The End: Kate Tempest | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, April 13th, 2024  

The End: Kate Tempest

Old and Healthy

Nov 15, 2019 Web Exclusive
Bookmark and Share

To end out the week, we ask Kate Tempest some questions about endings and death.

Tempest is a British singer/songwriter, poet, spoken word artist, novelist, and playwright born in London. Her debut solo album, Everybody Down, was released in 2014 and nominated for the Mercury Prize, as was her 2017-released sophomore album, Let Them Eat Chaos. Her third album, The Book of Traps and Lessons, came out in June. Rick Rubin co-produced the album with Tempest’s previous collaborator Dan Carey. Rubin saw Tempest perform a passage of her 75-minute narrative poem Brand New Ancients on Charlie Rose and was impressed enough that he tracked her down to record with her. Not only did Rubin co-produce the album, he released it on his American Recordings label.

Read on as Tempest talks about what song she’d like playing on her deathbed, her favorite endings to books and albums, and her concepts of heaven and hell.

How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?

I hope I die old and healthy. Of something quick.

What song would you like to be playing at your deathbed?

“You Make Loving Fun” by Fleetwood Mac. My girlfriend used to sing it to me all the time when we got together. It makes me feel good when I hear it.

What song would you like to be performed at your funeral and who would you like to sing it?

If I could have anyone singing at my funeral I’d like it to be someone amazing. Then even if my people were sad they wouldn’t be able to help themselves, they would have to smile. If death were no barrier to who it could be, I’d like it to be Prince. I’d like him to sing a medley of “I Would Die 4 U” into an extended version of “Purple Rain.”

What’s your favorite ending to a movie?

Shawshank Redemption. Beautiful ending.

What’s your favorite last song on an album?

I love the way Kendrick [Lamar] ends DAMN. with “DUCKWORTH.” The construction of that album, and all of his albums, is masterful.

If you were on death row, what would you like your last meal to be?

A couple of years ago I got a place on an artist’s residency in Umbertide in Italy. Every day, dinner was made by these three Italian mamas and their food was unbelievable. Fresh vegetables they grew in the garden. Simple cooking, but so tasty. They could make anything. I would like them to make the meal, whatever they fancied making that day, and seeing as it’s an imaginary meal, I would like it to be served on a big sunny terrace with all my friends and family there to share it with me

What’s your concept of the afterlife?

I don’t know what mine is yet, I’m still working it out. But I was talking to my dad once about what happens after, and the way he saw it was that the last thought that you have expands out and fills eternity, so if your last thought is tortured and you’re wracked with pain, guilt, shame—that’s what becomes of you forever, and that’s hell. But if your last thought is loving, full of tenderness and affection—that’s heaven. That’s what you leave behind. A positive reverberation. Which is a motivation to live a loving life. I thought that was interesting.

What would be your own personal version of heaven if it exists?

Peacefulness. Surrender. Abundance.

What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?


If reincarnation exists, who or what would you like to be reincarnated as?

A blue whale.

What role or achievement would you most like to be remembered for?

Being good to the loves in my life. Making work that mattered to people.

What would you like your last words to be?


Support Under the Radar on Patreon.


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Bill Ray
November 19th 2019

Very good answers, I like this interview!