Q: You described this song as a letter to your younger self. What is the central message you would send to your younger self?
KAT: That worrying about what other people think simply isn’t worth your time. It’s totally okay to not follow the path you think you should follow and instead follow the one that brings you the most joy. Get off the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” train always. If you find yourself on it, find a way to get off. Fast.
Q: Even though this song was written before the pandemic, the production and recording were done remotely. How did that impact the process of how this song was born?
KAT: It was a collaboration between myself and Happy Camper Studios in Nashville. It was a remote collaboration, but it allowed for a certain amount of freedom and flexibility that I found refreshing, creative, and inspirational.
Q: When did you start writing and creating music?
KAT: I started in 1996, I think. That was when I remember writing my first song. It was about the first person I slept with and it was honestly a pretty horrible song… but whatever! We all have to start somewhere. Since then, I just kept working. I’ve probably written over a thousand songs over the past 25 years, most of which no one will ever hear. But that’s the path of a songwriter, I find. We have to make a lot of things that don’t work to get to the stuff that does.
Q: What are other ways you share your musical ability with the world?
KAT: I’m an advocate for women in music as well as an educator. I teach contemporary voice, songwriting, theory, production, entrepreneurship, and some other things here and there. I also write a lot about all of these topics and you can find my writing in blogs, journals, and published books.
Q: How does being based in New York City impact the music you create? Do you feel like that influence changed with the pandemic? How do you see your hometown influence your sound, if at all?
KAT: It’s alive. I’ve spent some time away from NYC and whenever I do it often feels like I’m lost something important. I actually – and I’m sure this isn’t everyone’s story – didn’t mind the pandemic so much. I loved having the time and space to think, create, work from home, explore, hone skills, learn new ones, and just figure things out. It was a time of introspection and discovery. Knowing that NYC was outside – and was going to be alive again – that was really inspiring too. I’m not sure my hometown influences anything about what I do. I honestly didn’t listen to a lot of music outside of the radio growing up and I definitely didn’t create any music there either. I would say NYC more than my hometown has influenced my sound. The people I’ve met, the music I’ve heard, the music I’ve made, the things I’ve learned, and just the sounds of the city itself. It’s not for everyone, but it’s been the place that gave me the space to be able to find myself.
Q: Do you have any plans to perform live? Have you performed live? What are you most looking forward to about potentially performing for a live audience?
KAT: I do! I’m doing a release show in NYC at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 on October 5th at 7:00 pm with some amazing friends. We’ll be playing music off my full album (Dead Reckoning, 2021) as well as some new music and other releases I put out during the pandemic. I’ve been performing live for over 25 years and I’m so excited to be sharing all of this music LIVE with an audience. It’s one of the best things about being an artist – the sharing of community, the vulnerability of performance, and the honesty of the music.
Interviewed by Kat Rendon