Katy on a Mission

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"Katy on a Mission"
A portrait shaded diagonally in the colour of blue from the bottom to purple in the center and pink at the top. Centered in bold, white capital letter font is the name 'Katy B' and below it is the title 'Katy On a Mission' with 'Katy On' split on one line and 'a Mission' on the line directly below it.
Single by Katy B
from the album On a Mission
B-side "Louder"
Released 22 August 2010
Format Digital download
Recorded Zinc's Studio, London, England
Genre Dubstep
Length 4:11 (single version)
3:39 (album version)
Label Rinse
Songwriter(s) Katie Brien, Beni Adejumo, Geeneus
Producer(s) Benga
Katy B singles chronology
"Katy on a Mission"
"Perfect Stranger"
"Katy on a Mission"
"Perfect Stranger"
Music video
"Katy on a Mission" on YouTube

"Katy on a Mission" is a song performed by British recording artist Katy B. It was released by Rinse accompanied by a b-side titled "Louder" as her debut single and lead single from her debut album, On a Mission, on 22 August 2010. The song was co-written by Benga, Katy B and Geeneus, and produced by Benga. Musically, the song is constructed around beats, synths and a bassline found most prominent in the dubstep music genre. It achieved charting success in the United Kingdom where it topped the UK Dance Chart and UK Indie Chart while peaking at number five on the UK Singles Chart. The single was accompanied by a music video which was directed by Johny Mourgue.

The song has since been certified Gold in the UK for selling over 400,000 copies, making it Katy B's first and only single so far to do so.


Katy B had been working with British underground grime, garage and house record producers since the age of fifteen before debuting "Katy on a Mission" to her mainstream audience.[1] The song, originally "just another dubstep track Katy was going to vocal," was written by Katy B and produced by British record producer Benga. In an interview with Kieran Yates of The Guardian, Katy mentioned that without Benga's beat, "Katy on a Mission" would have not been as successful.[2] It was inspired by how Katy feels when she goes raving with her friends. Speaking to Greg Cochrane from the BBC, she explained:

Lyrics wise, usually dubstep makes me want to write about happy, love and dancing with my girls. This track didn't have that feel so I wanted to write about how it feels when you go into a club and there's so much energy in a room - basically putting that into words.[1]

Fraser McAlpine of the BBC said that lyrically, the song has taken club bangers into their next phase by rather than being a club song about a club, it is instead a club song about how some things only make sense in a club situation. He further interpreted, "[The song] is about having a few relationship issues - with a DJ, no less - and how the music is the only thing that makes this sorry situation bearable.".[3] Technically, the bassline has an unusual 11 beats in 12 (three bars of four). This 11-beat underlies the main tune, and in live performances is performed by trumpet rather than synthesizer. Vocally, the track has a R&B style to it.[4] Katy B began developing this style at the age of thirteen in addition to being influenced by rave music and the music of Destiny's Child and Ne-Yo.[1] "Katy On a Mission" was playlisted on BBC Radio 1 for nearly two months and has birthed acclaim that Katy B has become the 'female face of dubstep'. In response to the tag, Katy said: "It doesn't bother me if people wanna call it a dubstep song or call me a dubstep singer but I have done other stuff."[1] Singing on dubstep was described by Katy as a different experience, "It can be a bit darker, and that's cool." Katy stated that what she loved about the song was the large amount of energy its instrumental had, deeming it as a main factor to the single's commercial success.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

"Katy on a Mission" received positive reviews from contemporary critics. Fraser McAlpine from the BBC felt that lyrically the song has a subtle but incredibly welcome refinement to it. He complimented the central refrain of the song saying, it "lingers in the mind like a family of mice lingers in quality wainscotting." McAlpine further highlighted the "stunning waterfall of decayed voices after the chorus" and its "beautiful production trick[s], applied to a lovely mournful melody, with smashing results."[3] Nick Levine from Digital Spy called the track fairly sublime; "Over buzzing synths, a lovely blacmangey bassline and beats that manage to be chunky and nimble at the same time - like an overweight contortionist". Levine further said that the loads of ear-snagging "ooh-ooh-oooh-ooh-wooh" hooks acts as the icing of an already scrumptious cake. He went on to say while Katy B tries love, "With a tune as good as this, you don't need to think twice."[5]

Paul Lester of The Guardian deemed the track as "shiny grime" with Mercury Prize-winning potential. Lester further complimented the song, saying: "Bass-heavy but definitely more of a song than a series of low-frequency bursts and blasts, it's the perfect balance of urban edge and smoov[sic] R&B/soul."[4] While Louise Brailey of NME called the song a proper dance anthem, saying: "Her neo-soulful vocals lend a layer of slinky gloss over knotty dubstep swing and rubberised arpeggios, creating a centre-piece of rave that leads the wave of big-room dubstep breaking commercial spheres as we speak."[6] Shawn Reynaldo of XLR8R felt that Benga toned down his trademark chainsaw wobble to a reasonable level, allow Katy B's soulful vocals to shine.[7] The Fader's Julianne Escobedo Sheperd felt that the "angelic R&B warbles" and "shin-kicking synths" of the track are a similar cross over to Rusko and Amber Coffman's "Hold On" (2010).[8]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United Kingdom, "Katy on a Mission" debuted and peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart issued on 4 September 2010.[9] It was the second highest new entry of the week, behind Taio Cruz' "Dynamite" which debuted at number one.[9] The single then dropped three places to number eight. It has since spent four consecutive weeks at number eight and six consecutive weeks in the top ten.[10] The song also topped the UK Dance Chart for two weeks, and the UK Indie Chart for three weeks.[11] as of 31 December it had sold over 277,000 in the UK.

Within the UK, "Katy on a Mission" debuted and peaked at number ten on the Scottish regional chart on 4 September 2010.[12] It was the third highest new entry for that week, behind Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" and Brandon Flowers' "Crossfire".[12] The single also peaked at number twenty-one on the European Hot 100 Singles chart.[13] It debuted at number twenty-nine on Flemish Belgium's Ultratip chart issued on 2 October 2010.[14]

The song was covered by the Arctic Monkeys on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge on 25 January 2012.

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for "Katy on a Mission" was released by Rinse Records on 8 July 2010.[7] The video features Katy and Benga in London nightclub Matter.

Track listings[edit]

  • Digital download[15]
    (386311562, Released: 22 August 2010)
  1. "Katy on a Mission" (Katie Brien, Beni Adejumo, Geeneus) – 4:11
  2. "Louder" (Katie Brien, Benjamin Pettit)– 4:36
  • Digital EP[16]
    (387162709, Released: 30 August 2010)
  1. "Katy on a Mission" – 4:11
  2. "Katy on a Mission" (Roska Remix) – 5:08
  3. "Louder" – 4:36


Chart (2010) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[17] 39[14]
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[18] 76[14]
European Hot 100 Singles[13] 21
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[12] 10
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[19] 1
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[11] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 5

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Catalogue
Ireland[20] 22 August 2010 Digital download 386311562
United Kingdom[15]
Ireland[21] 30 August 2010 Digital EP 387162709
United Kingdom[16]


  1. ^ a b c d Cochrane, Greg (2010-09-06). "Introducing... Katy B". BBC Newsbeat. BBC. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  2. ^ a b Yates, Kieran (2010-09-03). "Katy B: the girl on a mission to shake up the underground". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  3. ^ a b McAlpine, Fraser (2010-08-22). "Katy B - 'Katy's On A Mission'". BBC Chart Blog. BBC. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  4. ^ a b Lester, Paul (2010-07-19). "New band of the day – No 828: Katy B". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  5. ^ Levine, Nick (2010-08-22). "Katy B: 'Katy On A Mission'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Ltd. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  6. ^ Brailey, Louise (2010-08-20). "Radar Band Of The Week – No. 17: Katy B - Radar Band of the Week". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  7. ^ a b Reynaldo, Shawn (2010-07-08). "Watch the Video for Katy B's New Benga-Produced Single". XLR8R. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  8. ^ Escobedo Sheperd, Julianne (2010-07-12). "Video: Katy B x Benga, "On a Mission"". The Fader. The Fader, Inc. Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  9. ^ a b c "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  10. ^ "Katy B - Katy On A Mission". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  11. ^ a b "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  12. ^ a b c "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  13. ^ a b "European Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  14. ^ a b c "ultratop.be - Katy B - Katy On A Mission". archive.is. 24 November 2016. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  15. ^ a b "Katy On A Mission - Single". iTunes Store United Kingdom. Apple Inc. 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  16. ^ a b "Katy On a Mission - EP". iTunes Store United Kingdom. Apple Inc. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Katy B – Katy On a Mission" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Katy B – Katy On a Mission" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  19. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  20. ^ "Katy B - Katy On A Mission". 7digital.ie. 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  21. ^ "Katy B - Katy On A Mission". 7digital.ie. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Club Can't Handle Me" by Flo Rida featuring David Guetta
UK Dance Chart
number-one single

18 September 2010 – 16 October 2010
Succeeded by
"Miami 2 Ibiza" by Swedish House Mafia featuring Tinie Tempah
Preceded by
"Kickstarts" by Example
"You Took My Heart" by Pepper & Piano
"Make You Feel My Love" by Adele
UK Indie Chart
number-one single

29 August 2010 – 5 September 2010
12 September 2010 – 26 September 2010
17 October 2010 – 24 October 2010
Succeeded by
"You Took My Heart" by Pepper & Piano
"Focus" by Emma's Imagination
"Make You Feel My Love" by Adele