Feature: The Ingredients of Return with Katy J Pearson

Friday, November 13, 2020
Photo by Sharon Lopez

There’s something about Katy J Pearson’s music that makes you feel like you’ve stepped inside a daydream you never want to leave. Over the past year, she’s shared enchanting glimpses of her much-anticipated debut album Return, with each as special as the next. The album marks Pearson’s return to music after being left overwhelmed by the pressures of working with a major label whilst working on another collaborative project with her brother. Now signed with Heavenly Recordings, Pearson has found peace once again in music and her album is a reflection of this. To celebrate the release of her debut album Return, she takes us through what shaped it. 


When I moved to Bristol things started to change for the better, I'd never lived in my own flat before in a city, with new people. The independence and warmth of the city really helped me to start writing again. There are loads of green spaces close to where I live, as well as my favourite local pub — The Old England. Over the last few years, The Old E has been a real community hub for me and my friends; meeting lots of different people really gave me insight and also a lot of interesting stories and things to write about.

The Laurel Canyon scene

My Dad brought me and my siblings up on a lot of artists from the Laurel Canyon scene, which involved Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen stills, Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, The Mamas & the Papas, The Beach Boys and The Beatles too.

Their work ethic and sense of community and collaboration within their music, and openness to learn from one another is something that really struck me. I think collaborating with your peers can be scary sometimes and sharing your work with a fellow musician certainly puts you in a vulnerable place, however by the end of making Return, I was bringing in lots of my friends from other bands and projects to add their mark. The sense of family that exuded from watching documentaries on the Laurel Canyon scene filled me with such joy and it’s something I hope — in the years to come — I can recreate in some way!!

South Devon

Since I was a baby, I have holidayed every year in South Devon with my family.

It has been my escape and a place I have always found quite magical. We used to stay close to Dartmoor where there are many ancient tales and Celtic stone circles. I have always felt a strong connection to that part of the world. I shot my first music video on Bolt Head in Salcombe which is such a stunning piece of natural beauty. 

Lavender Oil 

Lavender oil is my saviour and is something I put on my pillow every night and my wrists every morning.

It is such a stress reliever and is something that has kept me calm and feeling good in hard times. Lavender oil is a very strong ingredient in this album.


Denim is one of my staples in everyday life, in terms of outfits. Expressing myself through what I wear is vital to me.

Wearing an outfit I love makes me feel good, helps me feel confident and also inspires me. Denim especially is something I wore all through the recording process normally with a rhinestone jacket. Wearing some of my favourite bright outfits to the studio really helped me to focus and feel the part to an extent. Double denim has always been controversial but is something I heavily rely on in day-to-day life. It makes me feel powerful!!

Listen to Katy J Pearson’s album Return below.


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