1. Hi Kat! Please introduce yourself to those who might not know you.
I am a classically trained vocalist, Grammy-nominated guitarist, songwriter, and film composer with Southern roots. I love every kind of music under the sun, and my greatest inspirations come from the discovery and curiosity about the music and rhythms of the world.
2. How did your connection with Shira and Gritty In Pink come about?
I had been hearing about the organization from many friends in the business. After attending a She Rocks Awards event honoring Melissa Etheridge, the dots started to connect, and I was invited to one of your awesome jams! The rest, as they say, is history.
3. What's it like to be a part of the effort to create a supportive community for a set of diverse womxn in the music industry?
It is the natural evolution of what the industry as a whole should look like. The spirit of competition is counterintuitive to what music is – we play TOGETHER, not apart. We share our art on the airwaves for all to enjoy, not just a chosen few. Creating a community is how we will thrive for generations.
4. When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Music piqued my curiosity as a kid – a puzzle to solve, a never-ending story to read. The idea that it would provide an amazing life for me wasn't my first thought.
5. You worked with some legendary artists like Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Sheila E, Natalie Cole, Musiq Soulchild, Mary Mary, Yolanda Adams, Chaka Khan, Sting, and Stevie Wonder. What’s it like working with artists who are juggernauts in the industry?
I am a big believer in preparation, destiny, fate, timing, and energy. Serving the music first has always been the goal. When working with the great artists you mentioned, I'd like to believe that my work ethic and passion for music connected us. There was a level of trust and respect that made each experience unique and amazing.
6.Being a black female guitarist how do you navigate a section of the industry that is so male dominated?
I have 6 siblings, 4 brothers, so I learned early on how to navigate the 'male dynamic' (smile). Because of my upbringing, I look at working in this industry as a family – some experiences will be dysfunctional, some very loving and close, some distant... but they are my brothers just the same.
7. Outside of being a guitarist, you’re also a singer/songwriter. Where do you find inspiration when creating?
Time has taught me to have no hard and fast rules on inspiration. Just keep a pen, a guitar, and a recorder handy... you never know when the spark will hit!
8. Do you have a fun pre-performance routine that you adhere to before stepping onto the stage?
Usually, backstage pre-show is CHAOS. I try to find a quiet corner, center my mind on the music at hand, and imagine the show as the dragon with the guitarist as the sword. Showtime = Slay the dragon!
9. Who are your musical influences that have shaped your style and sound?
I listened to ALL kinds of music as a kid. My dad was an absolute jazz and blues lover, and my mom loved gospel and classical music. So, of course, my friends and I listened to EVERYTHING our parents hated – the louder, the better! The weirder, the better! The funkier, the better! As the guitar is an important part of the tapestry of all American music, I embraced them all to greater or lesser degrees.
10. If you could play or go on tour with any artist, who would it be?
I have such an appetite for great music and incredible artists that there isn't enough space for the answer!
11. What music genre would people be surprised that you like?
I hope NONE…as music is completely free for all to enjoy and accessible as the AIR we breathe…
12. What is your favorite comfort show or movie to watch?
I am big on futurist /science fiction movies and shows…comedian specials are great too…laughter relieves stress!
13. What’s next?
As the tour season approaches, I will be continuing with my big Italian tour family (the artist Zucchero). Also, new releases by a great band of friends called Bella Brown and The Jealous Lovers are being well-received worldwide. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Black Women Rock concert series, founded by celebrated poet laureate Jessica Care Moore. Upcoming recording projects with Kamani and more surprises with the DIVA – Ms. Cyndi Lauper!