An Interview with the Rising Singer-Songwriter, KATHRYN DEAN On Her Debut Album “Hit The Lights” And More!
Posted On 23 Jul 2015
Armed with her unique perspective, musical integrity and soul bearing vocals, Kathryn Dean’s distinct sound has immense depth and intelligence both lyrically and musically. She delivers an honest performance that tells her unique stories in a way that inspires and impacts the human spirit like a true artist does.
“The message I try to create with my songs is that life isn’t about being perfect. It is about recognizing that every up and down has an equally valuable life lesson. Take a potentially powerless situation and turn potential defeat into victory”, Kathryn says.
Learn more about this promising singer-songwriter in the following All Access interview:
Where does this interview find you today?
I am taking a break from writing songs with my manager Dave Woeckener in his studio.
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 dont 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.
Just a couple months ago, you released your debut full-length album “Hit The Lights”. What was it like putting that out?
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.
You work with some big names on it “Hit The Lights”. What were those relationships like?
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.
Can you describe what your songwriting style is like? Generally, 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.
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, 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.
How exactly do you think you are the first person to discover Adele?
Oh I dont 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!
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.
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 someones 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.
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 3 minutes. I hope that one of my songs can do one of those things for my listeners.