“Music makes me present”: Kitty Fitz talks about dissociation, girl gangs, and the positives of quarantine

I spoke to up and coming artist Kitty Fitz about her new music video

ABOVE: Kitty Fitz [credit to Alfredo Guzman]

Kitty Fitz is an alternative pop musician based in South East London, currently on her third release. Her Spotify biography describes her as a ‘self-confessed liability’. Kitty’s music blends electronic synth and electric guitar. The production, often done by Kitty herself, is layered with dreamy vocals and poetic lyricism about love, mental health, and loneliness. She recently debuted her first music video for her newest release, Saving Face, directed by Ewan McIntosh and shot by Kyle Jones. 

“Tell me about Saving Face and the video!”

I feel like my whole genre, and what I want to achieve, is writing songs that you can wistfully stare out the window to, OR sadly but passionately speed walk to. That’s what Saving Face is for me. It’s a simping anthem which can make you feel like the main character. With the video, whenever write a song, I always imagine what the video will be, regardless about whether I’ll actually make one. With this video, I was gonna just record it by myself on my phone with the help of my brother, because he’s really good at green screen stuff. I’d made a storyboard, and drawn pictures of me and a fox in my dad’s car.

Then, I was approached by the director of photography, who, coincidentally, in the same week that I was planning this video, said ‘I’m really bored, I’ve got all of these cameras. Let’s make a video.’ So I called my friend Ewan, who is a director, and we decided to use all of our spare time to do it. We managed to do a whole production socially distanced.

[credit to Alfredo Guzman]

“You mentioned that the video was recorded during lockdown. How has the last year of COVID impacted your creativity?”

Obviously, I’m not gonna say that coronavirus is a good thing, because I’m not looking to get cancelled. But, if this hadn’t happened, I would have just carried on with what I usually do, which is being a session bassist for other people. There were definitely moments on tour where I would be playing to thousands of people and getting paid for it and having all of these amazing perks, but even still, I would get onto that stage and look at the crowd and think, ‘I wish we were playing my music. I want to get there.’ But I just didn’t have the time. 

I would get onto that stage and look at the crowd and think, ‘I wish we were playing my music.’

Kitty Fitz

In lockdown, I remember that the first thing I thought when everyone was told ‘you can’t go anywhere and you have to find things to do’ was like, yes! Finally! I can explore that part of my music! I just went crazy creatively, and I still have this mad creative stamina. I wake up every day and I’m like, what’s it gonna be?  This week alone I’ve almost burnt myself out because I’ve had so many creative ideas and ideas for collaborations and I’ve just started doing it all. It’s been really good for my creativity and I definitely wouldn’t have released any music in 2020, or at all, if it weren’t for quarantine.

The new music video for ‘Saving Face’

“You have talked in the past about your mental health, and specifically, dissociation. Can you tell me more about how it’s impacted you as a performer?”

It’s funny, because I’ve always noticed the more obvious ways that its impacted me, but I’m learning more and more how it affects my creative process. The main thing I noticed when I was just doing session work is that I would get sensory overload when I was playing. Anytime I hit the stage, I’m gone. I’m not present. I’m still able to speak and play bass, vaguely, but I’m just not there. When I came off stage and people told me about the performance I just had no idea what they were talking about. 

But the second I started doing my own shows I didn’t feel dissociated at all. I felt more present, if anything. And thats kind of terrifying, because I’m used to— when I dissociate while I play bass, I don’t get stage fright, because I’m just… [she laughs] on another dimension. When it’s just me, I’m so present, and it’s like, oh, this is how normal people feel all the time? Thinking before you say stuff, being nervous, wondering what to do— it’s really vulnerable, but I think it’s really cool. 

The only time I can be fully present is when I’m doing something that I’m passionate about, like music.

When it’s just me, I’m so present, and it’s like, oh, this is how normal people feel all the time?

Kitty Fitz
[credit to Alfredo Guzman]

“How does it effect your song writing process?”

I can’t sit down and write a song. That’s not how it works for me. It’ll just come to me, in a random spur, and it’ll be fully formed, with lyrics and a melody. I never understood the relevance of when that would happen. As person who dissociates, I spend a lot of time distracting myself because it’s comforting. I keep myself very busy. It’s a coping mechanism. The times that I get these fully formed songs is literally anytime I’m by myself, completely without distractions— my worst fear. So if I go on a long walk, or if I’m having a bath, I just suddenly have to grab my phone because I get a song idea. I never clocked the relationship, or that there was any pattern. It’s been really nice to have these experiences where I’m really coming into my own after having all of this suppressed creative energy. 

“Are there any long term plans for an EP or an album?”

I would love to do an EP or an album. But, the thing is, when I look at my songs, I don’t think they cohesively sound like they belong together. When I listen to my three releases, I’m like… these are all three different women. We all have different hair colours, and we’re all feeling different things.  And then also,  what most people do is they make multiple bodies of work, or they’ll make a big body of work, and they’ll sit on it for an amount of time, and then they start promoting it, and then they release it, all while working on the next thing. I do not understand how people can do that. I cannot sit on music if I know that it exists. I’m just not patient enough! I really want to be able to work like that, but its a matter of my stubbornness.

“Who do you really look up to?”

I love Muna, the band. I am just obsessed with them, and they produce all of their own stuff. I wanna be in the band. Their lyrics are offensively good. They are lyrically superior, and the production is superior— they never miss. I need to get that consistent.

[credit to Alfredo Guzman]

“If you had to describe who you think listens to Kitty Fitz, what is that person like?”

Little girl gangs. Astrology enjoyerers. Women who play too much Animal Crossing. I make music for people who are as hopelessly romantic as I am, so it makes me feel better that I think the way I do. 

Saving Face is available to stream on Spotify, and you can watch the music video here. Kitty also posts new updates about her music on her Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

This article was originally written for and published by Concrete Newspaper.

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