Kate The Dreamer
Interview: Amy Bell
Kate The Dreamer is the artist you put on when you are going on a drive down the coast. I want my songs to transport you to a place where you can cry, laugh, scream, dream, all that corny stuff. I want my music to be a safe space for everyone to listen and feel like anything they want is possible.
Hi Katie, Thanks so much for speaking to ReVamp, in 3 words describe your sound?
Cinematic, dreamy, and anthemic
When did you realise that you had a talent for music and wanted to pursue your talent?
I have always loved music since I was really little. I was super shy as a kid and would write poems about how I was feeling when I didn’t know how to express myself. As I went through high school I would write songs and try to perform them quietly in my bedroom. Everytime my mom would come upstairs and try to listen through my door I would stop because I was embarrassed by my voice. Towards the end of high school one of my close friends Shayna asked me to play music at a sleepover we were having, so I showed them this song that I had written called ‘Welcome to Destruction’ (so dramatic haha) and by the end of the song they were all crying. She insisted that I work with her friend who was a producer and at first I was really reluctant and wasn’t sure if I wanted more people to hear my voice, but luckily she was (and still is) an amazing friend who pushed me outside my comfort zone. It allowed me to find my confidence and my voice, and for that I am very grateful.
Let’s talk about your music, how has your music changed since you first started creating music?
Music is always a subjective thing, but I always found it interesting that people have such strong opinions on sound. Everyone grows and changes - so their music does along the way, too. I think it’s such a magical part of the artist's process to see and hear the growth. That being said, I have been through many ups and downs within my music career and have tried out many different genres throughout my late teens into my twenties. When I was in college, I was a part of an eight person band that leaned more into world music, pop/r&b sounds. I always loved performing in such a large setting with my friends, but it never fully felt like it was truly me. After that band broke up I started a duo. That music felt more in line with what I wanted to do, but again leaned heavily into a pop leaning sound that I never fully felt like my voice matched.
My favorite artists growing up were Sara Barielles, Ingrid Michealson, and Coldplay. All in the ‘pop’ genre, but they also felt like they told a greater story with their music. I loved how it felt like each song had a beginning, middle, and end where you felt like you went on a journey by the end of the song. It was through their influence and lyrical writing that I developed a love for storytelling.
Nowadays I have many people that influence my music and the direction that I am trying to go in with my kate the dreamer project. My sound is truly a combination of who I am as a person, and the stories that live inside my head that are eager to come out. It really helps me move through my life to be able to express myself so freely through my music.
You have a new EP out ‘Where’d All My Wild Things Go?’, what was the inspiration behind the EP?
This EP started off as something totally different. At first, I was writing songs for myself as a coping mechanism for my recent breakup. I was going to call the EP ‘My Summer Head’, which is a lyric from one of my very first songs “Love Again”. I was writing a lot about my breakup at the time because it felt most relevant to what I was going through at the time.
It wasn’t until I went on a writing retreat with my best friends and wrote “Wild Things” that the EP took a completely different direction. I started writing more and more songs about growing up and all the things that come with that - loss, joy, sadness, happiness, breakups, new relationships, and everything in between. The breakup songs felt less and less relevant as I emerged into this new person I was becoming. For the first time, I felt like the influence I needed to write about was something that I was already feeling.
Were any of your songs written from a personal experience?
Every song on this EP was written from my own personal experience. Each song is a story of growth, change, and movement that has been happening in my twenties.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your favourite song from the EP?
This one is hard because each of these songs was my favorite at one point. I have been leaning more into “Lovely” as being my current favorite, only because it really speaks to how I feel about my life right now. It truly encapsulates what I feel like on a daily basis.
‘If I live up in the clouds away from earth,
if I never come back down I can’t get hurt,
out of my body, no one can touch me,
blue all around me, lovely.’
These words are right out of my personal notebook. This was something I was only able to articulate with the comfort of my best friends who helped me write this one, and my own ability to let go of any expectations. I didn’t worry about if people would like this one, or if it was accessible enough - I just wrote it because it was an emotion I needed to get out.
When it comes to writing and recording the EP, what was the process?
The process was different for each song, but the fun part was putting all of these together. I have two producers I love working with who truly understand my sound – Nydge and Drew Polovick – and they both work so seamlessly together. Many of these songs were written with people I am very close to (OSTON, JORDY), which I think helped foster authenticity. Some songs were written in the comfort of my own bedroom during lockdown, and others were created after a night of drinking too many margaritas. I love that each process was different and each was created during a different emotion in my life, because it makes me feel like there are so many different emotions and experiences that were tapped into in order to create this collection of songs.
If someone wants to join the music industry, what would be your advice?
My biggest advice to anyone in this industry (including myself, because I am learning everyday from the people around me) is to just DO what you want. Create your own music, stick with the people that support you from day one, network as much as you can, and be true to yourself. It sounds so corny, but I think wasting your time trying to be someone you’re not or listening to people who don’t fully understand you is detrimental in this industry.
I’m sure everyone is excited to know what is next for you?
It makes me so happy to think that people really care what’s going on with my project and what’s next for my music. I love creating art through sound - it truly is something that I feel so grateful to be able to do and share. I have a lot more coming this year including more shows, more music, and collaborations. It feels good to start a new year off with an EP because it feels like I’m setting the foundation for what’s next. I also am very excited to explore some new sounds, write with more people, and create music during this part of my life. Thank you so much for caring and listening, it means the world to me.
keep dreamin’ -ktd
You can check out ‘Where’d all my wild things go’ here