Katy Steele

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Katy Steele
Little Birdy @ Capitol (30 5 2009) (3600180186).jpg
Background information
Birth name Kate Elizabeth Steele
Also known as Katy Steele
Born Perth, Western Australia
Genres Rock Music
Occupation(s) musician, guitarist, singer, songwriter
Instruments Telecaster electric guitar,
Years active 2001–present
Associated acts The Plastik Scene
Little Birdy

Katy Steele is the vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of the four piece rock band, Little Birdy.


Katy Steele was born Kate Elizabeth Steele in Perth, Western Australia, and has a fraternal twin brother, Jake. She and her brother are the youngest in the family. Her father, Rick Steele, is an accomplished blues musician who still performs today, together with Katy's oldest brother Jesse on drums, in his band, Rick Steele & The Hot Biscuit Band.[1] Her other older brother Luke, is the vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of alternative rock band The Sleepy Jackson and also a member of the psychedelic pop duo, Empire of the Sun. Jake performs on keyboards with his own band, Injured Ninja.[2]

Steele grew up in Perth and went to Mount Lawley Senior High School. She first started playing in Perth electro-pop band, The Plastik Scene, in 2001.[3]

Little Birdy (2002-present)[edit]

Main article: Little Birdy

In 2002, Steele left the band and joined Simon Leach forming Little Birdy. Steele won the inaugural Jessica Michalik Contemporary Music Award, presented by The Big Day Out on 8 March 2004. In 2004, she was also awarded the Contemporary Music Prize by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).[4] At the 2005 West Australian Music Industry Awards Steele won the WAMi for 'Best Female Vocalist'. She also recorded a version of the classic, "Six Months In a Leaky Boat", on the compilation album, She Will Have Her Way, a collection of Neil and Tim Finn songs performed by female Australian and New Zealand musicians. The song reached number 96 on Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2005

In 2007, Steele won best female performer in the Australian live music awards.[5] Katy has attracted comparisons to Kate Bush and PJ Harvey .[6]

Also in 2007, Steele was invited by Paul Kelly to open for him on his 2007 'Stolen Apples' tour.[7] Faced with a long run of solo shows, Steele set about writing new material.

In Perth I had a room which was really cool. It was a music room dedicated to writing. When I was asked to support Paul Kelly, I wrote "Confetti", "Into My Arms", "Stay Wild" and maybe six or seven other songs. I was so nervous about the Paul Kelly tour because they were theatre shows and I’d never played on my own before. So I wrote a whole bunch of songs that would hopefully sound good with just what I had — vocals and guitar.

— Katy Steele[7]

The material was then adapted and forms the basis of Little Birdy's new album, Confetti.

In 2008, Steele relocated to Brunswick, with the other band members also moving to Melbourne.[8] In early 2010 Steele announced on Triple J radio that she would be moving to New York[9] and the band announced that they would be taking some time out to pursue other individual ventures.[10]

Solo Career (2010-present)[edit]

Steele moved to New York in March 2010 for a change of scenery, and to start work on her new solo project.

"I’ve always loved the idea of NYC. The largeness, the intensity, the struggle. A lot of my idols have either come from New York or moved there at some point, so it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. There has never really been a chance in my life before now to have a break, or to pursue other directions."[11]

In May 2010, Steele returned home for a whirlwind sold-out tour to the major capital cities. She showcased her new material, along with some old classics, and stirred the audience with insights into her new life, and love, in New York.

July 2010 found Steele back in Australia supporting Richard Ashcroft (The Verve) on the Australian leg of his tour, and upon her return to New York, she announced her appointment as the Music Ambassador for the Williamsburg International Film Festival (Willifest 2010), for which a video for her song "Sorrow" was recorded.

Steele collaborated with her brother, Luke on "Good Things" as part of a Maurice Frawley tribute album.[12]

In late November 2011 Steele featured in a new release singing harmonies with Josh Pyke on the song, "Punch in the Heart". The video for the song sees both singers in a split-screen view performing twin one-take recordings singing to the camera.[13][better source needed]

On 13 March 2013 Steele's first single, "Fire Me Up" premiered on the Triple J radio program Home & Hosed.[14] "Fire Me Up" was also available through Bandcamp, where the track could be downloaded for free.[15] Steele's debut EP and album are expected to be released in 2013.


Little Birdy[edit]


  • "Fire Me Up" - (13 March 2013)

Compilation appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Czerniak, Maria. "Rick Steele". Groove Magazine. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  2. ^ Purvis, Ray (23 February 2008). "Turning Steele wheels". West Australian. Retrieved 2008-03-18. [dead link]
  3. ^ "The Plastik Scene". FasterLouder.com. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  4. ^ Zuel, Bernard (9 March 2004). "These are no hair today, gone tomorrow winners". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  5. ^ Gadd, Michael (16 May 2007). "Wolfmother knows Jack". News.com.au. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  6. ^ "Australian bands at SXSW 2005". Australian Music Collective. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  7. ^ a b "LITTLE BIRDY - The Summary Outfit". Reverb Magazine. Retrieved 2009-05-26. [dead link]
  8. ^ Donovan, Patrick (22 May 2009). "Fully fledged Birdy". The Age. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  9. ^ "The Doctor : Wednesday 27 January | media | triple j". Abc.net.au. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  10. ^ "Little Birdy". Little Birdy. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  11. ^ "Another Birdy: Katy Steele". Side Street, Sydney. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  12. ^ "Artists - Liberation Music". Liberation.com.au. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  13. ^ "Artists - Ivy League Records". http://vimeo.com/32643360. Retrieved 2011-12-07.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  14. ^ "Home & Hosed Playlists". Triple J. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Katy Steele". Bandcamp. Retrieved 14 March 2013.