A GoPride Interview

Katy Tiz

Whistle (While You Work It): Katy Tiz set to make a 'Big Bang' in Chicago

Wed. February 18, 2015  by Jerry Nunn

I find that so weird that people listen to my songs sometimes.
Katy Tiz
British pop singer-songwriter Katy Tiz's new song "Whistle (While You Work It)" is expected to be her next big jam. The up-and-coming British Pop star quickly became a mainstream success after releasing her first single "The Big Bang", which led her to landing a recording contract with Atlantic Records.

Originally signed to Lava/Republic, She released three singles "Famous","Heart", and "Red Cup." Now with a new attitude Katy Tiz is poised to be a ‘big bang' in the music world.

Jerry Nunn talked to Katy Tiz about her explosive success and upcoming appearance at Roscoe's Tavern in Boystown.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hey, Katy. Where are you calling me from?

KT: (Katy Tiz) Hi, Darling! I'm currently in LA and it is beautiful. Where are you?

JN: In Chicago and it's cold.

KT: Is it really cold? Do I need to get a scarf and a warm hat to come there?

JN: Yes.

KT: I will dress like a penguin so that is fine.

JN: I know you are British but where are you from?

KT: I am basically from outside London on the coast. I lived for a few years in London and my brother still lives there. My family still lives out by the water. I grew up around horses and things like that, which is so weird because I am not that kind of person anymore. It is so strange being from there and living on the other side of the world that is for sure.

JN: Did you always want to be a singer?

KT: No, absolutely not. I wanted to be an actress but I was too nervous to do it. People wanted to me to go to acting class and I didn't want to go. I just wanted to be one not study for it. My parents knew I would be a nightmare growing up. I didn't actually start singing until I was 18 with a couple of friends. I fell into it really quickly. Within week of singing our first note were we started doing gigs out there everywhere.

I told my dad that I loved it. He said, "If you are going to get out there and work then I will support you." I'm still here!

JN: What singers influenced you starting out?

KT: When I was growing up I listened to a lot Alicia Keys and India Arie. I liked hip hop. I have an older brother George so whatever he was listening to. I wanted to be like him. We listened to reggae at home. He would have on any song from Bob Marley. I would say Bob Marley is the theme music to my family for sure.

JN: Where did your fashion sense come from?

KT: I have absolutely no idea. I am the kind of person that wears a leather jacket in the middle of Phoenix. I really haven't gotten this down in America. My style is whatever makes you feel comfortable and feel good. I only wear one earring because my mother never wore matching earrings nor do I so that is taken from her. I find it impossible to find matching earrings anyway so it has worked out really well.

JN: I wore out your song "The Big Bang."

KT: Yesss!

JN: I didn't know it was a cover song.

KT: Yes, it is a cover song. Basically I was assigned to a different record label from 2012 to 2013 and that didn't work out. I was introduced to Rock Mafia by one of the team there at the label. They had written the song and had no luck on radio with it. They thought it could be a big hit and asked me to sing it. So I sang it and we put it out independently, which was crazy because Clear Channel or iHeartRadio put me as a "On the Verge" artist. That got me signed to Atlantic Records. That was an amazing process and they were incredible to support me. iHeart changed my life in a second.

Now crazily enough it has been nearly a year since I was signed to Atlantic Records. This is my first time coming out with them. We have spent the last few months getting everything in order in the studio, the single, and the album done. I guess this is actually it now, which is really scary!

JN: The new song "Whistle (While U Work It) is perfect for the gay crowd because it's about working it obviously.

KT: Yes, love it!

JN: I am happy you are performing at a gay bar because that is where your audience should be.

KT: It is the best people and people to perform for because everyone is so fabulous. They all want a good time and it is scary performing a new song but I have had such an amazing reaction. It is a good situation to premiere this single. I am so happy I am doing it and get to do this. That is why I need some people to teach me some dance moves.

JN: What is the other music like on the album?

KT: We have a really big duet that I wrote with my brother and a friend of ours. I can't tell you who is on it yet but I would if I could.

At the moment we are trying to narrow down about a hundred songs. That is really tough because there is a whole team of us putting together the album. I'm trying to instigate some sort of arm wrestling competition, which would help on who gets what on the album. Good thing that I am arm strong!

We have the first two singles lined up and deciding on a third. We are making a plan and I feel so confident at last about this project. I have worked with some amazing people. J.R. Rotem is a fantastic producer and well known with a incredible history behind him. I wrote another song with my brothers, which was a dream but I wouldn't tell them that because it is too nice.

JN: How is it working with a brother on a record?

KT: It is a lot quicker than working with anyone else because it goes like this, I go, "Hey, I have this idea" and he goes, "That's rubbish!" Then we decide on something completely different. You don't have to sugar coat anything. We trust each other so much. I knew he wouldn't do anything that wasn't good.

We will go in and get something done, finished, and produced then be in the pub by seven o'clock. We are certainly a lot quicker to get things done. We have worked together for a few years now together.

JN: How many brothers and sisters do you have?

KT: I have one blood brother, but there are two with Rick and George. They work together as writers and producers in England. George is my blood brother and Rick has been there since the beginning.

They are bloody madmen when it comes to work!

JN: Have you been to Chicago before?

KT: I have. I was there for about ten minutes and I didn't really have much time. I am obsessed with the city. I flew in at one in the morning. I was walking around like a zombie.

It was amazing and I wanted to stay there. I would move there but you just told me it gets cold!

JN: Do you live in LA now or are you still in England?

KT: I live in LA but I kind of would like to move to the East Coast. I think I am going to stay in LA for a bit until the weather gets better then I will bugger off from there.

JN: You are going on a tour to promote the new music right?

KT: I am. Today is my first day. I am doing a show in LA then I am off to more places. I am packing right now. I have fifty pairs of underwear and 20,000 eyelashes. That is all I need, right? That was easy. It is what I have learned about packing.

JN: Yes, pack light. Will you throw a big party for the release of the album?

KT: We will but that won't be until later around the end of the year. We have the singles now to get out and promote.

If we do have a party I will disappear and end up in Vegas then everyone will find me by Instagram!

JN: I am so excited you are playing at Roscoe's.

KT: Will you be there?

JN: Of course. I have been listening to your music for awhile so I am glad to see you perform it live.

KT: That blows my mind, I find that so weird that people listen to my songs sometimes.

JN: We can have a drink together. Do you have a favorite thing to drink?

KT: When I drink then I DRINK! I certainly did this weekend for the Grammys and I think I am still not over it. I can't drink when I am on tour, which is so unfair but I am offended when people aren't drinking around me when on tour. I want people to have a good time. I will drink like a warm tea next to you.

JN: That is very responsible.

KT: Yeah, but very boring!

Get down with the Tiz at katytizmusic.com and catch her live and in person at Roscoe's Tavern, 3356 N Halsted, on February 20.

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.