Katie Cole

ORIGINALLY from Melbourne, super songstress, Katie Cole, has been spreading her anthemic country harmony around the globe, and now, based in LA, Cole has placed herself in arguably the greatest location for her breakthrough sound. 

2014 is also set to be a very interesting year for this independent artist with her latest single '(We Started a) Fire' getting a great response from fans and media outlets alike, even receiving airplay from institutions such as; BBC Radio 2 and AAA Radio in the USA. But, 3rd March is the day most Cole critics and listeners are eagerly waiting for. As this is the day her latest album 'Lay It All Down' is let loose upon the people of the world. 

After listening to '(We Started a) Fire', I felt a huge surge of energy take over me, I felt almost graced by this unknown presence created by the track. The up-tempo sound has your feet tapping uncontrollably, you can't deny the feel-good factor that gracefully coats your imagination, pushing a smile to enrich the unbearable positivity flowing from the onset. Touched by confident guitars, the track swiftly builds into a modern-day americana anthem, flaunting an exquisite multi-platform array of superb musicians and instruments. From this we also must comment on the angelic vocals of which Cole provides, so feathery light in the atmosphere touching each note with sheer elegance and precision, collectively painting the alluring track with such high calibre.

This beautiful lady certainly has a certain 'something' when it comes to music, making her sound seem like a gift from the gods, this message being relayed within her music. I can't wait to see where Katie Cole is at the end of 2014, but I can guarantee you will be hearing a lot more of her very soon. The Music Manual grabbed an interview with the siren to find out more from behind the scenes...

How did  your journey as a musician begin?

Not sure about the beginning. I was really young and I remember music always just being there. Parents singing around the piano, all that sort of stuff that was very, very uncool at the time. I just grew up with it and never thought anything of it until my careers advisor in High school starting poking questions about careers. And having a career to fall back on. I sort of realized two things then, that I wanted only to pursue music and that I didn’t plan to fall back. I started playing live gigs in my mid teens so I was already working on my career and didn’t really know it. Although I don't have a college degree, it takes a certain “degree” of focus, commitment and persistence to be successful in music. Oh yeah, FYI, I like puns, clearly.

What has the response been like for your latest single ‘(We Started a) Fire’ so far?

Really good so far. It’s the sort of song that keeps you tapping along until the end, and the outro is a surprise on first listen. I think it’s the sort of song, my fans have to come to expect from me. So far I’ve received support on AAA radio in USA and just got my first spin on BBC Radio 2 in the UK. It’s exciting to think that so many people will here this song. What a crazy thing. I still get asked what genre it is. It’s my genre, so I may deflect such questions and say “watch the video” and “look how cool my hair looks”. 

Do you think genres count for anything anymore?

Not really. It only does if you are purely going to radio adds in America. There is a limited format in US. The UK is a little more broad with options (which I love). I’ve been asked my whole career what genre I am. haha. I used to say either singer- songwriter or pop/rock. I have been told I’m too country or not country enough. Too pop or not pop enough. In honestly, I’ve always tried to remain true to what excites me. These days pop means dance and rock means Foofighters. Sheesh. Bands like Fleetwood Mac used to be called Rock haha. I usually say singer-songwriter with flavors of folk and country. Sometimes I say Americana and I occasionally explain my music as similar to Sheryl Crow, KT Tunstall with a  splash of Tom Petty. I just think if you make great music for long enough, you’ll find a home somewhere. It’s not for me to label my music, that’s someone else’s job :)

You’re originally from Australia, now living in the USA , do you think there’s a difference in the music scenes?

Oh yes. There’s almost seems to be a global top 10 when it comes to commercial/CHR music….but America definitely has an abundance of roots, country and folk artists everywhere. In a commercial sense, America has a ton of pop, rap artists and the dance music scene has really only been flourishing in a chart sense for the last few years. Australia always has been and always will be AS influenced by USA musical climate as it is influenced by the EURO scene. What occupies radio/TV is a mix of UK artists and American artist with a couple of Aussies in the middle. I never heard country music on the radio while I was in Australia at all though. That’s probably changed now. I think Europe is still ahead of the curve when it comes to pop and dance music, but it's interesting to see America catching up to that scene now. And tempos of general songs being faster.

Are there any of your fellow musicians that you're really liking the sound of at the moment?

I just bought the new Haim record which is really good. I love the Lorde record too. I also love how diverse artists like Bruno Mars and One Republic are.  I also really love tons of Americana artists like Civil Wars, The Lone Bellow and Punch Brothers. I sort of love one or 2 tracks from a ton of artists. I have a short attention span.

What was your first ever gig like?

Hmmm. I’ve performed a lot. I’m pretty sure my first paid gig was at a cafe. I was either 15 or 16 and I was singing songs by Alanis, Sheryl Crow, The Beatles and U2. I was really nervous but it was a game changer for sure. I remember thinking how exciting it was. There was a lot of coffee and adrenalin that day.

Who inspires you when writing your tracks?

Everything and everybody, really. I think it’s a matter of “what” inspires me rathe than “who” in generalI only rarely draw from direct personal experience. I think it’s limiting to only write from your own experience as my life isn’t interesting all the time hahah. I listen to a lot of music and I listen to a lot of conversations. Imagination is the key to my writing style. I enjoy story-telling. I want to make sure your story is good, the characters are interesting and then on top of that there is a melody and music. I’m really excited by melodies that elevate in the chorus. All that said, my Mum in general is a huge inspiration for me and my career. I wouldn’t be doing it without her.

Favourite tracks to play live?

Here are some songs of mine that I love to play live, “Hearts Don’t Bend”, “Lay It All Down” and the new single “(We started a) Fire”. All are on the upcoming new record “Lay it All Down” out March 3rd.

There's been a lot of talk about artists being against the use of Spotify, what are your opinions on that?

It’s a tough one. I have varied opinions. Spotify is a private business (with employees and a profit to make) that offers a subscription based service. I know many people complain about royalty rates as they are REALLY low. I think there many artists fail to see the bigger picture of what subscription services means. Purchasing a song that you can own is generally 1.00. You pay your buck and you own the song and nothing else is expected from the transaction. You then can play that audio once or a million times (it’s up to the consumer). What Spotify offers is a rental service for the life of the song. You might pay 10 bucks a month to rental a few hundred songs. And that dollar that you would have spent once is broken down into tiny pieces of what the life of the song will earn in it’s lifetime. So for example you take that dollar, and play a song 150 times in a 3 yr period. That’s 0.67 cents per play. But remember that's just a three period. Say you live for another 50 years after the purchase, how much is each play worth then? Tiny increments. So basically you just hope that people on Spotify love and play your music enough to want to buy from iTunes, or come to a show, buy a ticket and some merch. Real fans will do this. Music has become very de-valued and is now a selling tool for just about everything that isn’t music. There’s no way to bring it’s full worth back or to protect it or change formats, so you have to have some ingenuity and find new ways to profit in this business.

Think on to 20 years from now, where will we find you?

I’d like to still be songwriting and touring. I don’t think there’s anything else I’d rather do or could do. I also love animals and charity though, so I’d like to involve that more down the line. So think Live Aid 2034 but with cats.


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