Kate Hutchinson is a freelance journalist, broadcaster and podcast creator based in East London who has been covering music, nightlife and cutting-edge culture for over 15 years
Her work has appeared on the front page of The New York Times, the Guardian and the Observer New Review, as well as in The Times, The Independent, Q, The Wire, NME, Dazed, i-D, Vice, Stylist, Mr Porter, Mixmag, Songlines, The Quietus and BBC.
Sod it. Hello. Let’s not pretend that someone else has written this, shall we.
Over the years I’ve interviewed people like PJ Harvey, Annie Lennox, Kim Gordon, Charli XCX, James Murphy and J Balvin and I’ve written about breaking talent like Rosalía, Dave, Kiddy Smile, Sarathy Korwar, Pongo and Nídia for NYT. I love interviewing but I’ve done some bizarre stuff: there was that time that I spoke to Wolfgang Tillmans live on Facebook while walking around his Tate exhibition as the cameraman tried to avoid streaming photos of scrotums to the audience. My elbow has had a starring role in a 2018 Apple Music documentary on Christine & The Queens and that’s me that Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran is talking to in this video.
My favourite pieces are things like driving through Islamabad in an armed convoy with Diplo (I really needed a wee, it was dicey), reporting on the East African music scene, raving on the Great Wall of China at sunrise with Nina Kraviz and that time that Idris Elba fed me oysters.
In 2016 I co-hosted a string of radio shows on NTS with Neneh Cherry, Bobby Gillespie, Matthew Herbert and Stewart Lee – who I accidentally almost knocked out live on air. Radio really is the ultimate thrill. After that, I joined Gilles Peterson’s digital station Worldwide FM to present a monthly show, with guests including Anoushka Shankar, Seun Kuti, Kojey Radical, Yaeji, Kaitlin Aurelia Smith and Floating Points.
In November 2019, I hosted a daily ‘Don’t Drive Time’ show on Extinction Rebellion’s pop-up station Rebel Radio, interviewing Simon Amstell, George Monbiot, Caroline Lucas, Susie Orbach and more about the climate emergency, which Miranda Sawyer featured in the Observer New Review (“her interview with Amstell was one of the best I’ve heard with him” – thanks Miranda!).
I’m also a regular big mouth on 6Music’s Roundtable and Monocle Radio’s culture show, and I’ve popped up on BBC 4’s Front Row. In December 2019 I was a talking head on a bleak Sky Arts show about all the musicians who died in the past decade. I don’t really know where to put this bit but I’ve also been the voice of a Noel Gallagher TV advert, sounding a bit posh, which I’ll never hear the end of down the pub again.
A thousand years ago, I also ran the micro-station London Fields Radio, which was based out of a cafe in Hackney and was where people could record podcasts as the coffee machine hummed in the background. It was legit: Dazed wrote about us once and VICE featured us in a short doc.
Which brings me onto…
In March 2019, to coincide with International Women’s Day, I launched The Last Bohemians, a podcast series that profiles fearless women and maverick outsiders in the arts, including Molly Parkin, Bonnie Greer, Pauline Black and Cosey Fanni Tutti. People seemed to like it a lot: it won silver in the Best New Podcast category at the British Podcast Awards 2020 and it was made a podcast of the year in the Financial Times, NME, The Week and on Spotify.
Prior to going freelance, I was the Deputy Editor at the Guardian Guide, where I put excellent music people like Stormzy, Skepta, Björk, Mica Levi and Four Tet on the cover and commissioned writing from Henry Rollins, Owen Pallett, St Vincent and Ezra Furman. Before that, back in the Jurassic Period, I was the Clubbing Editor at Time Out, a magazine I dearly loved and joined when I was 19. My job in my 20s was to literally go out raving for a living. As you can imagine, it was terrible.
I love to host a thing. Maybe I can host your thing? I programmed the talks tent at Lost Village Festival for two years running – everything from a Q&A with The Black Madonna to a workshop on ‘how to upgrade your orgasm’, folks – as well as the inaugural Oram Awards, an annual ceremony celebrating women in electronic music. I’ve hosted talks for Eventbrite, BBC Introducing, AIM, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, any cloud, as well as a Haim film premiere and a corporate gig for Visit California with Kelis where she sang ‘Good Stuff’ and I died and went to heaven. More recently, I’ve been in conversation with author Olivia Laing for the Tate Modern’s Lates programme and hosted one of Boiler Room’s Streaming In Isolation evenings, for which I was also the warm-up DJ and I can only imagine they regret immensely.
From 2014-2017, I oversaw a major fundraising event with broadcaster Gemma Cairney and The Music Circle – a subsidiary of Annie Lennox’s non profit The Circle – called Rumble In The Jumble. It raised over £100,000 during those years for Oxfam’s work with women around the world and featured donations from Kate Moss, Elton John, Florence Welch, Noel Gallagher, Mark Ronson and more. It was both the most stressful and most fun thing I’ve ever done, a bit like planning five weddings at once but with second-hand clothing, and I hope we get to do it again at some point because, well, just look at it.
Well done if you have made it this far…
Over the years I’ve played sporadically at what you might a call a ‘varied’ range of events, including: Field Day, End of the Road, Somerset House, Kensington Palace, the ballroom at Torture Garden, a sandstorm at the Lake of Stars Festival and BBC Woman’s Hour’s 70th Birthday celebrations. My most cherished memory is finally DJing at Glastonbury, on the Beat Hotel stage in 2019, to roughly seven people and one pram. That and making Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow dance to Uptown Funk.
As if you could ever be arsed to read more but if you’d like to: