What inspired you to really delve into music?
Kat Quinn: As a hobby, it's kind of unconscious; I don't think I could not do music all the time - it's like breathing - I just love it so much. As a career, I was doing it all the time as a hobby and it had never crossed my mind, I had all these other career plans and I was in school and I wasn't studying music, I was doing all these other things, and then I started writing songs and, again, it was just something that I loved to do and I finally worked up the courage to play it for some people and starting getting some good feedback and I recorded a couple just, literally, on a tape cassette player - it wasn't even that long ago and for some reason I still used a tape cassette player. My voice teacher sent them to a producer and artist in LA who saw some potential and that kind of became everything. It made me realize that I could do this thing that I love and maybe that could be my career.
What would you have done if not music?
There's a couple things on the list. I love writing, so I might have gone in a writing direction that wasn't songwriting. I was studying Spanish Literature and Peace Studies with a Latin America minor so I always kind of thought I would work abroad, maybe in the state department or an NGO abroad. I kind of saw myself coming down to Latin America eventually so I think I would be doing that.
Are there any artists who may have shaped your sound?
Definitely. There's definitely so many and it kind of changes every week but, some of the prominent ones who have sort of been there through it all for me, definitely James Taylor, Ingrid Michaelson, A Fine Frenzy; those are my top three influences, I would say.
How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard it?
That's always a tough one but I finally have an answer after a few years of just fumbling and kind of figuring out something: I would call it 'acoustic indie pop'.
What do you keep in mind while writing?
You know, it kind of depends. Sometimes, it's really not a thoughtful process in the sense that I fell that it almost comes from somewhere else and the song just kind of fell out. Sometimes it's more work and it's just kind of like trying to piece together thoughts that I've had that have kind of been piling up and make a coherent song out of it. I definitely try to keep in mind the listener and what people are going to take away from it: if it's going to be a fun song or what I can do to make it an enjoyable experience for the listener.
Have you been working on more new tracks?
I have been, I have been. I believe there's going to be an EP coming in 2015 which I'm very excited about. Going to be adding a couple of tracks. I released two singles this past Summer and Fall, "Phoenix" and "Little Rose", and I'm going to be adding to that and releasing it all as an EP. So, there is more music on the way.
Will the sound be similar to what we heard on Kind of Brave?
They will be. I think it's going to be three acoustic tracks and two fully produced tracks so, yeah. It's going to be the same producer. I haven't gotten too far in the thought process yet, but I'm definitely not expecting a lot of change. It's going to be similar veins but, you know, different songs. There'll be micro differences but it will be similar to Kind of Brave.
Do you have a favorite track to perform live?
That changes too. I guess, the new song I wrote; it's always the newest song, right? It's fun for me to try it out, but one of my new songs is probably my current favorite because it's an audience participation song and this is a new thing for me and so I just did this on Sunday and it was so much fun. It's called "Ashes to Wood" and everybody sang along with us which is just really great.
Are there any tracks you can't stop playing on repeat?
Yes, definitely that's how I listen to music. I pretty much find one song and then I listen to it on repeat until I find a new song and so my song/artist of the week are The Lords of Liechtenstein - I would recommend checking them out. They're brothers and they write such funny, smart, clever songs; they're really great so I'm listening to them right now.
What do you want people to be able to take away from your music?
I think that depends on the song. I try to put a different message in each one. I guess, overall, I want people to walk away having had just sort of an enjoyable, beautiful experience. Even if it's a darker song, I want them to pull some sort of help or some sort of beauty out of it, so I kind of want them to walk away feeling a little bit better.
You do have a lot of darker songs that still manage to feel light, any idea where that style comes from?
I've got a pretty positive spin on life - I'm lucky in that regard. I'm one of those annoying, perky people that always wants to look at the bright side so like when someone wants to complain about something I'm like, 'oh, but look at this,' so I think that's just me. You know, I try to bring a little bit lightness to it, a little bit of hope; I don't want to just depress people with a darker theme. I definitely want to discuss darker themes because I think that's important and can be beautiful, as well, but I don't want to just leave people feeling down in the dumps. I want there to be some sort of beauty and hope coming out of it.