By Chuck Arnold Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna
June 19, 2006 12:00 PM

>Katharine McPhee may have performed “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” on American Idol, but this Scottish native, 30, wrote and recorded the hit on her alt-pop debut, Eye to the Telescope.

ON HER NAME I’m Kate on my birth certificate. I call myself KT because there’s so many girls putting out music, I just had to do something to stand out. And I’m a huge PJ Harvey fan.

ON KATHARINE McPHEE SINGING “BLACK HORSE AND THE CHERRY TREE” It was so crazy seeing that. She just looked like she was having a really good time. It was really cool that she did something different.

ON AMERICAN IDOL It’s a great TV show, but it’s not amazing music to me. It’s kind of like watching karaoke. It’s not the same as spending 10 years to try to get somewhere as a musician like I did.

ON HER INSPIRATION FOR “BLACK HORSE” When I was traveling in Greece as a teenager, I saw this huge black stallion that had broken free and was bucking and rearing in this little hobbit forest. It was a really lasting image. And I love Japanese cherry blossoms.