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Katie Richardson: 'Seeing other artists doing amazing work inspires me'

We ask local celebrities what are their most favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 30-year-old is the first Artist in Residence at the Mac Theatre in Belfast. She will launch her first residency event, Murmur, on June 11, featuring music and visual arts performances.

My best moment

That was the first time I ever performed my own songs, because it was such a big deal for me. I didn't have a lot of confidence when I first started writing music. That was about seven years ago and it was with a band called Katie and the Carnival. I was so emotional on stage that I can remember turning away from the audience and having to take a little breath to calm down.

My best song

One of my own - I'd say Dancer. The video for the Nashville junk version was a lot of fun to make and the track was very much focused on rhythm and a strong beat. Clapping, stomping, thumping. Those tracks allow you to really feel the music

My best movie

I'm not a big movie buff and I tend to go for documentaries and comedies. I recently watched Amy - the documentary about Amy Winehouse and it really stuck with me as she's a massive inspiration of mine. I also love Man On Wire - the film about walking the high wire between the twin towers in New York.

My best way to relax

I love being outdoors, so I love to hike and see some beautiful scenery - I'm happy going with other people but sometimes I prefer to have my own head space. Another obvious way for me to relax is to go to lots of gigs and art events to see other people perform. There are so many artists here doing amazing things and seeing other people's work really inspires me.

My best job

Music has always been my career. I do a lot of things freelance but one of my favourite jobs at the moment is my work with the Open House Festival - I run a choir with them. The Open House Festival Choir has over 70 members and they're of all different ages and kinds of backgrounds. They're brilliant to work with and such inspiring people

My best bit of advice

The best advice that's been drummed into me recently is about my confidence and that true happiness begins with being kind to yourself and you can achieve anything you put your mind to. I have a lot of friends who encourage me, but my best friend Nuala encourages me every day in whatever I'm doing.

My best gift

I'm not into getting things, so much as experiences. For my 30th birthday, my friends organised an incredible surprise party for me and it was probably the best night of my life. They blind-folded me and brought me to a brilliant restaurant which was full of prosecco and balloons. I thought that was it but then they took me to the Sunflower bar where the beer garden was filled with people playing guitar and blowing bubbles and all sorts of things. It was a beautiful night.

My best achievement

The thing I'm proudest of is a project I launched last year called To Be Beautiful. It's about self-esteem and body image through creativity. To launch it I spoke out about having an eating disorder for the first time in 15 years and I did a TED Talk about it last year. It was the scariest thing I've ever done, so the fact that I got through it is something I'm very proud of.

My best buy

I love travelling so it's always going to be flights. For New Year's Eve I went to Iceland by myself - I needed some head space. I saw all the fireworks and bonfires and just hung out. It's such a beautiful country and I loved it.

My best book

I love poetry and poetic prose. One book I always go back to is Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. It's the advice that the established poet gives to young poets who write to him.

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