British folk singer KT Tunstall has revealed that she took a U-turn in her career after having a crisis of confidence on a trip to Greenland. Speaking in an interview with The Scotsman newspaper, Ms Tunstall said she decided to try her hand at dance music after visiting the country for the Cape Farewell conservation project with a group of scientists and other artists.
While describing the mission as a personal triumph, the rocker said it destroyed all her confidence in her music making. She explained, “I was living on a boat with 20 brilliant scientists and 20 fantastic artists – Jarvis Cocker, Laurie Anderson, Leslie Feist, Martha Wainwright, Ryuichi Sakamoto. Creative-wise, a bloody nightmare!
“I ended up having a huge battle over where I sat in the panoply and suffered a massive confidence crash. Everyone else seemed so stellar, all of them big-hitters who were drawing from a much deeper well than me, this little jingle writer with her frivolous pop songs. I desperately didn’t want to be there.”
Ms Tunstall, 35, went on to tell the newspaper that she quickly regretted getting up to perform at a local pub in Greenland’s Disko Bay settlement. “It was like I was holding up this very stark mirror – just awful. Afterwards, back in the crowd, I felt really empty. When music is the thing you’re really passionate about, that’s bloody scary. I got home thinking that if I was ever going to record again, I really had to do something different. For me, that trip was a serendipitous kick up the arse.”
Ms Tunstall decided to overhaul her sound after returning to the UK, with her latest dance-influenced album Tiger Suit paying homage to the extent of her awakening in Greenland. The singer said she had previously pursued electronic music right up until she secured a record deal, when she decided that she did not want to play live music that was so reliant on equipment.