CMAT has spoken to NME about the rising popularity of country music in the mainstream, as well as new music and plans to start a religion devoted to Kylie Minogue. Watch our interview above.

Speaking to NME at the BRIT Awards 2024 – where the singer, real name Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, was nominated for International artist of the year – told us how the Australian pop icon inspired her as a child.

“She is the love of my life and the most important woman. I do think we should have a religion dedicated to her,” CMAT said of Minogue, who was given the Global Icon award on the night. “She was omnipresent when I was growing up because I was five years old when the ‘Fever’ album came out.

“We didn’t really have any music that wasn’t the radio, I wasn’t exposed to any alternative music or anything until I was much older. So when I was exposed to the radio I think my brain really clung onto anything that was weird — and Kylie’s music is inherently quite alternative and quite strange.

She continued: “It’s structurally different, it doesn’t follow trends. Her music videos and visuals are so inspiring too because they’re so well thought out. So for me, she was just this beacon of weirdness. That’s the only way I can describe her.”

Thompson also reflected on the increasing number of alternative artists and “oddballs” in today’s music scene, as well as the new-found popularity in country music – both things she said are close to her heart.

“I love it,” she said, asked about artists such as Lana Del Rey and Beyoncé now venturing down a country route. “I’m a country music maker, country music is my genre so seeing mainstream artists [and] artists who are so brilliantly storied as being excellent writers has been really important to me.”

“Seeing [Del Rey] do that John Denver cover [‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’] was so beautiful. So she’ll kill it. She’ll be really good.”

CMAT attends the BRIT Awards 2024 at The O2 Arena on March 02, 2024 in London, England.
CMAT attends the BRIT Awards 2024 at The O2 Arena on March 02, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/WireImage/Getty Images)

On the night, CMAT was up for the International Artist of the Year award alongside Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and SZA, with the latter ultimately taking home the win. The Irish artist also shed light on her plans for 2024, including work on a new album.

“I’ve been working on new music, I just came back from the studio,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of touring too… and then festy season, then try and squish an album somewhere in between that.”

Last October, CMAT’s second album ‘Crazymad, For Me’ was given a four-star review by NME, and described as “immensely entertaining and impactful”.

“It’s a daunting task to follow up an exceptionally original debut, and yet Dublin’s answer to Dolly Parton – the endlessly charismatic CMAT – seems to have done it with no bother at all,” it read. “A concept album about heartbreak and time travel, it’s both earnestly raw and playfully absurd, establishing CMAT – moniker of Ciara Mary Alice Thompson – as one of the most bracing pop acts of the 2020s.”

Alongside a run of US headline shows – tickets for which are available here – CMAT will also play various shows across the UK later this summer, including festival appearances at BBC 6 Music Festival, TRNSMT and The Glasgow Weekender. Visit here for tickets to UK shows.

The post CMAT talks worshipping “weird” Kylie Minogue and new music on the way appeared first on NME.


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