NOVEMBER 2023 | Volume 34

1. Hi Kat! Please introduce yourself to those who might not know you.
Hi, I’m Kat! I love Tillamook cheddar cheese, culture-examining conversation, people who live outside the blueprint they were given, and music I can feel in my guts. I am a storyteller as an actor, musician, and anything else I can do in this body of miracles with the time I’m living. I hate when my toes are squished in a tapered shoe, people hold the wall when they could be dancing, and when a stranger expects me to address their child as a miracle. 

2. How did your connection with Shira and Gritty In Pink come about? 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?
The first time I met Shira and Vashonda was pre-holiday All GRL Jam at the Echo. They came to my Bday party as our first blind meeting and were clad with adorable gifts/Gritty merch to hype me up for the jam. That really struck me because Shira is so on top of the logistics it takes to organize something of this size without sparing the sentiment of connection at the core. The sheer size of the jam that followed was gorgeous – a truly diverse group of women and nonbinary people gathered and collaborated. I really appreciate this happening in LA especially because efforts like this are so much fewer in live spaces than I find them to be in NY, but the resources and people are there and Gritty helps you find them. 

3. Do you recall when you realized you wanted to pursue a career as an entertainer?   
When I was 3 years old my family got a BALANCHINE (ballet) DVD from the library and it’s rumored that I stopped crying for the first time since coming out of the womb. I was put in ballet classes immediately to follow and I milked every hour I could be in the studio from then on. I understand now that I was neurodivergent and that the opportunity to channel, process, and filter myself through the structure and storytelling of dance was crucial to my development. I never had a question that I would be a performer, nor have I ever had a plan B. It’s the only way for me to walk through this life, but it’s been fascinating to feel my love of dance transfer and grow into other forms of art. 

4. You began your career in New York but eventually relocated to Los Angeles. What was it like making the transition from NYC to LA?
I still hardly feel like I’ve made it. Most transplants will tell you that LA takes a while to adjust to because it is strikingly sprawling compared to NY, which definitely resonates. I feel like LA is the place to reward yourself with the space of a home and a break from the winters but I truly feel bi-coastal at this stage. LA is still revealing herself to me and I am infatuated with the whispers of Golden Era Hollywood architecture and a generally slower pace of life. I’m eager to keep discovering the ways community is fostered here, because it is a more earned experience and a more disparate architectural layout. But damn, I love my dishwasher. And the taco trucks make it easy to love. 

5. When embodying the role of Reina Reign in "Rap Sh!t," did you have the opportunity to infuse your understanding of her character? Was it a joint effort between you and the show's creators in determining how the character should be depicted?
Can’t answer this question with respect to the strike!As an actor, I love to transform and take the opportunity to step into someone else’s life with great emphasis on research and play. It’s sort of a way to decompress from constantly branding MYSELF in music, and it’s a surprisingly academic pursuit as well. I love taking on characters that drastically contrast the ways I am perceived. It’s truly an opportunity to be chameleonic and I hope my career in acting continues down a path of extreme play. 

6. Have you found any lessons or takeaways from your experience playing Reina Reign that resonate with you?
Can’t answer this question with respect to the strike!

7. Your upcoming single, "Bedroom Angel," is set to release on November 9th. We had the privilege of an exclusive preview, and it sounds great! The production on the record is such a stand-out. When creating, do you often find yourself drawn to particular sonic elements or sounds? 
I want to keep pushing my music to sound more like the music I listen to while honoring the pop world I love performing in. My music taste is pretty organic, alt, and bluesy, but I am a really energetic performer so that’s something I grapple with in writing- it’s not just about what I want to put on at home, it’s about what I want to give to a live audience and move through. Nothing is really off the table because I have such a theatrical approach to performance. But overall, I sort of hate high frequencies- they tweak me out. I like grit, fat bass, warm blankets of sound, and things that hit you in your gut instead of your head. I wrote it during the pandemic over Zoom with Bram and recorded the vocal on a YouTube Blue mic that I had been doing my Zoom interviews on. That is the same vocal you hear on the finished product. Bram Inscore is the genius behind the production. I told him I had not been in love with the lack of grit in some of my previous songs- I wanted to feel more dark textures and space to evoke the emotion of the underground spaces I performed in/came up in through NYC/Brooklyn nightlife. Mike “Pizza” mixed the record and helped to drive that home too. There is something so special about the live performance spaces where counterculture communities gather, particularly with the rise of technological dependency and disconnect. The song opens in that darkness and grows into a major chorus that still feels smooth. 

8. You said your inspiration behind “Bedroom Angel” was “Imagining being closeted in a small town and praying at the foot of my bed for some sapphic apparition to burst through the ceiling and show me the way.” What is the main takeaway you hope your fans will take away from this song?
I hope it nudges the listener to have a sense of intimacy with themselves that leads to better, more authentic intimacy with others. I think the sexual health culture of our society is injured; deeply rooted in binary thinking and shame, and that our bodies are often neglected as resources for pleasure, peace, discovery, and healing. For me, the lyrics are steeped in the BDSM metaphor because I have found that exploration of power dynamics can foster a lot of trust and discovery. I hope this song accompanies moments of self-love and intimacy.

9. Can you reflect on the artistic evolution you've undergone, from the release of your first single to your forthcoming debut EP? How would you describe the growth you've experienced as an artist?
I’ve mostly learned a lot about this industry and tried on a lot of different hats. I’ve been learning on the job since the first song I wrote, “Eve,” (improvising a capella into my photobooth camera on my laptop). I have learned more about how to structure a song, how to communicate my tastes sonically, and a whole lot more about the inner workings of this very confusing business, but innately I hope much hasn’t actually changed. When you have a vision and are connected to something authentically ‘you’ in your work, I don’t think the identity truly changes. I’m just continuing to give myself permission to refine what I like and show up as myself through the sonic lens that inspires me at every stage. 

10. What can fans anticipate in terms of your debut EP? Can you provide insights into when we might expect to hear it in the coming year?
All I can say is it’s coming! I wrote a lot of really salty songs when I felt really down about the industry and so many of them have merit and are great but for my debut EP I’ve come full circle to the ultimately romantic perspective that inspires me. At the core of my mission with music, it’s to be vulnerable and brave and represent the willingness to fall in love, be in love, fall out of love, and try again. At my core, I am always in search of inspiration and if you literally stop to smell the roses listen to a composition, or taste the food you're eating, it’s hard to imagine we’re here for anything else. To love and be loved. I want to encourage the bravery to do that with my music. 

11. Has coming out as non-binary impacted your musical journey?   
If anyone has closed a door to me based on my gender, I’m not checking for what’s behind it. I don’t think it’s helped or hurt me but it’s not a thought I give a lot of energy to, and general resistance to who I am is not something I tolerate in professional or personal relationships. 

12. Who have been your musical influences that have shaped your style and sound? 
They’re endless and eclectic but to name a few: Fiona Apple, Billie Holiday, Missy Elliott, Lana Del Rey, Rhye, Nina Simone, Dijon, HER, Elliott Smith, Beyonce.

13. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?   
James Blake

14. What music genre would people be surprised that you like?
I have no gauge on whether or not this is surprising but I love Neo Soul. It might be more surprising that I pretty much loathe EDM. I work out to classical music and Lana Del Rey's slowest songs. 

15. What is your favorite comfort show or movie to watch?

16. What’s your most controversial pop culture opinion?
We should still listen to R Kelly but all the royalties should go to victims of sexual assault. 

17. Final thoughts?
November 9th is a huge day! Look for me all over your Google, follow all the ways you can stalk a person online, and come to see the show at Hotel Cafe Main stage on November 15th to celebrate the release in real life because that’s where you can really feel the music, and humanity wraps around you. I’m indie now so I need all your money and love and for you to buy my genuine leather riding crops with haste. Take them home and try something new to ‘Bedroom Angel.’ And dress up for me! Decorate your life!