On The Verge: Nashville would like to introduce you to our Spotlight Artist of the Week, Kate Gillespie! Kate is a Folk/Americana singer-songwriter. She is originally from Toronto, Ontario, but now resides in Nashville, TN. Her debut EP, Pink and Gold (link to her Spotify here) releases Friday, September 29th! We interviewed Kate before the release of her debut EP, and this is what she had to say!
OTVN: At what point in your life, did you know that you wanted to pursue being a singer-songwriter?
Kate: I have been singing since I can remember, but when I was fifteen years old, my brother, Alex passed away at age 17. A few months after the accident, I was contacted by the mother of a childhood friend, who was also the owner of a local school in Toronto. She offered me a scholarship to participate as a singer in her ensemble bands and cowrite with some of the older instructors in the group. This shift in focus allowed me to be creative and expressive so it provoked me to devote as much time as I could to songwriting, collaborating, and performing. I really fell in love with it, and ever since then, I haven’t wanted to do anything else.
OTVN: Describe your musical style. What makes you unique?
Kate: I define my style as Folk/Americana, but I often times pull from Country and Indie as well. The bare bones of my songs always include finger-picking on acoustic guitar, transparent lyrics, and a little bit of wit.
OTVN: Being a singer-songwriter, how do you go about writing songs? What is your songwriting process?
Kate: I wish that I could lay my writing process out step-by-step, but it is honestly a bit of a jumble. Some songs start from hearing a compelling line in a movie and jotting it down and some start by fiddling around on my guitar and trying to find melodies that fit it. My favorite way to write is to let whatever emotion I am feeling at the time drive what I create. In my opinion, my best songs have come out that way.
OTVN: Who are your musical influences and why?
Kate: My top three musical influences include Brandi Carlile, Ingrid Michealson, and First Aid Kit. They can all be classified in the Indie/Folk genre, yet their music is all different from one another’s. Brandie Carlile has the gut-wrenching lyrics and vocals. Ingrid Michaelson has a quirky but heartfelt feel to all of her songs. First Aid Kit is my favorite though when it comes to production and arrangements. I think that my music has taken influences from all of them just as a result of listening to them so consistently for years.
OTVN: Who are some current artist or songwriters that you would love to collaborate with?
Kate: In addition to the influences I listed above, I would love to collaborate with Kacey Musgraves, to get a glimpse into that clever, witty brain of her’s would be a dream. I’d also love to write with more of my close friends who are also songwriters!
OTVN: We love your new single, “Storybook”, and it has made us excited to hear your new EP! What can we expect to hear on your EP, Pink and Gold? Does it go along with what we heard while listening to “Storybook”?
Kate: Thank you so much! I think that each one of my songs bears its own unique quality. “Storybook” let me paint a picture around a simple concept. Although it consists mostly of book-related metaphors, I came up with the idea after one of my friend’s exes cheated on them. They appeared to have this perfect storybook kind-of-love then all of the sudden there was an abrupt, surprise ending.
The other four songs on the EP, are based on specific events and people but the references are far more obvious. This EP has some optimism, humor, a lot of heartbreak, and a lot of honesty on it.
OTVN: What are your plans and hopes for your music in the future?
Kate: I plan to continue pursuing my artist career by playing shows around and outside of town, writing new songs every day, and working on a full-length album a little further (but not too much further) down the road.
You can follow Kate Gillespie on her website and social media sites listed below.
Facebook: Kate Gillespie Music