Kate Tempest grew up in South-East London, where she still lives. She started out as a rapper, toured the spoken word circuit for a number of years, and now works as a poet and playwright too. Her work includes 'Balance', her first album with her band Sound of Rum, 'Everything Speaks in its Own Way', her first collection of poems, published on her own imprint Zingaro, which comes with a CD and DVD of live performance; 'GlassHouse', a forum theatre play for Cardboard Citizens; and the plays 'WASTED' (Published by Methuen Drama) and 'Hopelessly Devoted' for new writing theatre company Paines Plough.
Her epic poem Brand New Ancients won both the Ted Hughes Prize for innovation in poetry and a Herald Angel Award. It is published by Picador and is touring nationwide until April 2014. After a sell out show at St Anne's Warehouse, Brooklyn, Brand New Ancients received a rave review in the New York Times and came to international attention.
She continues to work with music, and featured on the track Our Town, a collaboration with producer duo letthemusicplay (Greco-Roman.) She also featured on the track Hot Night Cold Spaceship (Speedy Wunderground) and has collaborated with Sinead O'Connor, Damien Dempsey and Bastille.
Her debut solo album came out on Big Dada in 2014, which she made with acclaimed music producer Dan Carey.
She has performed at Glastonbury and all major UK festivals, as well as performing internationally. She sold out the Old Vic Theatre in London for the launch of Everything Speaks... and has appeared on BBC TV and radio many times performing her poems. She has been commissioned to write for The Royal Shakespeare Company, Amnesty International, Barnado's and Channel 4 Television.
Her second poetry collection will be publisher by Picador in Autumn 2014 and her debut novel The Bricks that Built the Houses will be published by Bloomsbury in 2015.