Image: Natasha Kitty Katt
Having recently been confirmed as a resident of the Liverpool Disco Festival, Natasha Kitty Katt has risen quickly through the ranks, having proven herself to be one of the most knowledgeable and talented disco DJs on the circuit.
Born and raised in Edinburgh to a music obsessed family; her father, revered DJ Dennis Probert, brought her up on the best and rarest soul and disco. His father was also a jazz saxophonist, so it seemed only natural that Natasha would follow suit, recently starting Ghetto Disco records alongside her dad, where she released her self-titled EP, but it's behind the decks where she has really shown her smarts.
We were beneficiaries of this dance-floor nous when she stepped up to deliver an hour of funk heavy groove genius for our Skiddle Mix 127 recently ahead of Suncebeat Festival, and ahead of her appearance at Edinburgh's SKY Bar with Rahaan over the August Bank Holiday, we wanted to discover more about what makes this Katt purr.
Congrats on being made a resident of Liverpool Disco Festival. Having opened for them last year, what would you say sets it apart from other events?
Thank you so much! I haven't stopped smiling since I got the news.
The thing that sets Liverpool Disco Festival aside from other events is the fact it has a well thought out, broad spectrum of knowledgeable DJs that all share a passion for disco music. The live music element is also another special asset. The atmosphere, the people, the unity. Liverpool is disco capital of the world.
Who are you looking forward to seeing on the lineup?
Linda Clifford, she is one of my favourite female vocalists of all time. I am so lucky I have had the pleasure of meeting her and seeing her perform in Philadelphia and boy, everyone is in for a real treat. A beautiful soul with a wonderful voice.
In terms of DJs I can’t wait to hear Rahaan. He is another hero of mine and kills it every single time. Mr Mendel and Mike Dunn are two other acts I can’t wait to hear spin.
For people who are maybe unfamiliar with your music, could you explain your style?
I love underground rare disco, modern soul and a contemporary disco vibe here and there to stitch it all together. I’m a fully fledged disco obsessive.
You come from a musical family, how big an influence was that in your early years? Was there really any other career outcome for you considering that grounding?
My ears have been filled with soul music from as long as I can remember. I’ve always been a big music fan, but my parents have shaped my musical ear and both been massive influences on the music I play. I’m extremely lucky.
Has soul, funk and disco always been your main source of inspiration, or have you been influenced by other sounds and genres over the years?
Soul, funk and disco has always been at my core. I had a few early teen years where I was more influenced by rock music for a short while, but thank god I came back to my senses!
What do you think about gender equality in the music industry?
Gender equality is something I don’t ever think about, to be honest. I play music and I don’t ever let gender stereotypes or negative attitudes interfere with my passion. I love the music, it’s my driving force.
Tell us about the Ghetto Disco Show and Ghetto Disco Records.
Ghetto Disco Records is my record label which is run by my father Dennis Probert and myself. It’s a vinyl only label with limited edition runs of 500 copies per release. The idea for a label came off the back of our radio show, Ghetto Disco which is broadcast fortnightly Sundays on www.starpointradio.com.
We had an array of mixes from very talented people over the years and to start a label seemed like a natural progression. Serge Gamesbourg (first release on the label) created tracks specifically to showcase on our show and we just had to grab the opportunity.
I’ve also been lucky enough to interview artists I adore via Ghetto Disco such as Melba Moore, Margie Joseph, Leroy Burgess, Lenny Williams and James Mason.
You were recently out in Croatia for Suncebeat, how was that as an experience, and are you a big fan of Tisno?
Suncebeat is always a highlight of my year. That was my third year playing and I am so blessed and grateful for the opportunities I have been given. I love Tisno, the energy, the vibe and unity is really something special. It’s like one big family experience.
What's planned for the rest of 2017?
I've just released a double red vinyl on Ghetto Disco Records and I've also got an upcoming vinyl release coming out on Masterworks Music.
My calendar is pretty hectic over the upcoming months, I've got a date in Philadelphia soon, and plenty in the UK including SKY Bar and Liverpool Disco Festival.
Also, final question, you've just been given an unlimited budget and a Delorean for your own night in Barbarella's and a boat party, so you can get any musicians dead or alive to join you on the lineup. Who would you get for each one?
WOW, ooft I so wish this was real! I would get Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye, Loleatta Holloway, Margie Joseph, Billy Paul, Linda Clifford all performing live. Larry Levan and Walter Gibbons doing a disco night at Barbarella's. Disco infused madness for all!
You can grab SKY Bar and Liverpool Disco Festival tickets via the boxes below.
Edinburgh - SKY Bar, Sunday 27th August
This event has been cancelled
Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control this event is now cancelled - our dear apologies
Liverpool Disco Festival - Camp and Furnace, Saturday 7th October