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KT Tunstall and the Mystery of Songwriting

The Scottish singer-songwriter talks about discovering looping, the perfect pedalboard, and gets deep about the mystery of songwriting and coping with hearing loss.

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KT On What a Hit Song Means to Her 

Well, my experience of it is a song that really transcends you, who you are, your name, where you're from, how it was made, and it gets completely adopted by millions of people in a way that it is extremely meaningful to them and it's a flag in the sand of a time in their life or it's a soundtrack to a very difficult period or a very joyful period of their life. It becomes this kind of talisman for people. And actually, you've really got not very much to do with it at all. It's their own very private personal relationship with that song. And of course many fans will know who I am, but there's definitely been times …

I remember going to a party in the early days with my good friend, Kevin Divine, great singer/songwriter. And we went to some girl's birthday party on a rooftop in New York, and she said “Hi, what do you do?” I said, “I'm a singer songwriter.” She said, “Oh, do would I know your music?” And I'm like, “Did you see Devil Wears Prada?” And she's like, “Oh my God, you're on the party playlist.” And so my song was on her party playlist for that evening, but she had no idea who sang it. And that to me is kind of what a hit is, where the song actually separates from the umbilical chord and just becomes something much more kind of omnipotent. And I mean, my experience of it just is a ticket to ride, man.