Kate Tempest started out when she was 16, rapping at strangers on night busses and pestering mc's to let her on the mic at raves. Ten years later she is a published playwright, poet and respected recording artist.
Her theatre writing includes Wasted for Paines Plough, Brand New Ancients for the BAC, and Glasshouse for Cardboard Citizens.
She has written poetry for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Barnado's, Channel 4 and the BBC. She has worked with Amnesty International to create a schools pack helping secondary school children write their own protest songs, and was invited to write and perform a new poem for Aung San Suu Kyi when she recieved the Ambassador of Conscience award in Dublin.
Kate released her debut album Balance with Sound of Rum in 2011. She has featured on songs with Sinead O Connor, Bastille, the King Blues, Damien Dempsey, Pink Punk, and Landslide. She has just finished recording a new solo album Everybody Down with acclaimed music producer Dan Carey. She's toured extensively, supporting Billy Bragg on his UK tour, as well as supporting Scroobius Pip, Femi Kuti, Saul Williams and John Cooper Clarke. She is 2 x slam winner at the prestigious Nu-Yorican poetry cafe in New York. She's played all the major UK and European music festivals either solo or with Sound of Rum. She's headlined Latitude festival and her poetry has been featured on the BBC's Glastonbury highlights. In 2012 she launched her first poetry book to a sell out crowd at the Old Vic theatre in London.
She's led workshops in schools, colleges and youth groups across the UK and taught a creative writing class at Yale. She's given lectures at Goldsmiths University and to newly qualified English teachers for the Prince's Teaching Institute.
Her first spoken word release Broken Herd came out on Pure Groove in 2009. Her poetry book/CD/DVD package Everything Speaks in its Own Way was published on her own imprint Zingaro in 2012, and is available now from this site.
A new collection of poetry will be out in 2014, published by Picador.
‘Wow’ — Chuck D
“Didn’t I warn you about this rapper?” — Dan Carrier, Camden New Journal
“A fly Janis Joplin” — Daron Billings for gigjunkies.com
“The first few times I saw her [Tempest] she was annoyingly good. She doesn’t seem like she has the right to be so intelligent and insightful and have the ability to craft it so well. She just strolled up and looked like a kid that’s rolled in off the street – but then to spit with such intensity” — Scroobius Pip
“I had Excentral Tempest in several times on my BBC radio one spoken word show and she has been the highlight of my listening this year. She has no right whatsoever to be as good as she is. It astounds me. Her writing is epic, her delivery piercing, and with the addition of her band Sound of Rum her potential is realised. Inspirational” — Scroobius Pip
“Her works are truly of upliftment and betterment” — Roots Manuva
“With astounding flow, lyrical maturity and sound social awareness for a 20 year old, Londoner Kate Tempest is one of those music makers that instantly prompt you to stop whatever you’re doing and reconsider whether you should bother carrying on with it at all, such is the extent of her politically coherent, poetic talent. Tempest really is a fiery hot prospect, having played various underground acoustic gigs with her band in and around London and beyond, and is set to drift further towards the mainstream, kind of whether she wants to or not. Sometimes I’m just phenomenally chuffed to be able to include stuff like this on New Noise“ — John Hillcock, XFM