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Music

Kate Bush gives rare interview about her new popularity

@TomTaylorFO

Kate Bush has been brightening the dismal daily lives of many of us with her singular sanguine sound for some time now, and there is almost no better hero for the moment than Bush to find a resurgence among the youth. 

Thanks to Stranger Things, her anthemic ‘Running Up That Hill’ secured a long-awaited number one spot, and Bush herself has attracted a new legion of younger fans. This is cause for celebration for all of us from where I’m standing, but for Bush, it is an unexpected boon that she had been so jubilant about that it has even coaxed her out for a rare interview. 

“The thought of all these really young people hearing the song for the first time and discovering it is, well, I think it’s very special,” the 63-year-old singer told Emma Barnett for an exclusive interview on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, the iconic show broadcast on weekdays from 10am.

Speaking of the Netflix boom to her back catalogue plays, Bush commented: “Well it’s just extraordinary. I mean, you know, it’s such a great series, I thought that the track would get some attention. But I just never imagined that it would be anything like this. It’s so exciting. But it’s quite shocking really, isn’t it? I mean, the whole world’s gone mad.”

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Also fuelled by TikTok videos, the track has found pretty much unrivalled popularity for Bush, becoming her first top ten hit in the US. “What’s really wonderful I think is this is a whole new audience who, in a lot of cases, they’ve never heard of me and I love that,” she said.

Clearly in an upbeat frame of mind, she continued: “The thought of all these really young people hearing the song for the first time and discovering it is, well, I think it’s very special.”

Speaking about the track itself, Bush also commented: “I really like people to hear a song and take from it what they want. But originally it was written as the idea of a man and a woman swapping with each other. Just to feel what it was like, from the other side.”

As Barnett noted, the song was even originally intended to have a different title. “It was called ‘A Deal With God’,” Bush confirmed. “I think they were just worried, the record company, that it wouldn’t get played on the radio. That people would feel it was a sensitive title.”

Bush even went on to hint that there may be more to come from the track. “I never listen to my old stuff. But then you know, when things like this come along, I’m normally involved in something like you know, maybe doing an edit or revisiting the track for some kind of other reason, I’m working on it. So yeah, I hadn’t heard it for a really long time,” she stated. 

For a reticent star, she was even drawn to comment on the ‘80s era during which Stranger Things is set. “Yeah, I think it was a great time. I mean, there was some great music in the 80s, but I think it’s an incredibly exciting time we’re in now I mean, okay, so it’s an awful time on a lot of levels for people. Very difficult. But it’s also a time when incredible things are happening.”

Adding: “Technology is progressing at this incredible rate. That’s pretty overwhelming, really. But, you know, there’s so many advances in medicine and there are positive things, you just have to look a bit harder to find them at the moment, I think.”

Ultimately, concluding: “I just want to say, thank you very much. Thank you to everyone because it’s just extraordinary what’s happening. And it’s very exciting. And thank you Emma, thank you for giving me the time to say thank you to everyone. And you know – hooray!” Hooray indeed!

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