Q&A with KATIE

Following the release of 2019's hugely successful LOG, KATIE is back with new project Our Time Is Blue and we were fortunate enough to discuss it with her.

Video: YouTube/Katie

KATIE's life, career and sound are nothing if not diverse. South Korean born, New Jersey residing, with jazz training from the Berklee school of music - her unique sound has seen her garner attention from the likes of Apple, Billboard, Pitchfork, Spotify and even a collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign. On Our Time Is Blue we get to see some of the innards of what makes this enigmatic artist tick, with a pronounced vulnerability brought about by a more active role in the songwriting process. Our Time Is Blue is a musical foray in to the mind behind the mystique, of one of modern music's most alluring talents. We're thankful to have been given the time to pick the brain of the artist behind it.

This project saw you co-write some of the tracks to great effect. Did writing the lyrics make sharing the music feel more vulnerable?
Songs definitely have different feelings, for me personally, whether they are written melodically and/or lyrically by me. I think I usually sing songs that I can be honest with, but when it comes to writing music myself, it does feel a bit more vulnerable as if I am displaying my private life to the audience.

One of the key themes of the project is perception. As an artist whose audience is worldwide and diverse, do you think you're received differently by different countries?
I would hope and think so. I think in any case with art, it can be interpreted in countless, various ways by each individual because we all agree and connect and feel different things. I hope that I am not perceived differently because of the difference of our lands that we live in, but because every individual views and feels my music differently than the next. 

We know you were trained at the Berklee school of music. Is it tough to feel free in your music making when you've had such rigorous training?
No, not quite. I never felt like music was “studying” where it locked me up in certain rules and expectations. Maybe it's also because I never finished Berklee and because I was learning jazz during my time there. Jazz defies all the rules of classical music theories, where improvisation and innovative ideas are welcome and required to be developed. I think if anything, the school has helped me to learn my basic knowledge in music theory to aid me better to comprehend the composition of songs and enable me to write my own.

You've spoken of looking to the sky and considering your complexities as a human being and artist. Being born in South Korea and raised in New Jersey definitely explains that feeling. Does music help you form your sense of identity?
Definitely. I think music is where I find my comfort and rest. It is one of the things that truly resonates with me. But music is also where I can’t get away from unthinking things, analyze other vocalist’s techniques, put efforts in to draw inspiration, etc. It is because of all those goods and not-so-goods that music brings to me in my life, that I am able to keep trying and be on track of discovering myself to be a better human being. After all, I feel that my voice is my only channel to communicate and express what’s in me, which is something very important for me to do in life.

I'm sure the world is unified in feeling quite blue after the events of this year. Was making the project cathartic for you and what are you excited for in the new year?
To be honest, I sing songs that I have felt in the past or some that I put myself in others’ shoes, or something that I am still in the midst of feeling. And in this EP, I have songs that I have overcome and now can sing about them with no emotional wave gushing out of me, but I do also have songs that I am still suffering through with. I think the making of this project was a healing process, but also a deep dive into some things that I wanted to avoid being dissected. I guess every try is an experience earned. I am hoping for better days for the coming year, for everybody in the world.

Listen to Our Time Is Blue on Spotify

Follow KATIE on Spotify, Twitter and Instagram


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