A Clapham singer who quit acting to pursue her musical career and was snapped up by The Libertines drummer Gary Powell released her debut single last week.
Glasgow-born Kerri Watt released titular track Who’s Lovin’ Me Now from her EP release which also includes bluesy track Pirate Man and acoustic ballad So Crazy.
The pop song depicts modern romances and the failure of many short-term relationships despite attempting to make them work.
She said: “It’s about knowing what you want and not giving up in looking for love.”
The single, co-written with her friend Jessica Sharman, took just half an hour to write in the Elephant Lane Studios in London.
The 25-year-old, who moved south of the border at the beginning of the year, described her music as Californian-inspired pop/rock and is influenced by the likes of Cheryl Crow, Train and the Rolling Stones.
She said: “I spent every week travelling down here but having moved down I was able to write more of my own music and work with my manager Dan which meant I was doing bigger shows in London.”
Her manager, Dan Ickowitz-Seidler, Director of Propaganda, paid tribute to Kerri’s work ethic and explained how he loved working with her.
He said: “The great thing about working with Kerri is she’s so eager and hungry for success that she’s prepared to do as much as possible to get herself heard and seen by as many people she can.”
The young singer explained how much travelling she does every week, mainly on her own, to gigs where there will sometimes be just five people in the audience, but other times there will be 1,000.
When asked how she deals with both scenarios, she replied: “All experience is character building.
“It is much harder to play to just five people but I always shut my eyes and picture that I’m playing at Wembley.
“It’s much harder to play to just five people but I always shut my eyes and picture that I’m playing at Wembley.”
“I focus on giving my best performance, as I still need to impress.”
From a musical theatre background, Kerri realised music had always been her real passion as she sang any moment she could.
Straight out of college and touring as a UK actor in a musical with Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow she decided to teach herself the guitar and make the switch to the music industry full time.
She said: “I wasn’t getting to be creative, I was always playing someone else’s music but I knew that I always wanted to be centre stage – I wanted to be at the forefront and communicate my own thoughts and messages.”
Having travelled from gig to gig with her band for most of last year throughout the UK and America, playing around 150 sets, Kerri has taking this year to spend in the studio writing endlessly.
— Kerri Watt (@kerriwatt) September 28, 2014
Her main highlights were playing at festivals Whiskey-A-Go-Go in LA and Glastonbury this summer, but her ambitions to aim higher and higher don’t stop there.
She said: “It was really cool playing at Glastonbury but I was on a small stage.
“Next year I want to step up a bit and be a support for a big artist and work towards releasing an album on a bigger scale.”
During last year’s gigs, Libertines drummer, Gary Powell, saw Kerri perform and offered her an immediate deal with his re-launched record label, 25 Hour Convenience Store.
She said: “Gary has given me a great platform to work from as he is prolific in the London music culture with his credibility being well established.”
The signing has led to her first EP release and a portfolio of material with the aim of releasing a second EP early next year and subsequently an album.
Kerri has been working regularly at Tileyard Studios with a variety of well-known writers who have worked with the likes of Tinie Tempah, Chase and Status and Ella Eyre.
She said: “Building up a team around me has been so exciting and I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing writers who have worked with my heroes of the past.
“I arrive at the studios and it turns out I am writing with people who have worked with Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake – I feel so lucky!”
Her weekly schedule entails writing or recording sessions during the day, rehearsals, filming or playing gigs in the evenings and weekends, not to mention the administration side of self-promotion and social media management.
After playing live all weekend she summed it up: “I accept that it is something I am really passionate about – it is my life – I just have to put in every hour even when I am exhausted, but I want to.”
To follow Kerri’s progress, go to kerriwatt.com or follow her on twitter @kerriwatt