I wanted to write a blog post about my Shepherd's Bush Empire gig because I've definitely got a lot more to say than 140 characters.
The last year has been so interesting. It's been tough, challenging, weird, thrilling, wild, exciting and a storm. You all know what I've been up to, what's changed, what's been hard. I've had a bunch of people around me that didn't get it. They didn't get me, or Girl Talk, or this transition. Or they simply chickened out 'cause I got dropped from my record label. I've kept working hard because I care about the record so much and I believe in what I do. I've had a few times where I've thought, "Shit, should I keep doing this? Am I going mad?" I will always keep going and working on what I love because I can't help it. It's the way I am. I'm passionate and devoted and I believe in it.
I've noticed my relationship with my fans change. We've become closer. The lines between "fan" and "friendship" have become blurred. It started with a book I received that Tess Purchase put together on katenashobviously.tumblr.com. I was on tour, I was heartbroken and struggling and I was about to get dumped by my label. I was confused, but I stayed focused on one thing only: Making music. Playing music. Working. Recording. Touring. I only thought of that.
I sat in a dressing room and I read these letters in this book that had been put together and I totally cried, man. I was so moved. It meant a lot to me. You all opened up so much. It was so personal and it was so thoughtful. That's when I first realised there was something really special going on, that our relationship was more than just "fan" + "artist". It was more like "community" + "girl gang," which is what I'd always wanted and visualised.
I didn't really understand the power of it until I played the Shepherd's Bush Empire gig.
I was so nervous about Glastonbury and you came and made it great. I was so, SO nervous about Reading and Leeds festivals and you came and made it out of control fun! And I was so bloody nervous about Shepherd's Bush Empire and you came, and I think it was probably the greatest night and highlight of my career, for a number of reasons.
I had been so stressed about it. I had someone I worked with tell me to cancel this UK tour, told me that I should not be touring next year, that I should take a break and make another record. And then quit when I said, "No". I got to grips with that. I put my poker face on and was like, "Fuck it. I know we can do this," but secretly was a little bit like, "Fuck, can we!?" We worked on a grass roots level; DIY, just like it started and just like it should always be. The Kate Nash Street Teams blitzed the UK and these people and my friends that DO believe in this and support me were the wonder bra of support. We all got stuck in and made this work.
The Shepherd's Bush Empire show was important to me because it made me feel like I can do this "independently", because in actual fact, it's not independent. I'm not alone. I have you lot to thank. I look out at the crowd and see a bunch of people that have grown with me. A lot of you have been there since day one. People underestimated you back then too, I was asked in interviews, "Does it bother you that the majority of your fan base are teenage girls or weirdos". I was always so angry and would shut them down with words. But I really don't give a shit about that now. It's like yeah, whatever, we're weirdos, but look at how much fucking fun we're having! And look how many friends have been made and how many people are empowered through this!
The gig showed me that this is more than just being about a record, or music, one album, one song, one thing. It's like a movement, and it's about community and friendship, loyalty and empowerment. It's not about exclusivity. It's not about celebrity, or fame. It's not about measuring success by the size of your wallet, or amount of Twitter followers you have. This is about changing the world, each other's lives, and revolution and inspiring as many people as we can to be themselves and to be happy.
I just want to thank all of you for you support and involvement in this. I feel super excited about everything to come and I can't wait to share more of it. I want you to know that I really do care about you all a lot and am so grateful for everything you continue to do. Thank you! <3