Since emerging in 1995 with her pared back debut album Dear
Sir, Cat Power – born Charlyn Marshall – has intrigued and confounded. Time Out reveals seven things you didn’t know about the Atlanta star as she comes to Shanghai
She lost a boyfriend to model Agyness Deyn last year
I was in a relationship for four years... and there were a
lot of new things I was learning, like how a healthy family operates. There was
a lot of hope, positivity and self-growth. Then that kind of fell apart. You
know when you’ve been cheerleading for a successful relationship? When that
fails you feel like a failure. But because of that I think I’m much more optimistic
now than before I entered that relationship.
She’s part Cherokee
My mom used to tell me about her granddad. He died before I
was born, but he was full-blood Cherokee. I have Cherokee on both my mom and my
She’s tuned in to worlds beyond this one.
Have I had supernatural experiences just like thousands of
other people have? Yeah. In this world you’re nuts, you need lithium and you’re
going to get shock treatment if you discuss it because it’s invalid... I know I
sound crazy but I’m not.
She was born prematurely, which almost left her blind and
When I was little I was in an incubator for two or three
months. My ears and eyes were really infected so they didn’t know if I was
going to be able to see or hear. I think being removed from my mother’s womb
and going directly into this place where there was a bunch of light and warmth,
completely alienated from all human touch, did something subconsciously. I
think that’s responsible for causing the mind to have some sort of defence
Her dreams have a large cast
My grandmother was very religious and after she finished
reading me my favourite stories, as I’d be going to sleep she’d start to read
the Bible. Sometimes I’d wake up on the floor, falling off the bed and the person
there when I woke up was always this dude that looked like Jesus with all this
white light. Lucid dreaming. I’ve had people come into my room since I was a
little baby. When I was 12 or 13 it was this girl from the 1800s who would
float around, then there were hookers when I was in Atlanta.
She’s got her eyes on Hollywood.
‘I want to make major motion pictures. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and in my ex-relationship – he’s an actor, whatever, who cares – being around that a little bit more … that’s why I was like, “I can f***ing direct this s**t myself!”’
She loves stand-up comedy
‘It’s the bravest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s like brain surgery. They’re up there alone and they just rip a hole in themselves.’
Cat Power plays Qianshuiwan Creative Arts Centre on Friday 6 December. See full event details
Kim Taylor Bennett