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KT Tunstall comes to The Trocadero and talks 'Tiger Suit' with Philly2Philly

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Grammy Award nominated artist KT Tunstall is coming to the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia Friday, November 26th. Fresh of the release of her third album, 'Tiger Suit,' Tunstall talked with Philly2Philly's Nicky Vallee about her new album, musical influences, and her short but successful musical career. 

Nicky Vallee: Your new album 'Tiger Suit' is a bit more bluesy than some of your previous recordings. Where did you draw inspiration from when writing the new material?

KT Tunstall: I was really excited to re-visit my passion for dance music. Artists such as Leftfield, DJ Shadow KT Tunstall photo: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_0vSendVTxII/TE7RvH4l7JI/AAAAAAAAARI/l1pu1qkqXpU/s400/kt-tunstall.jpgand Lamb were big favourites of mine through the 90's. But also, i was really getting off on listening to Eddie Cochran, and I always listen to blues no matter what day of the week. I wanted to try and marry the rawness and the electronica together, and inject that pulse into the music creating acoustic music that could just as easily be played in a club. There was definitely a wild streak in me that came out making this record.

NV: You were involved with something called the Cape Farewell project, where you lived with other musicians and artists to help raise awareness about climate change. How did that experience change your perspective on the world we live in and did it have an affect on your music?

KT: I wrote the album opener 'Uummannaq Song' about a settlement we visited. I fantasised about being in that landscape as a kid. I've always been fascinated by nomadic life, and I guess I sort of live it myself now. I learnt a great deal on that trip, made good friends, and found the experience was a mirror held up to my creativity which made me question myself in an ultimately helpful way due to being surrounded by über talented fellow sailors. I've always been a total nature freak, so the trip further deepeed my love and respect for wild, natural landscape.

NV: You are now three albums into an already brilliant career. How has your stage show and your relationship with audiences evolved over the last several years?

KT: Well, thank you! I suppose I feel so at home now on stage, fronting a show. It really is a travelling circus; the band and crew are like family. I feel more at ease, more able to connect with a crowd straight away, and even less worried about bloopers and mess-ups than I used to be - they are often the audience's favourite part of the show!!

NV:  Among others, you cite Joni Mitchell as having influenced your music. Who and what else would you say has inspired and informed your work to date?

KT: Carol King for her incredible, perfect songwriting, Beck for his diversity, Damon Albarn for his annoying genius, Chrissie Hynde & Patti Smith for their power and talent, and I'll always love the old blues artists - Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday. And Django Reinhardt; if he can play like that with 3 fingers, I've no excuse! And Ali Farke Touré! I can't stop...

NV-: You've been nominated for numerous BRIT Awards and a Grammy nomination in 2007. When you look back on your career thus far, what are you most proud of?

KT: My career in the Americas has a huge sense of pride attached for me. As a British artist, it's such a precarious thing - whether you will be able to tour America. Of course I love playing the UK and elsewhere, but it means a huge amount to me that I can gig across this continent, I love it.

Nicky Vallee is a freelance writer, wine blogger and public relations and marketing associate. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, traveling, playing guitar, collecting 60's and 70's pop culture memorabilia, and wine tasting.

Check out Nicky's blog Vino Chick at http://vinochick.blogspot.com/