KT Tunstall says she feels bad for new singers ahead of accepting Ivor honour

KT Tunstall said she feels “bad” for new musicians ahead of her accepting the Ivor Novello award for outstanding song collection.

The Scottish singer-songwriter, 48, is set to be recognised at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Thursday.

She is being honoured along with Bruce Springsteen, who will make history at the awards as the first international songwriter to be awarded an Ivors Academy fellowship.

Speaking at the red carpet to the PA news agency, Tunstall said the prize was “extremely special” and she was lucky she did not have to “practice my happy loser face”.

Ivor Novello Awards 2024
KT Tunstall (Lucy North/PA)

Tunstall added: “I think it’s the most meaningful award I’ve ever had and it just feels like a massive hug, which spending 20 years really doing my best… work I’ve been able to do so it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing to happen, pretty unexpected as well.”

She added that she was “gobsmacked” when she was told by Tom Gray, who the Scottish singer had been working with on the broken record campaign to “try and make streaming a reasonable income for a writer”.

When asked about why there has not been stronger action on getting revenues from streaming music, Tunstall said: “It was very much a case of the industry just not keeping his eye on the ball, including us musicians.

“And once people get something for next to nothing, it’s extremely difficult to go backwards on that.

“I don’t know what the future looks like, but I’m certainly willing and able to be part of galvanising musicians together to try and change because, I feel so bad for new musicians, it’s next to impossible for them to make a living.”

BST Hyde Park
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (James Manning/PA)

“And at least I sort of had my hand on the till of people buying albums.

“But I really hope that legislation and Tom being at the forefront of that really helps because music… without good songs, you’ve got to have the good materials and the writers have got to be part of the renumeration of wealth around music.

“And I think we’ve learned over the last few crazy years that it’s mixing music is just magic, brings all of us together. So yeah, I love the Ivors for that. And they’re celebrating the writers.”

The event also sees British singer-songwriter Raye nominated for best album her chart-topping record My 21st Century Blues, alongside Irish singer CMAT’s Crazymad, For Me; London jazz musician Yussef Dayes’ Black Classical Music; Irish folk group Lankum’s False Lankum.

CMAT, who described herself as a “very nerdy person” that always wanted to win an Ivor Novello, told PA it was “so nuts” to be up for the prize.

“I’m not winning tonight,” she added. “I like to work for these things, I feel like if I got it on the first go, it feels a bit lucky.”

Speaking about her outfit at the Brit Awards in a black fluffy outfit, she said: “My bum is covered today, she’s away, sorry to let the people down, but you can only do one of them once a year, I’ll get the crack out again I’m sure.”

Victoria Canal’s Black Swan also picked up a nod for best song musically and lyrically after the Spanish-American singer-songwriter won The Ivors’ rising star gong last year.

Canal said that she was not “worried about winning”, as the “win” for her was performing in front of Springsteen.

“I feel fine, no matter how today goes,” she added.