Katie Melua is a Georgian singer who was born in 1984. Her family moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland when she was eight years old and to London six years later. She will celebrate her 30th birthday later this month.
Melua studied at the B.R.I.T. School for the Performing Arts & Technology in London. in the early 2000s, she was singing in pop and rhythm and blues styles and listening to modern performers. At that point, Melua discovered earlier performers such as Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell, whose music, she said, “felt raw and real.” She also discovered Eva Cassidy, who she said was a modern singer with the previous generation’s sensibilities.
At that point, she met song writer/producer Mike Batt. Batt is decades older but shares her admiration for Cassidy. Melua signed with Batt’s Dramtico Records in September, 2002.
Katie Melua Tops the Pops
Her first album was released in 2003. “Call Off the Search” sold 1.8 million copies and reached the top of the U.K. charts. Her next album, “Piece by Piece,” was released in 2005 and has gone platinum four or six times, depending on which source you believe. I guess it’s safe to say it was a success.
And so was she. The Wikipedia profile says that Melua may now be the second richest musician under thirty in the U.K., with earnings of £18 million, which is slightly less than $30 million.
AllMusic assessment of “Call Off the Search” provides insight into Melua’s music in general.
A comfortable, tasteful blend of jazz vocals, pop style, and adult contemporary sway, the album featured two cuts penned byMelua (including a tribute to one of her biggest influences,Eva Cassidy), as well as covers of material from John Mayall, Randy Newman, and the James Shelton classic “Lilac Wine.” The single “Closest Thing to Crazy” hit number one in December, and by January of the following year, Call Off the Search had gone platinum (300,000 units in the U.K.). It continued selling copies for years, eventually going platinum six times.
Above is “Perfect Circle” and below is “What I Miss About You.”