‘Hate You’: The powerful reintroduction of Kate Stewart

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Kate Stewart
Kate Stewart

Jon Ali is In The Know’s music contributor. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram for more.

Kate Stewart is reclaiming her power.

The London-bred songstress is back at it yet again in 2022, strutting ahead with a new attitude and, yes, brand new music.

If you’re just getting acquainted: Kate Stewart, formally known as KStewart, is no stranger to the pop music scene. In fact, at just 27, Kate has already lived what most musicians would consider “the dream,” signing to Warner Music and releasing her very own music. She’s accumulated millions of streams on a global scale with songs like “Ain’t Nobody” and “Hands.” She also supplied those almighty vocals on dance hits like WHTKD’s “Secrets” and Oliver Heldens’ “Last All Night (Koala),” which came in at No. 1 on the UK Dance chart and No. 5 on the UK Singles chart.

Despite all the success, Kate’s record deal wasn’t all that it was made out to be. It was confining and limiting creatively, as the label usurped any sort of control from Kate. She was their puppet. A tale as old as time …

You can’t keep a “bad b****” down, though. Since being released from her label a few years ago, Kate’s been holding it down all on her own. She released a stunner of an EP, In The Beginning, in 2018 and has collaborated on crafting songs for the likes of MNEK, Terrell Grice, Tinashe and Christina Aguilera.

Now, in 2022, Kate’s ready to come back swinging harder than ever before with a mesmerizing gem called “Hate You” that’s all about confidence, freedom and female empowerment.

“As my first release off my upcoming project, I chose to release this powerful single as the reintroduction of Kate Stewart and to show the power we hold as women,” Kate told In The Know. “Following a rough relationship, there are times where you may feel low, but this is a reminder that you are strong and that no man should be the reason for your downfall.”

The song’s punch is subtle in its approach, a hypnotic and steady release of emotions guiding us through a journey from the end of a relationship to finding empowerment within ourselves.

“I hate you hate you hate you hate you/ Call my girls and we go out and celebrate it, Yeah yeah,” she declares on the hook. “I hate you hate you hate you hate you/ You been saying you ain’t shit since the day I met you.”

Kate’s vocals are seductive yet slightly menacing throughout, truly bringing what feels like a personal journal entry to life in song form — which is funny, considering it’s one of the few songs she didn’t write herself.

“I write all my music,” Kate told In The Know. “Everything I’ve ever released, I’ve written by myself or with co-writers. This is the first song I didn’t write. I heard it in the studio with Swagg R’Celious for the first time in New York and was absolutely obsessed with it. To me, it sounded like something Beyoncé would sing, and I just had to have it. As soon as I put my vocal down on it, I knew it would be the first song I released as the introduction to my new era.”

“Hate You” comes accompanied by a cinematic music video creative directed by the iconic Betsy Johnson (stylist, fashion icon, creative director for DONDA Kanye West) and directed by Jack Bowden (Nike, HP, Primark, Boohoo and Trivago). The video is curated with a timeless touch and a thick aura of the speakeasy underworld. The visuals showcase Kate, dressed in an alluring, custom-made leather corset dress piece designed by Luis De Javier, performing in a lowly lit, speakeasy-esque location to a group of vile, pig-like men with disfigured facial features and scar-like marks.

“The video was inspired by Jessica Rabbit,” Kate told In The Know. “I came across a YouTube video from the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and it was her singing ‘Why Don’t You Do Right’ in a cabaret club with a room full of men drooling over her while she’s standing onstage looking glamorous. I took this idea to my creative director Betsy Johnson, who wanted to make it a little darker. She came up with the idea of the men looking scary and demonic, which I loved. And the rest of the story line went from there, with the help of my amazing director Jack Bowden. Of course, we end the video with girl power. I feel it’s very important to show women in a strong and empowering light.”

Strong and empowered is exactly what Kate is showcasing here, in both “Hate You” the song and the music video. We say there ain’t nothing wrong with a little hate when the hate sounds this good!

Below, get into more of what Kate told In The Know about her new single, “Hate You,” and her upcoming EP — and listen to “Hate You” here!

Credit: Cosmo Webber
Credit: Cosmo Webber

For people just getting introduced to you (Kate Stewart), how would you describe yourself and your music?

I was actually asked this question last night when I was out, and I didn’t know how to answer it, so I asked my good friend and long-term co-writer, Aaria, who was sitting next to me. And she said, “I would describe her music as bad b**** R&B.” I agree with her on that one. It’s definitely R&B with a strong mixture of pop, but it’s definitely not soft and loving — it’s hard and in your face. Think: 2022 Rihanna. I would describe myself in the same way. I’m an extrovert but also love to be on my own. However, I’m loud when I want to be. I’m very self-aware and headstrong and often won’t take “no” for an answer.

It’s been a minute since we’ve gotten some proper solo material from you. What led us to this point of you being ready to release this new single/project?

It’s taken me a really, really long time to find my sound. All my previous music that I released I was really proud of, and I loved it at the time and still do, but it never felt like me. It never felt completely genuine. I went to New York just before we went into lockdown and had a week in the studio with Swagg R’Celious, who is an amazing producer. Something clicked in me when writing those songs with him, and it set off a domino effect that led me to write a whole bunch of new music with a new sound that felt completely like me, totally genuine. And it just felt right. After finishing the project, I just wanted to immediately release it and share it with the world.

What would you say is different this time around?

Like I said previously, this time around just feels totally authentic. I’m writing lyrics, saying things that I actually want to say. I’m writing concepts about things that have actually happened and matter to me. I’ve worked with producers and writers who really get what I’m trying to do, and I’ve found my feet with creative direction and styling and managed to find an incredible team that totally understands and supports my vision. It feels amazing.

What can you tell us about the new EP and its sound?

The new EP doesn’t necessarily have one sound. I feel like I have explored quite a few different genres on this project. Even though it feels cohesive, there are a lot of different moods on there. I think there is a song for every occasion. It’s always been important to me not to stay in one box. I like tapping into different sounds, and I’ve definitely achieved that on this EP.

Kate Stewart’s mission statement for 2022?

Stay cold with it, whatever that may mean to you. Always stay calm and collected. Never get stressed over the silly things because everything happens for a reason.

If you enjoyed this article, check out these 15 gems from queer artists you may have missed in 2021!

The post ‘Hate You’: The powerful reintroduction of Kate Stewart appeared first on In The Know.

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