Knead To Know: Katie O’Malley ☀️

We’ve got our next Knead To Know interview for you today, this time with the amazing Katie O’Malley! 👊

we’ve known Katie for a long time now, she’s been performing on the North West scene for ages and her unique and gritty sound has always stood her out as one to watch, with some incredible songs, top performances and a lovely personality it’s always great to catch her play and hear her music! 😎 she’s now performing with a band for her solo music and we absolutely love these new tunes, so much energy and power to her sets now which is fantastic to see.

She’s just released her brand new EP “Dirt On My Knees” so we decided it’d be lovely to get an interview with her about it – read it all below! 🤘

Hey Katie, it’s fantastic to be able to get you on this and have a little chat about your music! You’ve just released your brand new EP “Dirt On My Knees” – tell us a little bit about it. 

So most of the songs are familiar sounding as they’re my latest singles I’ve released over the past year: Taste the Dirt, Devil’s Got a Hold and Traveller with one extra song Feeling It. I wanted to make a record where people could physically own the songs and a place where I could own them too. I’m proud of these songs and felt they deserved to be on a record. 

How long have you been doing music, and what drove you to start?

I’ve been singing since I was 14 which is probably later than most. I wasn’t one of these that have been singing since they could talk. I was brought up with a lot of music around me but never believed I could do it. My dad is a massive music fan and gave me my love for soul & blues music but he listens to anything and everything and so do I. But to answer your question I’ve been writing songs for about 10 years now. I loved hearing Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Elkie Brooks and my fave film is The Commitments people singing with guts and soul and that’s what I wanted to do but I have so many inspirations and my writing style was inspired more from folk music, Bob Dylan and Laura Marling just to name a few! 

When we first met you, you were an acoustic country/Americana solo artist – how has your music evolved since then? 

The sound is definitely heavier than how I first started out on my own but I love that. I feel I’ve been able to encompass so many of my inspirations into one sound and take people on a journey of high energy and also the more mellow folkier sound I started out with. People change and grow and so it makes sense the music will too. 

You’ve now got a band, who we must say sound fantastic – how did this come about and what do you enjoy most about playing with a band? 

The lads are great aren’t they. The band have evolved the sound so much. I loved writing these melodic quite airy folky songs but my voice just wanted to belt it out and I struggled with the balance of that for a while but when I got the band behind me it opened up the way I could write and also what they bring to it. We’ve had quite a few line up changes along the way but all the players I’ve had have been great. They’re not just people that play their instruments well they know how to serve the song and bring out it’s best it’s what I look for and it’s so important. I love playing live with them too. I can honestly say it’s the best feeling! 

When it comes to your music, what would you say are your main inspirations for creating and writing?

I don’t tend to sit down knowing what I’m going to write about most of the time. I kind of write subconsciously and after a few lyrics I analyse what it means and what I’m trying to tell someone or even myself. We’re constantly affected by what’s going on around us even if we don’t realise it at the time. It’s quite a cathartic experience and sometimes a little scary. It’s like my own personal therapy session sometimes haha.

When you’re writing songs, do you have any processes or ways of getting into the right mindset for it?

Sometimes I’ll just put some music on and listen for a few hours and then later on in the day a song starts to form, if I do straight after listening I’ll probably just end up rewriting a song I was listening to haha, but if I give some space in between it comes quite naturally. I know I need a clearer mind space to do it which can be hard because I know naturally I’m quite an erratic person. 

How did the lockdowns impact you as a musician? What did you do throughout them? Did it get in the way of any project? 

I felt I was still able to achieve some things. I was lucky I had just recorded Wild West before lockdown happened and I wasn’t letting lockdown get in the way of the music video but I was just like go with it you have these restrictions but instead of thinking of them like that think of them more as guidelines. So my sister was in the video as she was staying with me, we filmed outside and that worked out. Looking back I wish I had wrote more than what I did but I released some live vids which I might not have done if it wasn’t for lockdown. 

We’ve seen you perform a whole bunch now, but what do you enjoy most about it? 

I just love singing my heart out. Especially when you’re singing songs you’ve wrote and the band are playing their souls out too. I’m such a nostalgic person and I feel we could be on stage in the 70s somewhere haha it’s a nice image. 

How has your EP and singles been going lately – what response have you got from audiences and fans? 

Both Taste the Dirt and Devil’s Got a Hold have been quite popular. They’re definitely crowd pleasers live and I think this has transcended to the online streams too. It’s so nice to hear when people say ‘oh I had your song stuck in my head today’ love that! 

Where do you record your songs?

I record with Adam at Pinhole Sound I always go back to him as I feel he really captures my voice and the sound of the band. We also recorded some live sessions at Green Velvet Studios with Johnny which was a great experience! I always feel we’re at our best live and wanted to capture this. 

Have you got anything coming up in 2022 we should know about?

Yes, I’ve steadily been releasing our live sessions from Green Velvet we have more to come and we’re releasing a record of them too. We also have some great gig dates in the diary we’re headlining at Deaf Institute 30th June which I’m so excited for and for anyone wanting tickets they’re available from my website – We’ve also got some great festivals coming up throughout Summer too including Buckle and Boots and The British Country Festival where Tom Oddell is playing so can’t wait to see him play too!

It’s great to be able to chat with Katie here about her music, and her journey and experiences – it’s super inspiring to see such great progress and just getting on with putting out and playing music that you enjoy with people! ☀️ you can really tell Katie’s passion for her music and we absolutely love the EP – a really strong collection of songs that are a must listen here in the North West. seeing her grow as a musician over the past few years has been fantastic and we really love her new sound – it’s definitely worth catching her at any gigs she’s playing at! 😎

a big thank you to Katie for answering these questions for us – you can find her new EP “Dirt On My Knees” at and her headline gig sounds fantastic (tickets!) 🌛 we hope that you enjoyed this feature as much as we did – let us know what you think! 🥪

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