Posted On 19 Apr 2018
NYC-based actress/musician Katie Vincent has recently released the new CD, Pickings: Music from the Motion Picture. Co-starring in the indie film Pickings, Vincent used the context of her character in the film as an inspiration for her songs. She attributes her gritty style of her playing and sound to her character, Scarlet Lee-Haywood, daughter of the main character, Jo Lee-Haywood. Scarlet is quick-witted, sharp-tongued, and a girl who sticks to her convictions when it comes to her family. She is wise beyond her years due to the dark past that follows her mother. It is from the trials and tribulations of Scarlet and the country influences of artists like Chris Stapleton that make the music of the film come together. Pickings pushed her to expand her skills from producer and actress to musician. Katie wrote and composed 4 songs that capture the feel and tone of the film, while remaining original and moving. Her inspiration comes from blues, rock and country – all together expressing the gritty tone of the film. The single, “The Way It Goes”, was recently released as was the full film soundtrack last month on March 23rd.
Check out the new CD, Pickings: Music from the Motion Picture,
out now on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify!
Katie Vincent is an NYC-Based actor, writer, producer, and musician.She has never shied away from a challenge or new experience. Katie has appeared in theatre pieces with Columbia University’s MFA Drama Program, Playhouse On Park, Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, and more. She received her BFA in Drama from Tisch NYU.
Starting from the age of 7, she she began writing her own music, but it wouldn’t be until her 20’s that she bought her own guitar. As she grew up she fell in love with musical theater and acting, deciding that was her path. After receiving her BFA in Drama from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, she has earned several film credits, including: Prego (Usher Morgan), Death (and Disco Fries) (Dennis Cahlo), Before The Snow (Manmade Productions), Hotel (Manmade), BadPuss: A Popumentary (Emily Weist) among other titles. Katie has also performed in stage productions with Columbia University’s MFA Drama Program, Playhouse On Park, Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, and more.
Learn more about Katie Vincent in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
Heya! This interview finds me on my couch, exciting stuff, I know. I just got back from a marketing meeting for the film I’ve been working on, ‘Pickings’. The plan from here is to talk with you guys, play some guitar and watch a Bette Davis movie… I have an audition where I gotta play her… I guess it’s the big eye balls.
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? What is one big goal you have for 2018?
Bam! Getting to the big questions! 2017 was quite the year… for everyone, let’s be honest. For me, it was so much about trying out new things and seeing what I can offer a creative endeavor… Up to this point, I had been focusing the majority of my art towards acting. In order to facilitate said acting, in 2017 I ended up taking on pretty much any ‘role’ that I saw was available— producer, writer, music supervisor, and recording artist. The fact that I came out of it in one piece and kind of across the board sufficient in all these fields, is pretty cool! In 2017 I not only learned what I could do, but I also learned what I want to do… meaning 2018 is going to be a year for honing in on what I have to offer. I love acting. And I love music making. And I love producing. And lucky for me, they all seem to work together really well. I’m looking to build upon all of it.
Growing up, did you ever think that this would be the kind of life that you would have? Has music always been a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
Hmm. Growing up I knew I wanted to be in the performing arts. I did all the school musicals, I always wrote my own songs, I tried various instruments in band and orchestra, and then I went to NYU to study Drama. I didn’t quite know whether I was going to sing, or act, or be in plays or do movies, just that I was going to perform. So in hindsight, it makes perfect sense that I’m in a position now where I’m just doing all of it. Music is life! Not to sound cliche, but yeah— it’s always been huge, and when I saw that ‘Pickings’ needed a soundtrack, I instantly saw it as an opportunity to flex a muscle that I have been DYING to use for quite some time. First ever musical experience… My dad used to play ‘The Machine’ by Pink Floyd and scare my two brothers and I… My mom would follow it up with some Barbara Streisand ‘Funny Girl’. I was raised into good taste.
How do you think growing up in your hometown has influenced your sound and who you are as a musician?
I grew up in Mansfield, Massachusetts. It’s a pretty small, typical suburban New England sort of experience. However, I grew up spoiled because we had what was back then called ‘Great Woods’, and what is now referred to as ‘Xfinity Center’…doesn’t have the same ring to it. Anyways, it’s a really great music venue, so we had some of the bands and performers coming through on the regular. I used to stand in my back yard as a kid and I could hear a whole Aerosmith concert on the wind. You knew it was summer when Jimmy Buffet and his Parrot Heads came to town. My high school graduation present was 6th row seats to Eric Clapton… The schools all got to have their big ceremonies and concerts on that stage, and as I walked for my high school diploma all I thought was ‘Eric FREAKING Clapton was here!!’. Long of the short, it was an unexpectedly awesome place for music.
I understand that you are also heavily into acting so I am curious to know how you balance your music with drama? Do you find that you enjoy doing one over the other? Are you better at one because of the other skill?
I love acting. I love music. They’re both expression and both cathartic as hell if you do it right. I think they balance each other out without me tinkering too much. The exciting thing about making your own material, is that you can do whatever it is you want to do. ‘Pickings’ ended up being such an artistically satisfying blend of acting and music making, they really informed each other. The only thing that I did, was to create the safe space for that to happen.
What was it like doing the music for your latest project, the independent noir/western film, “Pickings”? Where did you get the inspiration for the songs? Can you talk about in particular how your first single “The Way It Goes” was written?
I loved working on the music for ‘Pickings’. I got to write with a style and a theme in mind. Some of the songs were also written from the perspective of the character that I play in the film, so it was neat to musically interpret the scenes and characters. The film obviously provided the bulk of the inspiration, but I also looked at a lot of ‘classical country’… Don’t be trying to write a country song for the first time if you haven’t given Johnny Cash a good and proper listen.
How do you think the music found on the “Pickings” soundtrack is different than anything else you have written?
The western tradition is something that I’ve never explored before. I come from more of a folk rock background, so the story telling is different. Country allows for so much literal… I woke up this morning, I did something, and it made me think of something. I love how it takes it’s time and finds the prolificness of every day life. I’ve definitely adopted that since. There is much to be said about the things we all do day in and day out.
Where do you find that you sing the most these days, in the shower, in the car, in the studio or elsewhere?
I sing any old place. I used to be so shy growing up, I’d wait until no one was home so I could practice. Now I live in New York City, privacy is more or less obsolete. I’ve taken to singing while walking down the street. Most people have earbuds in anyways.
We are living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that music is going to reflect these challenging times?
Music making is reflection and meditation all in the same breath. If I want to think about something, I will certainly figure out my thoughts and feelings through song before I’ll even realize it conceptually. Meanwhile, there’s a zen quality to zoning and focusing on the task at hand— making music. Times are tough, and the world in so many ways is not the place that I thought it was while growing up. Making something good and lasting despite that, is so important.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, Melissa Etheridge, Barbara Sterisand, Christ Stapleton, James Bay, Led Zeppelin, Bette Midler, Aerosmith, too many to mention. But seriously… James Bay…. I know you’re doing like electro pop stuff right now, but if you feel like bluesing out… let me know.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
The realness. In truth I like coming up with music that makes you feel something. That reminds you of different parts of yourself. If you can simultaneously tap your toes it, success!
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about yourself or your music?
Keep checking in! I’m still figuring out my sound and what I’m looking to say— but the one thing I can guarantee is that I don’t bullshit. Good music is a mirror that shows each person looking at it exactly who they are and what they’re feeling. When you know, you know. Thank you!!