Even the most cursory of glances over Kate Elsworth’s career to dateshould leave you in no doubt that she is an artist with ambition and, moreimportantly, the talent with which to achieve the exemplary standards she setsherself. Critical acclaim in the studio and gigs at the world greatest clubsdon’t come for free, and Elsworth’s hard work, class and utter devotion to herown musical calling have elevated her to the electronic elite in record time.
Elsworth started writing her own songs when she was 15, strummingsimple chords on the guitar and indulging her passion for heady jazz vocalsafter immersing herself in the dusty panoramas etched by the likes of NinaSimone and Erykah Badu. Despite no formal musical tuition, shaping melodies andintertwining them with her own lyrics came naturally to her, and it wasn’t longbefore Elsworth made her firststep on the road to becoming a professional musician; in her own words, “therewas nothing else I wanted to do.”
At 19 – like so many of her Antipodean peers – she moved from hernative Australia to London, and began working and performing in the capital’snumerous jazz bars, building a reputation as a singer and all the while honingher songwriting craft. It was, however, a holiday to Ibiza that first formallyintroduced her to house music and kick-started her career in music proper.
This single-mindedness and devotion to her cause is a characteristicthat has stood Elsworth in such good stead and was the catalyst for her firstbig break. Demos of her first records found their way into the lap of fellowAustralian producer Dirty South, and ‘Alive’ and ‘Eyes Wide Open’ were born.Both records went on to become huge, international club hits, propellingElsworth into the spotlight.
Despite the runaway success of her debut records, Elsworth remainedlevel-headed and immediately started to focus on the next stage of her career.“I really wanted to be in control of my own music, so rather than just tryingto get other people to play my records I was determined to learn to DJ so Icould promote myself.” DJing, as with songwriting, came naturally to her, anddespite being told by friends that it would probably take a few years beforeshe would be skilled enough to perform in public, her next break came muchquicker than anyone had anticipated. “Within 6 months I had my first gig atPacha, New York… it was insane! I had been totally fine with the fact that itwould probably take a while, but it just all happened so quickly.” Gigs in someof the world’s most prestigious clubbing establishments soon followed,including a return to Ibiza and performances at Blue Marlin and the legendaryAmnesia.
Elsworth’s rise has undoubtedly been meteoric and the success of herrecords with the likes of Dirty South and Thomas Gold have rightly afforded herthe opportunity to make her name with her ‘mainroom’ sound, however her musicalpassions range far and wide, both within house music and into other genres. Shefrequently explores the deeper side of house music in her mixes, and iscurrently working on her debut album which will showcase her undeniablesongwriting talent across a broad spectrum of electronic textures.
Again making regular trips to what surely be staking a claim as herspiritual home of NYC, Elsworth is working with a host of producers on an albumshe plans to release some time in 2013. “I want to make real music, make aproper record and then have dance guys remix those tracks for the clubs” shesays of the project. “It’s anhonour and truly inspiring to work with so many incredible producers and I wantto make the most of it.”
The remainder of 2012 sees Elsworth continuing her run ofhigh-profile gigs, with appearances at Liv, Miami and Oro Club, Santo Domingopreceding her appearance in Santiago, Chile alongside electronic musicsuperstar Tiesto, and with fresh tracks and remixes on the horizon, Elsworth isending the year in fine form.
Kate Elsworth is an artist who has already brought joy to thousandsthroughout her insatiable enthusiasm and undeniable musical gift, but it seemsas if this is only the start of a long, glittering career. As Elsworth herself says, “make thepeople happy”; it’s a sentiment that’s worked wonders for her this far and willsurely continue to do so.