Georgian-born Katie Melua signed with Mike Batt's
independent record label Dramatico in September 2002,
no-one could have imagined that by the release of
her third album, ‘Pictures’, in 2007,
she would be the biggest-selling UK-based, female
artist in the world. Her first two albums, 'Call Off
The Search' and 'Piece By Piece' both became international
number ones with singles such as ‘The Closest
Thing To Crazy’ and ‘Nine Million Bicycles’
becoming airplay hits around the world.
The story was to continue with the album ‘Pictures’
securing Katie’s place as one of Britain’s
most successful artists of the new millennium. Katie
was on an exciting, record-breaking rollercoaster
ride involving several massive world tours, numerous
awards and many special moments - like playing on
stage for Nelson Mandela with the band Queen, dining
at Buckingham Palace with the real Queen, becoming
a British citizen, performing a gig at the bottom
of the North Sea, walking the Great Wall of China
and playing at London’s vast O2 Arena.
The release of 'Pictures' preceded a natural break
in Mike and Katie's writing relationship. “We
knew it was the last album we would write together,
at least for a while”, said Katie at the time.
“We both felt three was enough and I need to
go and further explore my identity as an artist, and
Mike has other projects he wants to do, too. These
albums have very much been a double act - a trilogy
of collaborations if you like. A chapter in our ongoing
Katie’s focus for the first half of 2009 was
America where she embarked on an acoustic tour performing
with just her guitar and piano for accompaniment “sometimes
it's nice to strip the songs back. That's how you
know whether a song is good or not — when it
can survive without such protection." Reunited
with her band, a summer of outdoor shows around Europe
concluded the tour before Katie settled down to start
work on her fourth album ‘The House’.
As one of Britain’s most successful artists
of the past decade, the release of ‘The House’
heralds a new phase in Katie’s musical career.
Recorded at Air Studios in London, the new album is
produced by William Orbit and sees Katie writing on
her own and with Guy Chambers, Rick Nowels, Mike Batt
and singer-songwriter and long-time friend Polly Scattergood.
The resulting album, entitled ‘The House’
has been described as sonically epic, adventurous
and dramatic and, whilst appealing to Katie's fans,
also promises to draw a new audience.
"In addition to being inspired by the values
in music from the past, I wanted to embrace the future.
First, by accepting the values that are treasured
more in music today and by projecting them forward.
I found if you went far enough in both directions
you end up in the same place. This thought was so
liberating it enabled me to be a lot more fearless
with expressing emotions, with challenging conventional
structures of song and, finally, still allowing simplicity
to stir the soul, as it so often does." explains
Written by Katie with Chambers & Lauren Christy,
the first single ‘The Flood’ had its worldwide
premier on BBC Radio 2 on Thursday 18th February.
‘The Flood’ was one of the songs that
enticed William Orbit out of his self-imposed retirement
as a producer: “I was captivated by Katie’s
voice when I first heard her demos in October last
year and, although not having been involved in record
production for some time, felt that I just had to
work with her. It turned out to be one of the most
rewarding experiences of my life and a pleasure from
start to finish.” recalls William. “When
I first started working with Katie, I posted on Twitter
that there was some pure magic about the sessions.
As the album progressed I felt this magical quality
more and more and I believe that the record that she
has made is very special indeed.”
Katie has already announced an extensive European
tour for autumn 2010 which will include 13 shows in
Britain in December. She will also be playing at festivals
and outdoor concerts this summer.