An Interview With The Rising Singer-Songwriter KATIE PRUITT On Her Soon-To-Be-Released Debut Album and More!
Get to know the emerging singer-songwriter and musician Katie Pruitt! Her newest single “Expectations” was written by Pruitt and co-produced by Pruitt and her close friend Michael Robinson. This is the first song unveiled from her highly anticipated full-length debut also called “Expectations” set for release on Rounder Records later this month on February 21st.
Of the song, Pruitt shares, “Feeling crushed by the weight of my own expectations, I realized a shift of perspective was all I needed. We are conditioned from an early age to feel that we need to have our whole lives figured out, right this second. When often times, we’d get there quicker if we’d only learn to relax. There is wisdom in not knowing, there is freedom in spontaneity and there is courage in letting go. Sometimes you just need to climb a mountain, smoke some pot with your friends, and stop giving so many fucks.”
Originally from the Atlanta suburbs and now based in Nashville, Pruitt’s career has been building to a breakthrough over the past few years following the release of her OurVinyl Live Session EP in March 2018.
Connect With Katie Pruitt Online Here-
Learn more about Katie Pruitt in the following All Access interview-
When it comes to your music, what are you most excited about for 2020?
Besides releasing my first record, I’m definitely most excited for my headline tour. I’m stoked to play these songs a little different every night. To stretch as a guitar player, change the melodies a little, and rearrange the order of the set lists. I’m also excited to write new stuff and play those out too.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be a musician?
It was probably in high school. I would always go to my friend Teddy’s house to jam before school. I remember the first time I played him an original song. His face lit up and kept telling me how good he thought it was. That was all the confidence I needed at the time to keep going. I just kept wanting to relive that feeling of playing someone a brand new song for the first time.
What do you think motivates you day in and day out?
Good question. I have good days and bad days. I’d be lying to say I’m always motivated. But on the days I am motivated it’s because I know I’ve got something to say. Songs become like a lucid dream I can crawl inside and control. I can finally be safe to say what I think and feel. That’s always the feeling I’m looking for.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the kind of music that you make? If not, why is that?
I grew up in the south and lived in Athens, Georgia during my early college years. That is definitely where any roots or folk influence made its way into my songs. I also grew up in a small suburb with very little diversity. Which definitely drove me to want to express myself and speak openly about my experience as a gay girl in the south.
What about your current home in Nashville?
Nashville was the place I started gaining the confidence to actually pursue music. I became extremely inspired by bands and other songwriters that I saw live. It really raises the bar for me as a player and a writer.
Growing up, how important was music in your life?
As a little kid I was always intrigued with performing. I used to host concerts in my garage for my neighbors. In middle school I got really into musical theater and thought I wanted to be on Broadway. The storytelling and the aspect of live performance was what I fell in love with. Then in high school I picked up guitar and started writing songs and it was game over.
Was your family and friends supportive of this career choice?
Definitely. My mom always encouraged me to have a creative outlet. My parents would always come to my open mics and every live performance. They never once told me not to pursue music.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
Possibly a journalist? My girlfriend also says I’d make a good chiropractor.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career?
Probably how hard it really is to make a record. The technical side of making music is something I had no clue about until I had a little experience in a studio.
What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
A big challenge for me right now is learning how to separate music and the music business. The music business is necessary but when it comes to being creative, you’re better off pretending it doesn’t exist.
What has been the best part about it all?
Definitely getting to make music with my friends. Also hearing people’s personal stories about their relationship with my music.
Let’s talk about your newest single, “Expectations” which I love! What was the inspiration for this track?
Expectations is about freeing yourself of the pressure others put on us or that we put on ourselves. It’s about pushing past personal barriers. I was going through a rough time mentally. I couldn’t help but feel stuck. I started reading this book called “the subtle art of not giving a fuck” and it turned things around for me. I realized the reason I felt stuck was because I was caring too much and trying way too hard.
How would you say that it compares to the rest of your forthcoming debut album also called “Expectations”?
The whole record is filled with moments of realizations. Every song is a specific personal revelation I had at different points of my life. Some positive and some not so positive. This record is my personal coming of age story.
How creatively involved with the making of the music video for “Expectations” were you? What was it like shooting it around Nashville?
I was involved in the general idea for the video. I knew I wanted to film it in a high school because the song feels very youthful to me. It has that “I don’t give a fuck” rebellious attitude that I definitely had as a high school student. Which is an attitude that tends to get harder to maintain as you get older so it was really fun to play the role of a “younger me”
What was it like making this debut collection?
Making this record felt like a very full circle moment. Not only are all these songs so personal but I got to make the record with my friends and collaborators including Mike Robinson (guitar player for my college band turned producer) Having my long time friends be a part of the recording process made it that much more personal
Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
I knew I wanted to capture live performances but I had to learn how to really reign in my live performance for the record. I had to be intentional and specific the way I picked big vocal moments, builds, solos, etc.
Can you recall a favorite memory from recording it in the studio?
There were a lot of beautiful moments while making this record but my favorite was tracking the outro of “expectations” with my best friend Jess Nolan. We were in the vocal booth together just singing at the top of our lungs and pretty much laughing through the whole take. We eventually had to be separated by my producer because we couldn’t get through it without laughing.
Do you have any tour dates scheduled for this year yet?
Yes. I’ve got a whole headline tour scheduled during March and April. Dates for that are available at katiepruitt.com
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music?
I think my confidence is grown most of all. Bearing your soul is a vulnerable thing but it’s worth it even if only a few people understand. I also think I’ve grown as a singer, writer, and performer. I plan to continue growing in any way I can.
What if anything has stayed the same about your music-making process?
I usually just start writing by mumbling over a chord progression. The minute some truth falls out I grab onto it and try to follow it to the end.
How do you feel about social media?
I guess I love it and hate it. On one hand it’s great at connecting people. It’s a great because it’s a platform you can honestly express yourself with but on the other hand it has a clear impact on people’s mental health. Including mine. There is definitely a competitive aspect of it when it comes to likes and followers. It can unfortunately have an impact on your self worth and self image.
What do you think social media has done for your career so far?
I think it’s allowed me to find an audience and to know where that audience might live. So I can do my real job and go play for people live.
What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Oh wow. There are a lot of them. Wilco, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlisle, Dawes, John Mayer, etc. This list is kind of endless.
If you could design your dream music video right now, what would it look like?
I guess that depends on the song. But if this question is more hypothetical. Probably very dreamy. I would want it to be shot in a beautiful place. In a mountain range or a national park. There would definitely be dancers. I love dancers but I can’t dance.
Where would you love to hear a song of yours played?
I’d love to be traveling in a foreign country and hear my song come on randomly. That would definitely make me feel like I’ve come a long way.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music
I guess my main goal is to make people feel less alone. Whether that pertains to a specific struggle or just in general. I just want them to feel like they are listening to a friend give them advice or relating to them. That’s what music does for me anyway.