Girly Stomp’ runs radio

At the age of 27, the time had come to make a break and make a living, up-and-coming singer/songwriter KT Tunstall said.

Nearly four years later, KT’s songs are in heavy rotation on the radio; she has made several television appearances and has toured extensively, making pit stops in Europe and the United States. Not bad for a woman who classifies her music as “Girly Stomp.”

With a sound that is deeply-rooted in folk music with the appeal of pop, Tunstall is trying to make a career with longevity in a business which she says has “So much more pressure on the female [musician].”

Her music roots can be traced back to Fife, Scotland, where she was raised by adoptive parents who owned neither a stereo nor a television. It wasn’t until later in her life that she met her birth mother, who told her that her father was a folk musician. At the age of 6 she started to become classically trained on piano and flute. At 15, she began singing and writing her own songs.

It wasn’t until age 16, when she picked up her guitar and learned to play and sing on her own.

Tunstall, who describes herself as a hippie who believes in love, attended several different universities, including Kent School in Connecticut, where she observed concerts by The Grateful Dead and 10,000 Maniacs and formed her first band, The Happy Campers.

She played in several different independent bands throughout her 20s, focusing on songwriting and drawing her inspiration from personal experiences and her influences, such as Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed and black, female soul/blues singers.

Tunstall, during the songwriting process, conducts phrases and music at the same, she said, adding that putting lyrics to music later on as, “Putting a round peg into a square whole.”

Her sound came out of “pure frustration,” of becoming older with no direction in sight. She described her music as “beats from a junkyard dog.”

After several failed attempts to make it in the music industry, she headed to London, finally securing a record deal and was set to work on her debut album, “Eye to the Telescope” with U2/New Order producer, Steve Osbourne.

“It’s hard to judge a producer like that,” she said. “He’s done basically male rock [in the past] so he brings a masculinity to the music.”

“Eye” was not the debut album she anticipated.

“It’s never gonna be what you expect,” she said. “You have to keep an open mind and allow people to give you advice.”

Tunstall has been riding a wave of success with her album peaking at No. 3 in the U.K. and receiving three Brit Awards nominations, including Best British Live Act, British Breakthrough Act and Best Female British Solo Artist.

“I don’t give a shit,” she said about being nominated for the awards, “I do what I think is good.” She later added that it was ” A real highlight [of her career] to be recognized in that way.”

Next up for Tunstall is the release of a 10-track acoustic album, that was recorded in one day on an island in Scotland entitled, “Acoustic Extravaganza,” which is set to be released on May 15, followed by more extensive touring.