FEATURE: Kami Thompson “I would have done anything I could not to go into music.”

Here at The Kaje we are not the type to cast aspersions, but it goes without saying really that talented parents do not necessarily always spawn such talent in their offspring. However, in the case of Kami Thompson, daughter of folk royals Linda and Richard Thompson, the ability has seeped through in shed loads. But realising that her career path may have mapped out in her genes was not something Thompson was willing to accept without a fight. “Oh God. I was doing everything possible not to. I would have done anything I could not to go into music,” Thompson exclaims as we sit chatting over a quiet coffee in Soho. Far from using her parents’ successes as a springboard, she admits to having done everything in her power to avoid the inevitable. She confirms calmly, “I had gone down a completely different career path.”

“I was doing other things then realised I had a record and set about making it.”

And while it may have taken her a while to come to terms with her pre-determined career path, the relaxed chanteuse finally feels ready to unleash her solo material, in the shape of her deeply moving debut album “Love Lies”, to the world. She admits that in the end there was nowhere left to hide. “I was doing other things then realised I had a record and set about making it. I quit the day job and did it.”

 

While it may seem strange in a world dominated by stolen success and borrowed celebrity, Thomson displays little interest in stealing spotlights. In fact, if anything, she is the antithesis of the modern day musician. A song smith to the core, Thompson craves not the attention but rather the expression. It transpires that opening this world of intimate self-expression to her parents was a far greater deterrent than being accused of a career by association. She ponders, “I think it is one thing to go into law if your parents are lawyers, but as a musician if you have musician parents and you make a record, then they have to listen to it at some point and just the thought of that was enough to put me off for a long time.”

“It wasn’t much of a process really. I wrote some songs, I wrote enough songs to record a record.”

“I have always thought about maybe doing it, but I never thought consciously ‘I am going to sit down and write a record now.’ The notion, I guess, was just drifting through my system and so I just said yes to it at the right time.” Having explored other fields, Thompson stumbled back into music around six years ago, but even then she was unsure of whether she had a record in her. But as she wrote sporadically, she found that she amassed material worthy of sharing. Rather than run away due to fear, she decided to bite the bullet and run with it.  “It wasn’t much of a process really. I wrote some songs, I wrote enough songs to record a record. Then I called up someone I knew inNew Yorkand asked if they would like to record the songs. They said they would. So I went over to New York over the course of a couple of years, whenever he had time and just put it all together.”

Kami Thompson plays The Bowery, London on November 15.

Words and Images: Jeremy Williams

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