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Katy B – Katy On A Mission review

Female funky star du jour, 20-year-old Katy B is definitely on a mission. A graduate of the Brit School and Goldsmith’s College, London, she has worked with Benga, Geeneus, Zinc and DJ NG, sung on Magnetic Man’s “Perfect Stranger”, The Count & Sinden’s “Hold Me” and is swiftly becoming the go to vocalist for all manner of funky, R&B, house and garage tracks. With a credibility that belies her years, she’s garnered interest from across the board. Rinse FM have been plugging her hard, fabric have pledged their support, even The Guardian have dubbed Katy their hot ‘New Band Of The Day’. She’s also heading towards a top ten hit…with this song right here.

Taking Benga’s original “Man On A Mission” riddim, Katy effortlessly translates it into a shimmering slice of gently matured, pop-orientated beauty. “When we erupt in to the roo-oooo-oom / And hear the sub go boo-oooo-oom,” she sings, “so I sink in to the tune…” Her honeyed vocals are smooth, polished and oozing with class; lyrics are catchy, but cool; and the tenure of the track, the reason why it’s captured the heart of millions, is due to its downright danceability. It’s hard to tire of that glorious refrain, the throbbing bassline, which basks underneath those swooning, serotonin soaring vocals, those strong Benga drumbeats with their honed dubstep edge and simple repetitive low-end synth riff, which drives it along.

Zinc brings his crack house production skills to flipside “Louder”. Waves of rocking synths, whispering percussion and jacking bass undulate like a stormy ocean, as Katy’s cry to make it “louder…louder…louder…” heralds a progression in the music, a rise in volume and a shift in the tempo. Lyrics such as “As I buy another round / With my final twenty pound / It seems as if my money’s spent / How am I gonna pay the rent?” seem a little Lily Allen-esque at times, but with rather more gravitas and refined aplomb.

There’s no doubt about it that the next year is going to be a big one for our heroine. With mounting hype, attention from major labels, a coveted place on the Radio One playlist and impending chart success, the question on everyone’s lips is: what will Katy do next?

Belinda Rowse