Maddy Prior's girl - Rose Kemp by any other name

BESIDES making three albums before reaching the age of 21, what's most impressive about Rose Kemp is that not once has she traded on her famous parents' reputation.

Her father is acclaimed bassist Rick Kemp. Mum is none other than Maddy Prior, the legendary British folk singer, who was awarded the MBE in 2001 for services to music.

This being so, Kemp, who brings her solo wares to Bannerman's tonight, could have it so much easier - "An instant career," as she puts it, "just add water and a few other musicians."

Fitting comfortably into the folk world was never Kemp's goal, though. "Trad/folk was never what I wanted to do," says the new darling of the UK underground music scene.

"My main interests were always songwriting and production. I always wanted to make my own albums and I have managed to record three before the age of 21. So I am happy."

Recalling when the music bug first bit, Kemp says she started writing songs around the age of 11.

"I remember telling my parents that I wanted to be a singer/songwriter around that time and the reaction being somewhat under-whelming," she laughs. "They probably didn't think that I would stick with it."

Blessed with an amazing singing voice, Kemp was inevitably ushered into the studio and on the road while still a teen. The resultant album of a cappella songs - the critically acclaimed Bib and Tuck released by the trio Maddy Prior and The Girls - featured two of the 15-year-old Kemp's self-penned songs.

A year later, Park Records had signed up the youngster for her first solo album. Glance was released in 2003, but despite the quality of the songs and Kemp's stunning vocal performance something didn't ring true to her.

She was only just learning the guitar, so most of the instrumentation on the album had been beyond her control. Something had to change, and the indignity of having her album reviewed in the same article as her mother's latest effort proved the last straw.

Promoting the record wasn't quite as glam as the 16-year-old had imagined either. "I'd already been on tour with mum and it was great," she recalls. "I knew that I probably had at least four years to come of living in transit vans, constantly touring the country, sleeping on friends' floors and being treated like a rookie if I wanted to get anywhere in rock.

"But with mum, it was always what I now like to call 'pure luxury'. We always had hotels and a nice tour bus, and we got to sing these great harmonies for two hours in posh venues."

While slumming it as a solo performer might have taken some getting used to, it has also seen her likened to Bjork, PJ Harvey and Patti Smith.

"I hope they are saying I am in their league, and that I have a chance at longevity of career and a place in history as a respectable artist," she says. "I hope they are not just saying we sound alike."

Finding her own audience, however, has been the most fulfilling part of her journey so far.

"For the last few years every time I get to a scummy black box venue in a van held together by Gaffer tape I breathe a sigh of relief because my music are I are home. I am finally fully happy with what I'm doing.

• Rose Kemp, Bannerman's, Niddry Street, Cowgate, tonight, 9pm, 5, 0131-556 3254