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Who is Katie Melua?

By rediff Entertainment Bureau
March 29, 2004 15:16 IST
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Katie Melua is the singer of this year's most successful album in the UK, Call Off The Search. Her single, The closest thing to crazy, evoked instant response among listeners. Here is what you should know about Katie Melua:Katie Melua


  • She is 19. She is absolutely charming. A good looker and very articulate. And she is UK's new sweethearts, with a music album that has sold millions. There is never one more bemused by her popularity as Katie Melua.
  • Call Off The Search, a light jazz and blues album from a humble, innocuous label has spiraled to the top of the UK charts for 18 weeks. The voice? Katie Melua.
  • Katie's voice has been compared with Ella Fitzgerald, but she admits to being influenced a lot by Eva Cassidy, another sweet-voiced singer as Katie. Katie also composed a song for Cassidy, called Faraway voice.
  • Katie is small of frame, has long brown hair, green eyes. She was born in 1984, in Georgia (part of then USSR), but has grown up in the UK.
  • Katie says she had an 'outdoorsy' childhood, living in Batumi, a resort on the Black Sea coast, close to the Turkish border.
  • She still stays with her heart surgeon father and mother, who is a nurse, in Redhill, Surrey. She spends her weekends with her boyfriend Luke. He has his own band.
  • You would most likely see her in white T-shirts (you would see this on her album cover too). She would most likely tell you that is because she does not have a lot of clothes.
  • Katie played the violin right at a very young age. She started writing songs at 15, on her computer. The songs were all R&B and pop, and Katie thought she was a little genius. She enrolled at the School of Performing Arts and Technology at 16.
  • Well-known music producer Mike Batt held an audition at Katie's college for a singer of Eva Cassidy's style. Katie played her song and got set on her course to stardom.
  • The album Matt and Katie worked on contained two of her originals, six of Matt's and four cover versions. Every major record company turned it down. Finally Matt released it on his own label, Dramatico.
  • Apparently, Katie would much prefer being a historian. Fame, she has admitted, has never attracted her. It is something she never felt she would be good at. This is what she said when she heard her album was successful: 'I wasn't looking for anything great, I was just going along for the ride, to be honest. It was quite a small-scale thing, and then it slowly rose up the charts, which was weird. I thought, who are all these people buying this record?'
  • She thinks her parents' generation is lucky, because they have lived through greats like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.
  • Katie admits that she would love to back to university and complete her degree, even if she has to wait till 40 or 50.
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