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Kate Nash was born in Harrow, London. She began playing the piano at a young age after taking lessons at Sandbach School. During her high school years, Nash attended the prestigious BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology to study theater. The BRIT School is a private school, albeit completely free to attend, that trains selected students in all aspects of performance arts including music, theater, and art/design. Alumni of the BRIT School include Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Leona Lewis.
Following her high school years, Nash applied to the drama program at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, but was rejected. According to her, "I didn't get into drama school, and I couldn't get into uni either, so I had to have a year out. I'd been writing songs since I was 14, but they weren't any good, but then on my year out I started to get a style of my own and actually have things to write about, having a bit more life experience, not much, but a little bit more." She gradually moved from her dream career of acting toward music, but has since stated that if she were no longer success in music, she can see herself becoming an independent film actress.
In 2005 Nash posted her song demos on her MySpace page, where she was a friend of fellow Brit singer and songwriter Lily Allen. She and Allen supported one another through each of their fan bases, and within months, Nash had scored a record deal to produce her debut album, Made of Bricks. The album title means, according to Nash, that "bricks are strong, just like good relationships are strong, and that's what bricks signify to me." The album was a huge success and went to #1 on the UK albums chart, #8 on the Irish albums chart, and gold certification in Germany. However, her success did not go to her head. She has stated that unlike many pop stars who rise to fame, she feels that "being satisfied with having a career as a musician and a songwriter leaves me feeling like a freak for not wanting to better myself by becoming more famous for selling songs to adverts appearing on The X Factor or getting my tits out in some lads mag."
In 2008 after the breakthrough success of her first single, "Foundations
," released from her debut album, 19-year-old Nash experienced major stress while touring. The work schedule itself was haggard. She also said that she felt like she was having a nervous breakdown from the constant stress of having to be a perfect performer, singing the same set over and over and being just as excited each time as the first. Nash confesses that she "started drinking a lot, not in a serious way, but it doesn't keep you as healthy as you should be. I was so tired." As a result, after her tour she took a year off to recharge and recuperate before getting back in the studio to record her second album, My Best Friend Is You
Nash is a feminist who chooses to work with as many female sound engineers and crew members as possible. She states that it is because she has "been exposed in such an extreme way to a lot of sexism. I've become aware of being in a very male-dominated industry where a door opens and it's like, 'Oh hello, it's 12 men and me. Again.'" Nash has also established the Rock and Roll After-School Music Club that is involved in giving secondary school girls a chance to compete in songwriting battles, as a way to increase the awareness that females can, and do, write their own music.
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