Cathy Jain on playing NME’s House Of Papa: “There’ll be a lot of new music”

The 17-year-old Yala! Records signing discusses the forthcoming London show, her imminent debut EP and psychedelic new material

In partnership with Papa John’s

17-year-old dreamy indie singer Cathy Jain has become a burgeoning star this summer. The singer, who released her debut single ‘Cool Kid’ back in June, has won hearts and minds with her blend of Taylor Swift-inspired, confessional storytelling and psych-flecked instrumentals.

This promise is set to be solidified on her debut EP ‘Artificial’, which is due for release on November 5. In the run-up to the EP launch, Jain will play one of her first ever live shows this month as part of NME’s House Of Papa showcase, in partnership with Papa John’s, at an intimate London music venue on September 29.


Ahead of the show, Jain speaks to NME about new single ‘Green Screen’, the long wait for her debut live shows, and the new material she’ll be debuting at the special NME gig.

How does it feel to be playing live shows again?

“I actually played my first ever live gig as Cathy Jain at Latitude Festival earlier this summer. It made me want to play live so much more, I can’t wait for next summer and all the festivals. I got my first band together recently and have a drummer and guitarist and a keys player. We did around five rehearsals together, and after those five practices it already sounded amazing.”

You first started releasing music during the pandemic – how has that experience been, and what are you excited for now the world is opening up again?

“It’s been weird – I’ve just been meeting everyone through a computer screen and have only just met my manager and the people at Yala! Records. I’ve loved being able to go to gigs again now, and one of the first I went to after restrictions were lifted was Holly Humberstone. Finn Askew was supporting, so I’m really excited that we now get to play together at the House of Papa gig!”

Your new single ‘Green Screen’ has just been released – what can you tell us about it?

“It’s quite different to my other tracks. It’s one I’m super proud of, and it’s sort of a Lana Del Rey-inspired thing. I’m so excited about releasing all the music I have ready.”

And your debut EP ‘Artificial’ is following in November – what can we expect from that?


“The whole EP was recorded remotely. I did it all last year during lockdown with producer Rob Heron. To start with, my dad asked him what software I should get to use for producing and making beats myself, but then we ended up talking and working on tracks and it just started from there. We just got started on a tonne of songs, and ended up working really, well together. Rob’s really into psychedelic and weird kinds of music and made the songs sound so interesting and psychedelic and jazzy. It was a unique and wonderful experience.”

“Since then, I’ve been listening to lots of psychedelic artists to try and really understand the genre. I’ve been enjoying a lot of The Flaming Lips and some Pink Floyd stuff, as well as more indie-psych stuff like Khruangbin. It’s been a time of discovery!”

You’ve linked up with Yala! Records to release the new EP – how have you found that experience?

“They’re amazing people, and just so lovely and so passionate about music, which is the most important thing. They just got in contact with my manager, and they were talking about signing new artists and finding new music. They seemed to just really like this EP, and so we immediately met in London a couple of weeks later.

“I’ve been waiting to meet all the people who have been working with me on my music – and I still haven’t met Rob [Gavin Heron, producer] in person yet, even after we’ve worked on so much stuff together. I just love meeting fellow music lovers!”

Have you been working on any more new music since the EP was finished, and can we expect to hear you debut any new music at the House Of Papa gig?

“Yeah, I’m actually in London now in recording sessions. For the House of Papa, there’ll be a lot of music from the next big project that I’m working on right now. It’s a genre-mix, and very exploratory. The music feels more psychedelic, but still indie and maintaining the alt-pop vibes that I enjoy making. It’s very much space-oriented, exploring weird noises.”

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