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I'm a Phannatiq! Julie McKee

Singer-songwriter Julie has a passion for piano, performing - and pastries!

Why are you a phannatiq?
It's edgy and punky but also chic. I like that it's gritty and classy and crosses fashion genres.

Describe your style
Urban and contemporary but with a fleck of the sixties. I'm inspired by style icons such as Jean Seberg.

The city, because…
It has everything I like: culture, music, theatre, style and beautiful parks. To me, it has the feeling of possibility. There's always something interesting going on. I also love that you meet people from all over the world, who bring their own perspective and add a lot to the mix.

What's your biggest passion? And your worst vice?
My biggest passion is for sharing an idea, often through a song or a piece of writing, in the hope that it makes a connection. My worst vice is indecision… or is it my sweet tooth?! I'm a sucker for cakes, pastries and the like.

Tell us about your favourite object
It has to be my piano. I chose it when I was about 14. Before that, I'd learned to play on an ancient second-hand piano with candlestick holders! This one has been through many musical journeys with me, from going through the rest of my Grade exams as a teenager, through boyfriend break-ups and moving to London, to writing all the songs from my two albums on it. It's also been moved up five flights of stairs to an attic flat (those poor removals men…), back down again to a small rented house and then to the home I now live in. I don't intend to put it through any more moves if I can help it!

What do you want to be remembered for?
As somebody with integrity, who pursued her creative ideals and gave a lot of enjoyment through them. Also as somebody who found a way to tell people's stories in an interesting way.

What's your signature movement?
Apparently, when I laugh at something really funny, I open my mouth so wide you can see my tonsils.

Where are you now? What are you doing next?
I recently released an album of original songs called Light on the Ledge. I'm on piano and vocals, backed by a string quartet, double bass and sax. Most of the songs are story-based and I'm really pleased with it. The strings give it a cinematic feel. I've been gigging that and writing new songs too, to add to the mix and for the next album. There is a lot of inspiration, given what's going on in the UK at the moment!

Find Julie's music at www.juliemckee.com

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