Ketevan "Katie" Melua was born in Georgia in 1984 under the communist regime in the capital, Tbilisi. In 1993, Katie’s family moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland and lived there for five years before moving to Southeast London.
Although musically gifted, Katie’s teenage dream was to become a politician or historian given her early upbringing in the politically-unstable Georgia.
However, after passing her GSCE, she joined the Brit School of Performing Arts where she undertook a BTEC and Music A-level where she began to write music. It was in school where she met music English songwriter and producer Mike Batt who signed her to his small record label Dramatico.
Despite her remarkable talent, Katie’s music career took a difficult route to success. Initially unable to secure a contract with a major record label, Katie and Mike decided to put her first album ‘Call Off the Search’ out on his own small record company. This career move, which could be called a small beginning, took her career to new heights when a BBC Radio 2 producer heard her song and played it in a BBC radio program. In 2004, the album became a hit and reached up to the top of the UK album charts. In the UK alone, the album sold 1.2 million copies making it four times platinum. With this success, Katie became UK’s biggest selling female artist in the next two years paving the way for her second hit album. To date, Katie has sold 9 million album copies making her Europe’s biggest selling female solo artist.
With a booming music career, Katie also maximized her talent to helping people not only in the UK but also in Africa and Asia. She performed in a benefit concert for the Nelson Mandela’s HIV charity and went to Sri Lanka as a goodwill ambassador for Save the Children after a civil war and a tsunami hit the country. The proceeds of her hit duet with the late Eva Cassidy, ‘What a Wonderful World’ went to the Red Cross.
In 2007, then 23-year old Katie picked up various prestigious awards within Europe, including a World Music Award, a Golden Camera Award, and two German Echo Awards. Year 2007 also saw the release of ‘Pictures’ her third and internationally successful album much to the delight of her legions of fans around the globe, confirming Katie’s status a unique and remarkable musical artist and ensuring her career’s further success and longevity in the music business.
As one of Britain’s most successful artists of the past decade, the release of her fourth album ‘The House’ introduced a new phase in Katie’s musical career. Recorded at Air Studios in London, the 4th album was produced by William Orbit and sees Katie writing on her own and with Guy Chambers, Rick Nowels, Mike Batt and singer-songwriter and long-time friend Polly Scattergood. ‘The House’ album has been described as sonically epic, adventurous and dramatic and, promises to draw a new audience.
"In addition to being inspired by the values in music from the past, I wanted to embrace the future. First, by accepting the values that are treasured more in music today and by projecting them forward. I found if you went far enough in both directions you end up in the same place. This thought was so liberating it enabled me to be a lot more fearless with expressing emotions, with challenging conventional structures of song and, finally, still allowing simplicity to stir the soul, as it so often does." explains Katie.
Katie’s scheduled European tour in autumn 2010 was postponed due to illness “I had a bit of a breakdown so needed to take time off.” In February 2011, after a few months off, Katie returned to work starting with a concert for Radio 2 and then the rescheduled sold out dates. A pan-European tour, from April until June, showed that Katie was back where she belonged…. “It was great to be back on the road, playing with the band again and I was really moved by the amazing support from my fans.”
March 2012 when Katie released her fifth studio album ‘Secret Symphony’ an exquisite collection of songs that perfectly showcases that unique, instantly recognisable voice. “On this record I simply wanted to find beautiful songs and to really sing my heart out”.
Those songs include ‘All Over The World’ (Françoise Hardy), ‘Gold In Them Hills’ (Ron Sexsmith), ‘Nobody Knows You’ (Jimmie Cox) and ‘Moonshine’ (Fran Healy). Katie’s own song ‘Forgetting All My Troubles’ “represents who and where I am today” and she teams up with manager and producer Mike Batt on ‘Heartstrings’ & ‘Lone Wolf’. Batt also contributes title track ‘Secret Symphony’, ‘The Walls Of The World’, ‘Better Than A Dream’ and ‘The Bit That I Don’t Get’.
As of now, the Secret Symphony singer will be busy for her upcoming Europe concert tours starting on the 22nd of June until early of 2013.
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