome that anxiety but MT definitely grew my confidence. I’m still learning how to incorporate what I learnt with MT into my live shows now. Although you want your performance to be authentically yourself you still want that element of a ‘show’ so people are entertained. My favourite production was probably ‘Made in Dagenham’, it was my second year production at drama school and I played a ditzy but funny character called ‘Clare’. I do missed that side of performing! 

11. Who (or what) influences you?

I absolutely adore Hayley Williams from Paramore. I think she’s just so cool and an amazing live performer.

12. In 2018 you released “Infinite.” What was the inspiration behind this single?

At the time I had not long left drama school, I was working in a job that didn’t fulfil me and was feeling quite depressed. My best friend was living in London at the time and had asked me if I wanted to move in with him and essentially start a new life there! From then there was a spark in me that just thought ‘why the heck not’ and I packed my bags and moved to Peckham. With that I wrote ‘infinite’. 

13. What is something you wish was infinite?

Life and health 

14. Why is it important that humans partake in self-love? Did your own self-love inspire your single of the same name?

Without self-love the world would be a miserable place. It’s so important for your mental well-being to appreciate your mind /body and what we are capable of! I’ve struggled with self love/confidence a lot over the years and my song was written at a time where I wished I could see the positive things other people could see in me. 

15. Rather than let it get you down you laughed about it. Was “Laugh about it” based off your actual experience?

Laugh about was more of a ‘POV’ about reminiscing and missing somebody. You know when you have those moments that happen and you think “aww if so and so was here we have laughed about that” 

16. What can fans expect from your upcoming single “STATEOFURLIFE?”

State of ur life is about the modern struggles of living in your 20s in a world that is not getting any easier for the younger generation. Although it has a deep meaning to it it also has a groove that makes you want to get up and dance!!

17. You have an headlining show coming up on February 16th. For those who have not seen you perform before, how would you describe your live performances? Do you have anything special lined up for this show?

We had been deprived of live music for a long time though the lock down ages and I think that time away from live music had made us appreciate it so much more. I think it’s just so lovely to get a room full of people together listening and vibing. If you come to my gig rest assured it will be full of love and good vibes! 

18. Where can readers listen to your music?

All streaming platforms!!! Spotify, iTunes, Amazon music, TikTok, YouTube, you name it !!!


One thought on “Learning Self-Love with Katie Canning

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