London-based KATIS (aka Phoebe Katis) has unveiled her debut single, ‘Promises’, ahead of a string of releases to follow later this year. With a funk-infused backbone, thanks to guitar work from Vulpeck’s Cory Wong, this first outing sees Phoebe collaborating with producer Tim Bazell. In 2014 Phoebe was commissioned to write the only piece of music in BAFTA and BIFA award winning movie ‘Kajaki. The True Story’, picking up just under 200,000 streams on Spotify in the process. Making a conscious decision to move on from her early piano-led compositions, ‘Promises’ places the singer-songwriter’s raw, husky vocal very much at the core, commanding the sleek groove and gradually drawing in each element as the track rises to its climax. Having already performed at Glastonbury, Bestival, Ronnie Scott’s and the 70th anniversary celebrations for BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, KATIS will be returning to the live circuit in 2018 under her new moniker and with a decidedly bolder sound.
Writing her new single during a summer job travelling around all the main UK festivals in a toastie van, Phoebe used the downtime between shifts as a chance to either play on a guitar at the back of the van or ‘jump up on stage where I could’. The track initially took quite a simple form due to the lack of her first instrument, the piano, but this gave Phoebe’s writing a fresh perspective and ‘Promises’ emerged, staying true to its pop roots. A self-proclaimed ‘gutsy, slam the door in your face’ version of the song, the production work expertly mirrors the growing fervour in Phoebe’s vocals with a marching snare pattern, circled by haunting gospel harmonies before exploding into the pop-funk chorus. This may be Phoebe’s debut release as KATIS, but there’s a wealth of talent and more material just waiting to be explored.