Inverness singer-songwriter Katie Gregson-MacLeod aims to “ride the wave” of fame after being catapulted into the global spotlight.
However the 22-year-old is determined to surf the often tumultuous waters of the music industry on her own terms.
Aware of the multitude of potential distractions accompanying stardom Katie is retaining focus on her goals before her profile went stellar – writing music she loves and is proud of.
Mission accomplished with recent release Guestlist and imminent EP Big Red, was released on October 13.
Katie uploaded the demo at night from her parents’ home in Inverness.
By the morning it had 100,000 views which rapidly rose to more than seven million.
‘I want to try and ride the wave’
The viral video sparked a race by record companies to secure her signature with Katie eventually choosing Columbia.
In a memorable year the singer was nominated for the prestigious Ivor Novello awards in the same category as chart sensation Harry Styles.
Katie said: “I want to try to ride the wave.
“But in a way where I don’t get swept away from my main goal which is focusing on writing and making music I am proud of and love.
“The last year has been tough to get my head around as it can be challenging to stick to your guns in this industry.
“And to focus on what you need to.
“It is so easy to get distracted as there are so many components to this job.
“For the first while I was in survival mode, almost like fight or flight.
“There can be moments when it feels surreal, overwhelming and I think ‘wow, everything is different’.
“However generally it has become the new normal.
“I feel so lucky. I just want to have fun at the moment and stay relatively relaxed.”
A busy schedule
Katie was speaking from Berlin, Germany ahead of a concert at the city’s Säälchen venue.
The singer had also recently performed in Hamburg, just days after a show in Norway.
It has been a hectic schedule to promote new release Guestlist.
The last year has been a blur.
On May 18 Katie attended the prestigious Ivor Novello awards ceremony at Grosvenor House, London having been nominated in the Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
Katie was nominated alongside Harry Styles. Tom Odell, Florence + The Machine and Sault.
Florence + The Machine won.
Katie said: “It was surreal just to be nominated.
“I was on the red carpet and Morrissey walked past me.
“Whilst doing an interview with Amazon music the host said Sting was going to join us.
“So I sat there beside Sting as he was being interviewed.
“It was an amazing, weird day.
“Tom Odell came up to me and praised my song. Everyone was so supportive and I am so grateful for that as it is such a new world for me.”
Katie has also been nominated for the breakthrough artist category at the Scottish Music Awards which will be held at Barrowlands Ballroom, Glasgow on Saturday (November 4).
A viral TikTok video transformed Katie’s life but her song-writing craft has been honed by years of playing live and dedication.
She said: “It is such an honour to be recognised in what I think is such an amazing, diverse and talented group of people.
“I love the Scottish music scene and am really proud to be part of it.
“I’ve been in the scene since I was 17 and the support and community I received was amazing.
“Since going viral and signing the record deal it has really put into focus how important my years in the grass roots scene were.
“I was able to build my confidence and self-assuredness as an artist.”
Last summer Katie was a full-time history student at Edinburgh University and working part-time at Perk Coffee and Doughnuts in Inverness.
For now the musician is riding the wave, but she could yet return to the calmer waters of University study.
She said: “I’m doing music full-time as after I was signed by Columbia I moved to London.
“I deferred my place at Uni, but I still love history which I was studying.
“I will hopefully go back at some point in the future but not for the next couple of years.
“I still want to get a PhD.
“For now though it is time to ride the wave.”