Small talk with Cat Power

Seven things you didn’t know about the Atlanta singer

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 dad’s side.

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 deaf

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 mechanism.

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