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We’re back with our artist insight feature ‘NE Hot Seat’ – where we sit down with some of the North East’s brightest talent on a monthly basis, shine a spotlight on their latest work and find out what they have planned next.

Next up we have Neo-soul singer-songwriter and BBC Introducing Tip for 2022 Kate Bond. As co-founder of female music collective NEWISM (North East Women in Soul Music), Kate is dedicated to representing and supporting women in the scene. Bradford, Newcastle and London can all now lay claim to calling Kate theirs. An alumni of our First Notes programme, Kate has seen success with her track release on the programme as well as on her debut EP ‘Divide and Rule’ that came out this month.

Check out our chat with Kate about ‘Divide and Rule‘ and her career so far

Firstly, congrats on your new release! How does it feel to get your first music of 2023 out there?

I imagine it’s the same as giving birth hahaha. Feel like I’ve had all this creative energy in side of me for a while now especially this EP which was put on hold by numerous factors, so very pleased to finally have it out. 2023 feels like I have turned a new leaf, so I’m really pleased to have started it with a big body of work.

Can you tell us a bit more about your ‘Divide and Rule’ EP and what it means to you?

Divide and rule is a collection of songs that show my growth as an artist. It is very much an ode to my roots, with my mum being a huge influence in the feminist nature and my dad sonically through the jazzy vibes. For me it has really set the tone for the artist I want to become.

We really admire your DIY attitude! Have you got any advice for artists who are thinking about putting on their own gigs?

Thank you! I think being DIY at the start is really important as you need to know how to do everything yourself. I think putting on your own shows is a huge learning curve and has definitely helped with my business mindset. Having to sort the venue and promote it yourself teaches you so much about advertising, monetising your music and networking. I would advise any artist who knows they can fill a venue to have a go at putting it on themselves, even if it’s a complete fail you will learn so much from it and who knows you might actually come out making a profit!

What else can we expect from you in 2023?

Talking about DIY I am actually teaching myself to produce at the moment with the goal to release my next stuff fully produced by me. I think whilst I am still relatively small I want to take risks with my music and become really self sufficient. Especially being a woman in music I think it’s important to learn the ropes which means hopefully I will be more consistent with my releases. I have just booked my next headline show in London which will take place at Paper dress vintage in Hackney on the 8th of June, playing a few festivals and hopefully back in Newcastle in the summer. So yeah more of the same really the work never ends but I absolutely love it.

What’s your favourite thing about Newcastle’s music scene?

Deffo the community. I love the little network I have there and how everything is so grassroots and supportive. I think London can be so overwhelming so when I came back for my tour it was such a good feeling.

Divide and Rule EP is out now. Listen here

Check out Kates’s picks of their top tracks from their favourite North East acts below:

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