KT Tunstall ready for 'massive knees-up' after homecoming shows

Tunstall recalls her breakthrough moment and reveals whether she still has her accent.

Can you believe it’s almost 20 years since KT Tunstall burst onto the music scene?

In 2004, Tunstall released her multi-platinum debut, Eye to the Telescope, which spawned the global hits Black Horse and the Cherry Tree and Suddenly I See.

It was her dynamic performance of Black Horse on the Jools Holland show that year that skyrocketed her to fame.

She described the experience as being like thrown out of a human cannonball.

“It was a real stars-aligned moment,” she told STV’s What’s On Scotland. “I got the call with 24 hours’ notice because NAS the rapper pulled out. I have no idea why some girl from Scotland was the obvious replacement, but it just went absolutely bananas.

“Even though I had spent ten years trying to get somewhere, it did feel like it happened overnight. I’m just glad that, at 29, I looked about 12.”

Now 47-years-old, KT, who’s from Edinburgh, has released her seventh studio album, Nut, part of a trilogy of records, where each album focuses on a single concept: soul, body and mind.

KT Tunstall will play three nights in Scotland in March.Getty Images

“Nut definitely has quite a different meaning in America,” she said. “I had to have a bit of a conversation with the label about that. But I love the metaphor of the brain being like a garden, where the ideas and beliefs you have are always developing.”

The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter is also making her musical debut later this year, having created original songs for the stage adaptation of Saving Grace, based on the 2000 film of the same name. It was a very different writing experience.

“It’s like being in a science lab. You’ve got all these different characters, they’re all singing different types of songs. It’s just a massive puzzle, but it’s really great.”

Now living in Los Angeles, KT is getting ready to hit the road for a North American run of live shows, after a European tour which kicks off later this month. She says despite living Stateside, Scotland is still home.

“I’m pretty sure I haven’t lost my accent. That’s been a very important thing to me because it’s just awful when you hear the American creep in. I hope I’m doing everyone proud that it’s staying intact.”

KT is playing Aberdeen on March 14, Edinburgh the next night, and Glasgow on March 17.

“I just can’t wait. It’s been so long because of Covid that we’ve done a proper tour and I’m so proud to be coming to Glasgow’s Armadillo. I’ve not played there as a headline show before.

“And it’s the last night of the tour, so it’s going to be a massive knees-up in Glasgow.”

And are Scottish audiences still the best?

“Just the best. They deserve special outfits, that’s how good they are.” 

What’s On Scotland is on STV at 7pm on Friday, February 10, or catch up later on the STV Player.

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