Even the most cursory of glances over Kate Elsworth’s career to date should leave you in no doubt that she is an artist with ambition and, more importantly, the talent with which to achieve the exemplary standards she sets herself. Critical acclaim in the studio and gigs at the world greatest clubs don’t come for free, and Elsworth’s hard work, class and utter devotion to her own musical calling have elevated her to the electronic elite in record time.
Elsworth started writing her own songs when she was 15, strumming simple chords on the guitar and indulging her passion for heady jazz vocals after immersing herself in the dusty panoramas etched by the likes of Nina Simone and Erykah Badu. Despite no formal musical tuition, shaping melodies and intertwining them with her own lyrics came naturally to her, and it wasn’t long before Elsworth made her first step on the road to becoming a professional musician; in her own words, “there was nothing else I wanted to do.”
At 19 – like so many of her Antipodean peers – she moved from her native Australia to London, and began working and performing in the capital’s numerous jazz bars, building a reputation as a singer and all the while honing her songwriting craft. It was, however, a holiday to Ibiza that first formally introduced her to house music and kick-started her career in music proper.
This single-mindedness and devotion to her cause is a characteristic that has stood Elsworth in such good stead and was the catalyst for her first big break. Demos of her first records found their way into the lap of fellow Australian producer Dirty South, and ‘Alive’ and ‘Eyes Wide Open’ were born. Both records went on to become huge, international club hits, propelling Elsworth into the spotlight.
Despite the runaway success of her debut records, Elsworth remained level-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 trying to get other people to play my records I was determined to learn to DJ so I could promote myself.” DJing, as with songwriting, came naturally to her, and despite being told by friends that it would probably take a few years before she would be skilled enough to perform in public, her next break came much quicker than anyone had anticipated. “Within 6 months I had my first gig at Pacha, New York… it was insane! I had been totally fine with the fact that it would probably take a while, but it just all happened so quickly.” Gigs in some of the world’s most prestigious clubbing establishments soon followed, including a return to Ibiza and performances at Blue Marlin and the legendary Amnesia.
Elsworth’s rise has undoubtedly been meteoric and the success of her records with the likes of Dirty South and Thomas Gold have rightly afforded her the opportunity to make her name with her ‘mainroom’ sound, however her musical passions range far and wide, both within house music and into other genres. She frequently explores the deeper side of house music in her mixes, and is currently working on her debut album which will showcase her undeniable songwriting talent across a broad spectrum of electronic textures.
Again making regular trips to what surely be staking a claim as her spiritual home of NYC, Elsworth is working with a host of producers on an album she plans to release some time in 2013. “I want to make real music, make a proper record and then have dance guys remix those tracks for the clubs” she says of the project. “It’s an honour and truly inspiring to work with so many incredible producers and I want to make the most of it.”
The remainder of 2012 sees Elsworth continuing her run of high-profile gigs, with appearances at Liv, Miami and preceding her appearance in Santiago, Chile alongside electronic music superstar Tiesto, and with fresh tracks on the horizon, Elsworth is ending the year in fine form.
Kate Elsworth is an artist who has already brought joy to thousands throughout her insatiable enthusiasm and undeniable musical gift, but it seems as if this is only the start of a long, glittering career. As Elsworth herself says, “make the people happy”; it’s a sentiment that’s worked wonders for her this far and will surely continue to do so.