Katty Heath, 37, a member of Nottingham band Spotlight Kid and one half of the duo the Herb Birds, explains how she has ended up in the Dutch version of The Voice
I WAS born and bred in Cambridgeshire but came to Nottingham in 1993 to study Contemporary Arts at the Nottingham Trent University.
I’d grown up listening to old rock n' roll, country, the Beatles, the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Blondie, etc. My parents aren't musicians but they are music enthusiasts. My dad collects old records and they still go and watch live bands.
I started learning piano aged ten and I loved singing, dancing and acting in school plays and drama groups.
As a teenager I became interested in indie music and started singing in bands.
After graduating university here I studied music industry skills at NCN (then known as Clarendon) and at Square Centre recording studios, where I also volunteered as a studio assistant.
I’ve been involved with numerous music projects during my time in Nottingham, the main ones being: Bent, Spotlight Kid and The Herb Birds.
Tee Dymond and I celebrated 15 years of The Herb Birds at a special event at The Approach in May. We met at university and started singing together at the open mic nights at The Golden Fleece, then we became professional and have played most of the drinking establishments in Nottingham, as well as lots of weddings and parties. We had residencies at Snug lounge, Southbank Bar amongst others.
I worked with Bent (Nail Tolliday and Simon Mills) for ten years. I was their live vocalist and featured on their third studio album, Ariels. We toured internationally and supported Scissor Sisters, Orbital and Faithless.
Spotlight Kid started as a collaboration between myself and Chris Davis but has since developed into a six-piece, recording two albums and playing Glastonbury on the BBC Introducing stage.
I've done a variety of jobs over the years including at the Orange Tree, Ice Hockey UK (I'm a big Panthers fan) and Nottingham Playhouse.
Since last year I’ve been living on a house boat in Amsterdam.
I met my Dutch boyfriend, Cas, whilst working in a ski resort in the French Alps. Cas is a chef and has worked on tours for Katy Perry, Arcade Fire and Sade.
Over here I babysit, work in a cafe, teach English, teach piano and I also volunteer as a co-host for a radio show.
I had seen The Voice of Holland on TV and my boyfriend's family encouraged me to enter in March.
I had to go through two tough selection rounds (singing a capella in a room in front of a panel of producers and vocal coaches) before I even made it to the ‘blind auditions which were aired on TV in August. It was terrifying.
In our teams of 16 we then had to battle against a team-mate to get through the next round and I won, singing Madonna’s Frozen. That was aired on TV last month.
Now I’m preparing for the live shows. The first one is on November 9.
A film crew spent a day in my home and also followed me to work for The Voice of Holland - Real Life, which airs on Wednesdays between the singing shows.
I would love to get through to the final stages but the competition is tough. I am one of the oldest contestants so experience should be on my side, but nothing can prepare you for the pressure of performing on a TV talent show. I never used to get stage fright but nerves have got the better of me recently. I think it's because it means so much to me to achieve some success after years of hard work and struggling.
I'm hoping that the TV exposure will lead to some exciting new collaborations in Holland.
My ultimate dream would be to have my solo efforts topping the Dutch charts... and in the UK, of course.
Watch Katty on The Voice of Holland at www.thevoiceofholland.com.You can also follow her on Twitter: @kattyheath.
Little Star, a collection of songs, will be available on Spotify and iTunes from November 15.