10 Questions with ... Kathryn Dean
January 25, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
After a successful indie run with her debut EP, Kathryn Dean just recently released her full length album "Hit The Lights". The official music video for "Be My Sin" is currently at a half of a million views after spending 12 weeks on the Top 40 Indicator Charts. She is now set for a national HOT AC radio campaign and recently completed a tour with Anna Nalick.
Beyond writing for her own music releases, Kathryn's songwriting catalogue has been used in films, television and compilations. Her originals have been featured on various shows on CBS, ABC and NBC. Her songs "So Undeniable" and "Told You So" are featured on a television viewing audience that averages 42 million an episode in Brazil on the nighttime dramas Malhacao, A Regra Do Jogo, and the compilation album for "Alto Astra" which featured Kathryn Dean and songs by stars such as Sam Smith, John Legend and Gloria Estefan. The result of these Novella TV placements has been over 10 million YouTube views and an ever-growing international fan base. Kathryn's latest trip to Brazil included live performances on Encontro (Brazil's top entertainment talk show), the carnival episode of "Malhacao," and a concert at Globo Kiosk at the world famous Ipanema Beach. She has twice been selected as a finalist in Reverb Nation's Un-Signed Only American Song Writing Contest and is an International Acoustic Music Award recipient.
1) Hi Katheryn, where does this interview find you today?
I am taking a break from writing songs with my manager Dave Woeckener in his studio.
2) Can you remember the moment you decided to be an artist? Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Is your family supportive of you?
I don't think it was ever a conscious decision. Music has always been a huge part of who I am. Not many people can say that they have been able to pursue their childhood dream and I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to do just that. My entire family has always been very supportive including making the trek from San Diego to Los Angeles to see me perform. My family does not constantly remind me that the chance of my dream coming true is one in a million but rather that someone has to be that one in a million so why shouldn't it be me?
3) You recently released your debut full-length album "Hit The Lights". What can you tell us about your new record?
As "Hit The Lights" is my first album and the debut of my music to the world, I really wanted to make sure it was an accurate representation of who I am. Throughout the process, I feel like I grew personally and professionally and I look forward to seeing how much farther the process of making another album takes me.
4) You work with some big names on it "Hit The Lights". Please tells us about your experience making this album and working with producers such as Paul Boyd, whose many credits include Goo Goo Dolls, Seal, Celine Dion and Sting?
I am very thankful to have been able to work with such amazing musicians and producers over the last few years. It was a very humbling experience to have such incredible people believe in me and the project and I just tried to absorb as much knowledge and advice from each of them as I could.
5) Can you describe your songwriting? Where do you get your inspiration for your music?
Songwriting has always been a very cathartic process for me. My inspiration for songs comes from my own experiences and the experiences of those around me. While we all have different stories, I believe that we all deal with the same basic emotions so whenever I start feeling a strong emotion I go to the piano, guitar or ukulele and create a story around that feeling.
6) What artists have consistently inspired you?
My number one influence would probably have to be Adele. I love the raw passion that is in her voice and the authenticity that she brings to every song. She also has an unbelievable power to connect with other people, which inspires me. I love Mumford and Sons not only because their songs have personally played a large role in my own life but their lyrics are like poetry. I also consider myself more of a storyteller which I drew from Carole King. She is amazing! Crosby, Stills and Nash plus or minus Young definitely fueled my obsession with multi-part harmonies. I'm also inspired by Stevie Nicks and Tracy Chapman who encouraged me not only to explore my lower register but embrace the fact that I am an alto.
7) How exactly do you think you are the first person to discover Adele?
Oh I don't just think, I know I did! (Laughter) I was singing songs off of Adele's "19" album at local coffee shops before she was on the public radar. "Hometown Glory" was my jam!
8) What do you hope is the message of your music?
When I write my songs I try not to let myself, or the narrator of the song, become a victim to circumstance. I believe that while there are a lot of things in life that you cant change, like what has happened in the past, that you can change how that will impact your future. I try to take every situation and ask myself what I can learn from it and how can I use it to my benefit in the future. I hope to share that perspective in my music.
9) When you aren't singing or writing new music, what do you like to do for fun?
As pageant girl as this sounds, I enjoy spending my free time doing philanthropy. Life gets stressful and hectic and nothing puts your life back into perspective more than putting a smile on someone's face who really needs it. Like most people, I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends and curling up on the couch with my dog watching Netflix.
10) Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or your music?
I have experienced firsthand the power of music to connect you with other people, to take you back to a great moment in time or to distract you from the trials and tribulations of life even if it is for just over three minutes. I hope that one of my songs can do one of those things for my listeners.