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Cate Le Bon stood outside wearing a red coat

Catch up with Cate Le Bon

We caught up with Festival of Voice’s guest curator Cate Le Bon about her life, her work and who inspires her…

After spending a year in the Lake District, Cate Le Bon returned with an astonishing new album, Reward. We’re chuffed to bits that Cate will be curating some of the Festival line-up, and we caught up with her for a quick chat:

Before recording Reward, you spent a year in the Lake District learning how to make furniture. Did you expect this to result in new music, or had it been intended as a retreat from songwriting?

It was intended as a break from music. I wanted time to readdress my relationship with it since I'd been in a cycle of writing, recording and touring for about 10 years.

I needed to know that my commitment to it was from intent and not habit. Taking a break and removing the focus from it entirely gave me the space to explore that and for music to become a hobby of mine again.

Where do you feel at home?

I’ve been travelling a lot recently, so home has become more of a feeling than a place, more centred around people than geography.

That said, when I return to my parents' house where I grew up in West Wales, I feel safe and at peace in a way I don’t feel anywhere else.

What does it mean to be an artist-producer with a guiding vision, versus working with a producer?

I only know what it is that I have looked for from a producer and I do all I can to be that for the artists who ask me to sit in that role.

It’s a nebulous job and that has to be embraced. It’s not about your vision for someone else, it’s about facilitating their vision. There is no hierarchy, it’s a collaborative effort.

Which female artists do you consider to have had a really positive impact on the music industry, and subsequently become essential role models?

Off the top of my head…Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Yoko Ono, Annette Peacock, Grace Jones, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Mica Levi, Jessica Pratt….they've never been swayed from their artistic vision to appease a notion of expectation or commercialism.

Favourite moment of 2019?

Seeing Annette Peacock perform in Marfa. It was so precise and powerful. Theatrical in its essence but never contrived.

It's the only time I've cried after a performance because it shook me beyond words.

To see Cate Le Bon perform at Festival Of Voice 2020 buy your Early Bird Pass today.