AMERICAN singer-songwriter Katelyn Tarver has revealed Cheryl never thanked her for penning her number one single Crazy Stupid Love – but insists she “owes me nothing”.
The 32-year-old said she was “stoked” when she discovered Cheryl was using her song as the lead single for her 2014 album Only Human – and even happier to see it shoot to number one in the UK.
Praising the former Girls Aloud star, 38, for “giving it a life she couldn’t”, Katelyn exclusively told The Sun: “This is like the best case scenario when you have a song that doesn't feel right for you as an artist but the hope is it can feel right for another artist.
“I think it was perfect for her and she sounded amazing on it. I never got to be in the same room as her sadly, but she cut it and put it out, and I was stoked.”
The catchy pop track shifted a whopping 118,000 copies on its way to the top spot and became Cheryl’s fourth UK number one, making her the joint most successful British female solo artist at the time with Geri Horner and Rita Ora.
Katelyn said: “I’m not trying to create controversy here [laughs] but I never heard anything from Cheryl… but I don’t think that means anything. There is no need for her to thank me in any way. I’m sure she’s grateful.
“I honestly feel like I should write her a thank you instead of the other way round because she gave the song an actual life that I couldn’t have given to it. I hope our paths cross some day, that would be fun, but she owes me nothing [laughs].”
In the seven years since Crazy Stupid Love topped the charts Katelyn has very much found her own voice, and her stunning new album Subject to Change is released on Friday.
The introspective and deeply personal record sees Katelyn tackle her own insecurities and grapple with the complexities of life as a thirty-something.
“I think I’m wrestling with the idea I don’t think there’s anything in life that’s ultimately going to make me perfectly happy, perfectly fulfilled,” she said.
“I was raised to have this idea that I would chase this dream that I have of being a singer and getting to this point of success that was going to be obvious and I would feel ‘I did it, I made it’.
“There’s not some weird utopia; there’s pain, there’s sadness, there’s complexity in life."
I honestly feel like I should write her a thank you
During the writing and recording of the album Katelyn was inspired by female indie singers like Phoebe Bridgers, Sasha Sloan, The Japanese House and Kacey Musgraves, whose songwriting and introspective lyrics she called inspiring.
Its title, Subject to Change, was chosen to convey a “snapshot of going through a rough patch”.
She said: “I was kind of trying to find a phrase that felt like it captured that feeling of uncertainty or work in progress. That was the through line in a lot of this.
“I need to learn to be more open to what life throws my way instead of trying to control the narrative. I'm feeling a little out of sorts and a little scared by uncertainty and the unknown. This album is… I’m trying to make peace with some of that. I felt it fits and went with it.”
And there is perhaps no greater example of Katelyn making peace with herself on the record than on standout track Nicer in which she confronts her penchant for people-pleasing to the detriment of her own happiness.
She said: “I grew up in a part of America, in the south, where I feel that is fairly common in girls. You grow up and are taught to be polite and agreeable and accommodating. Sort of the opposite of what you need when you try to create art.
“I was finding it difficult to have this part of my personality that was so worried about being liked and pleasing everybody and not rocking the boat too much. I felt it was holding me back from saying something in the song that I was worried about, my mom hearing it, my mom’s friends, my friends. We all, no matter how we’re raised, we have to hit that point where we decide it’s OK, we can’t make everyone happy, and we can't please everyone, and we have to do our thing.
“It’s come from that place of trying to shed a little bit of that people-pleaser in me, to be a little bit more comfortable with not being liked by everybody.”
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