Soundtrack Of My Life: Kate Nash

Generation-defining singer-songwriter and acclaimed actress

The first song I remember hearing

Mary Black – ‘No Frontiers’

“There was this CD of Irish music that was always on in the car that my parents loved and it would just be on rotation when we’d be driving up north to see my granny in Newcastle or driving around Sligo or Cavan [in Ireland]. That song I really remember [from that], it’s the one I feel like I latched onto as a kid. I just loved ballads and being dramatic as a kid.”

The first album I ever bought


Celine Dion – ‘Falling Into You’

“We had a piano in my house so I was really drawn to the piano [in this song]. I loved the drama in her songs – I went from ballads to power ballads, it was like a step up. I sort of remember going to [buy it]. It would have been at Virgin and I remember I had this really cool dark blue, almost purple, clear plastic CD stacker and it was one of my first CDs in that.”

The first gig I went to

Steps at Wembley Arena, 1998

“I’m pretty sure the first live music I saw was Irish traditional music in a pub, but the first gig that we went to was at Wembley and it was Steps. My sister and I had a little group of some of my sister’s friends [who we went with]. I remember walking in to find our seats and being inside the arena and seeing how big it was. My parents were in Harrow, [northwest London], so we were quite close to Wembley and we saw a lot of gigs there. I saw Ronan Keating, All Saints, Blue, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child; quite a lot of massive pop shows there.”

The song that reminds me of home


Melanie – ‘Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma’

“I remember the line ‘Well, they picked it like chicken bone’. I really liked the fact that she was singing about her own song too, cos I wanted to be a singer and she was singing about that and what the audience had done to her song. It was really imaginative and descriptive.”

The song I wish I’d written

Kate Bush – ‘This Woman’s Work’

“Every time I hear that song it just does something to me. Sometimes you hear a song and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, I’m so inspired by this – I want to write a song like this’. But when you hear ‘This Woman’s Work’, you’re like, ‘This song is done and no one ever needs to write a song like this again’. I don’t even know how you write a song like this. It’s so beautiful and so meaningful as a woman to hear ‘This woman’s work, this woman’s worth’.”

The song I do at karaoke

Tammy Wynette – ‘Stand By Your Man’

“I haven’t been to karaoke since before COVID, but I would do that one. It’s such a good crooner song and you’ve got to have something that everybody knows the words to. It’s really fun and really satisfying, and kind of a little bit whiny too. So I’d do that or I would go in the other direction and I would do ‘The Real Slim Shady’.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Baby Dave – ‘Washing Machine’

“I actually just got into Isaac [Holman, aka Baby Dave]’s music at the end of last year. I get so excited now when I’m into an album because I feel like it happens rarely that I digest a full record now in a modern way that reminds me of when I was a kid, where I would get obsessed with an album and only listen to that for ages. I just started messaging Isaac about it cos he has OCD and he talks about it and I have OCD as well. We actually collaborated on something recently that is coming out soon. But I just love that record cos it’s so funny and so British and so sincere at the same time. I love how playful he is, but also genuine. It’s just really catchy, that song. He’s got really, really good melodies and I love that it’s about lots of kitchen sink, everyday stuff and what’s going on in his life.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Any songs by my ex-boyfriends

“That’s a hard one. What songs can’t I listen to anymore? You could just put ‘songs by my ex-boyfriends’.”

The song that makes me cry

Brigitte Aphrodite – ‘Creshendorious’

“She is one of my favourite artists ever. She’s just an incredible poet and she’s this really fucking raw force of a human and artist. Her art and her words just cut straight to the core. She made this show called My Beautiful Black Dog, which is about depression – Brie says depression becomes like a frenemy. [This song] is about how to describe being in love with someone, but also hurting them and yourself. Every time I listen to her music it makes me emotional because I feel like it’s so evocative and so honest.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Architects ft. Nay Nay – ‘Body Groove’

“Basically any UK garage song, I would get on the dancefloor. There’s so many songs where I’m quick on the dancefloor but if I heard [sings opening notes of ‘Body Groove’], I’d be straight on there. My older sister got into UK garage, and I just got into everything that she did. She’d always have garage blasting out of her room and she listened to pirate radio stations. The thing with sisters is, if someone gets something, you don’t get it as well – you just, by proxy, share it with them and latch onto it and I just totally latched onto UK garage.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Queen – ‘Somebody To Love’

“It would have to be a Queen song – ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ would be really funny, but I think ‘Somebody To Love’ would be the perfect song for my funeral. It’s gonna make people happy and there’s no one better than Freddie. It makes everyone feel the same way as well, so I feel like it would be this really celebratory, emotional song about love and I think that’s a beautiful thing to have at a funeral.”

Kate Nash stars in vegan impact comedy ‘Coffee Wars’, out now on VOD in the UK 

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