Cat Burns at The Great Escape 2022: “My brain can’t compute the success of ‘Go’ – it’s mind-boggling”

The south London vocalist joins us at Brighton's The Great Escape to discuss hit single 'Go' and her upcoming Years & Years support slot

The slow-burning success of Cat Burns’ ‘Go’ is testament to not just to the track’s relatability and gorgeous, low-key arrangement, but its creator’s determination to establish themselves as one of British pop’s most authentic voices. Originally released in 2020, the track’s popularity has grown exponentially in recent months after its brilliantly direct lyrics (“I’ll sing it loud in case you don’t already know / Pack up your shit and go”) soundtracked over 70,000 candid TikTok videos – and counting.

Earlier this month, the song peaked at Number Three on the UK Singles Chart, sitting below mega hits from globe-dominating superstars Jack Harlow (‘First Class’) and Harry Styles (‘As It Was’). For the 23-year-old, the experience felt like a fever dream, as she explains to NME at Brighton’s The Great Escape festival: “My brain just cannot compute that [the song] is at that level. It’s mind-boggling,” she says.

But when Burns wrote the song after a cathartic break-up, she knew that the song had something special from the off: “When I put [‘Go’] out, I did think that it would be the song that started my career, but not in the way that it has. When it hit a million streams, I thought it was cute, but now it’s at 50 million streams, which has changed everything for me!”

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Over the next few months, the south London artist will continue to ascend to even greater heights, starting with the release of her a support slot for Years & Years’ forthcoming UK tour later this month (May 19 – 28). The six-date jaunt even includes a massive hometown show for Burns at Wembley’s OVO Arena. For Burns, at which she’ll air new material from her ‘Emotionally Unavailable’ EP, released next week (May 20).

For Burns, who became a fan of Olly Alexander and his music as Years & Years after watching the vocalist and actor in Channel 4’s It’s A Sin last year, being asked to open the tour means is a major win on a personal level, as well as professional. Of Alexander’s performance in the BAFTA-nominated series, which also topped NME‘s Best TV Shows of 2021 list, she says: “I was crying the whole season. After watching a show, I have to watch a million interviews [of the cast] – and [Olly] just seems like a really nice person. I can’t wait!”

Watch our full interview with Cat Burns at The Great Escape 2022 above

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