Kathryn Rose
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Kathryn Rose


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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"Gorgeous hook-filled songs"

Excerpt: "Kathryn Rose has switched back and forth from backing other singers to taking the spotlight as a performing artist in her own right. The selection of gorgeous hook-filled songs on "Something I Can Use" makes a case for Kathryn going the solo star route full time."
-Mark Rheaume CBC Radio - CBC Radio One/Fresh Air Spotlight on SOMETHING I CAN USE (May 2010)

"Hot show beats cool snow"

Despite another snow squall that darkened the city, over 800 people attended the 2008 ACTRA Awards in Toronto at the fabulous downtown Carlu [on Feb 29, 2008]. Singer songwriter Kathryn Rose was the evening's musical entertainment. You could sense the audience holding its breath during the final notes of her original song 'One Person', and sit upright in their chairs during the horns in 'Yellowknife'. That girl can sear your heart with a single note. - ACTRA Awards 2008 - ACTRA Toronto Performers Magazine

"Making a living making music"

This issue: Recording artist and CIRAA Board member Kathryn Rose discusses her strategies for "making a living making music" as an independent artist, songwriter, studio session vocalist & backup vocalist and how she balances it all with a growing family.

Kathryn Rose is critically acclaimed for her artful brand of sexy/sad/funny cinematic pop. A singer songwriter, recording artist, session vocalist, published writer and mother of a toddler daughter, she's currently working on her fourth solo album for release on her own indie label Footlodgedindoor Music.

As one of Canada's top go-to singers with an impressive list of guest vocal credits, she's spent much of the past 21 years with headphones on, providing guest vocals on the albums of over 60 well-known artists.

Q1. What was the experience like transitioning from being in a band (Wind May Do Damage) to going solo?

For those who might not be familiar with my old band, Wind May Do Damage (WMDD) was a popular part of the thriving Toronto live music scene for about five years in the early to mid-90s. Prior to that my first serious band was Lazy Grace with Jason Collett. Jason's friend Andrew Cash was kind enough to give our band a live slot in between sets at his own weekly Monday night gig at the now-defunct Spadina Hotel, along with Josh Finlayson and Andy Maize who later, of course, became The Skydiggers. Thus began my underage debut in the clubs.

I began doing guest and backing vocals with other bands and artists early into my career, but I was slow to become a solo artist. My first eight years on the music scene were spent entrenching myself in the community and experimenting as a singer and songwriter within the safety and confines of a band. When I finally did go solo, I found it to be a surprisingly easy transition. It was sort of like giving in, in a way. People had occasionally encouraged me to go solo throughout WMDD's history. I had always defiantly resisted, even turning down a few offers at the time from some managers and labels that wanted me to leave the band and go down different paths. I was very driven and ambitious, and had been determined to take the band with me on my youthful quest to the top. Whether my convictions were right or wrong, at least I couldn't have been accused of a lack of loyalty!

When WMDD disbanded due to "natural causes" in 1995 I felt a little stranded for a short time, but my fire to succeed in music was raging bigger than ever. Along came a chance to make my first solo album in Vancouver with producer/keyboardist David Kershaw and the rest of Sarah McLachlan's band whom I had met in my travels, and off I went.

Now I'm all grown up, married, with a mortgage, one child and another on the way next Spring, having toured the world singing with many artists on many albums, and getting ready to make my fourth solo album.

My original quest for stardom has long since been replaced by the simple desire to express myself, trying to make every piece of output better than the last. Real life and time can be tireless fire extinguishers. Miraculously I've kept the fire burning.

Q2. You've toured extensively as a backup singer for many artists. What industry and life lessons have you gleaned from those experiences on the road?

My very first backup singing tour was with Edmonton country rock band Jr. Gone Wild in 1992, criss-crossing Canada for three months, in winter, with six chain-smoking guys in a van with license plates marked "ANTHRAX". I took the tour to get some road chops. I got 'em. My last backup singing tour was with Sarah McLachlan in 2004, traveling in style throughout Australia, New Zealand, North America and Europe, staying at boutique hotels with a chef and a yoga teacher. The first gig of the tour was The Grammys.

There have been many tours in between, both a backup vocalist and as a solo artist. Every kind of touring, posh or not, teaches you what you need to know, like it or not, about yourself and the people around you. The road contains the bizarre dichotomy of being fake and real; it's an artificial environment where there is no escape from the truth about human behavior.

Specifically from the perspective of backup singer, I've seen a lot. It's a unique vantage point; you are "inside", but you're a little bit invisible. I could write a book, but I'd probably get sued.

Q3. You are one of the country's top session vocalists (including being a backup singer for Sarah McLachlan and Canadian Idol). Talk about the role that session work has played in your ability to "make a living making music".

I do make a living making music, but to do that I have had to make more than just the music that I write and record for myself. I have always funded my own albums with a combination of the occasional government grant, and money earned singing live or in the studio with other artists. This work has often required me to take breaks from my solo music. I have come to realize that my so-called "outside" singing work has been more than just a means to an end – it's played a major role in my overall career.

It's been my choice to pursue this work. I decided from the outset that I wanted to make a living making music one way or another, preferably never being in a cover band, and I have achieved that goal!

It's come with a catch or two. In some circles I am better known for my "outside" singing work than for my own albums. I've had to explain where I've been each time I put out a new album. In turn I've had to work hard to steer the press and industry at large away from my jingle or backup singing story, back toward my solo album story. With all these long gaps in between my own albums working with others, lack of momentum can make saddling up as a serious solo artist rather a nerve-wracking thing.

This next point is both a pro and con. The work you do with other artists can teach you things about your own voice you might never have stumbled on, however, too much session work can "automate" you, or rob you of your own voice. I have made a point of trying to keep this in balance.

Confession time: I love singing sessions. I love when my phone rings. It's a lovely feeling to know you were called into the studio because the artist or producer wanted your voice, or combination of voices for that project. Equal to, yet different, is the thrill of being recognized for my solo efforts, but both fuel me, and one certainly fuels the other. Or maybe they fuel each other. At any rate, this is the career I'm having, and it's not over yet!

Q4. Talk a bit about your experience on Canadian Idol, which just wrapped up in mid-September. Describe what it was like on your long days on set, and share with us some behind-the-scenes anecdotes and memories about what really goes on during the preparation for the show.

I must admit that I had had my eye on the Idol gig for some time. I did one episode of the show last year in Season 5, and when a full-on backup singer spot came open for Season 6, I hustled for the gig with a call to bandleader Orin Isaacs. Over the course of the summer he joked with me about my "hustle", but he also implied it helped me get from the shortlist to being an official part of the Idol band. I had a great summer on the show. It was a challenge and a pleasure to put a new show on its feet every week.

Canadian Idol brings the band and backup singers in from the Top 22 (this past year they surprised everyone by starting with a Top 24) in June, and we remain on the job each week until the Idol is crowned in September. The live performance shows are held at the Trinity Studios in Toronto's Distillery neighbourhood until the Top 10, at which point the show moves to the larger John Bassett Theatre at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

On average I worked 4 days a week on the show. Often they were 12+ hour days. On Day 1 we had access to charts and MP3s of the songs for the upcoming show, and rehearsed once as a band without the Idols. Later that day we rehearsed again with the Idols one by one, and all together when there was a medley! On Day 2 we took the rehearsal to the Idol set and ran everything down a few times for camera blocking. On Day 3 we did a dress rehearsal and the live Performance Show taping. On Day 4 we did a dress rehearsal and the live Results Show taping. Then we had a day or two off and started all over again with a new show.

Favourite moments from the past Season:
* Singing backups on "It's Not Unusual" with Sir Tom Jones;
* Receiving an approving punch on the shoulder from Anne Murray after a vocal rehearsal of "Could I Have This Dance";
* My 2-year-old jumping up and down in bed in the mornings saying, "I'm singing on Idol, Mama!";
* Impressing my babysitter with talk of meeting the band Simple Plan;
* Pre-show chats with the judges while getting our makeup done;
* Getting to hang with and learn from the wonderful vocal coach Debra Byrd, who works on American and Canadian Idol;
* Sight-reading, memorizing and performing over 100 songs over the course of the show;
* Figuring out how to best vocally complement each Idol on each song, week after week, and watching them work through their fears and challenges.

Q5. Of your previous album you said "I'm basically a pop artist but I'm not anxious to define the record. I just want to see where it goes." How has that worked for you in terms of not wanting to be placed in a particular genre category?

It hasn't really. People will always put you in a genre, despite that this is less relevant now than ever with people creating their own diverse playlists. When I said that, I was just trying an experiment. In the past I have laboured over the language of how I wanted to be described, only to have all that hard work be ignored or twisted and even mocked by forked tongue reviewers. With the last album, I wanted to see what would happen if I left it up to whoever was listening to put it in a genre. When pressed nowadays, I just say, "Cinematic pop", and then, "Taxi!"

Q6. You founded your own indie label in 1990 called Footlodgedindoor Music (Tagline: "You can't kick me out, my foot's lodged in the door"). What have been the main challenges and rewards of owning and operating your own label?

Footlodgedindoor Music was the label I started up with my Wind May Do Damage bandmates. When we disbanded, they agreed to let me keep it at my request. The sassy motto suited the "never take no for an answer" attitude every young band needs to muster. Now, for me it represents years of being told no, almost, maybe, and even sometimes yes, of promises and letdowns, of high and lows, and my ability to keep the faith.

I've always especially loved the logo, designed by A Man Called Wrycraft when I launched my solo career. It makes me think of the graphics in the original Pink Panther movie opening credits.

I'm proud of the longevity of the label and of the growing catalogue released on it. I founded Footlodgedindoor at the height of Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe independent label success, with visions of building up a similar grassroots-to-Grammys model. It was not uncommon for me to spend all day on the phone promoting and booking myself, and all night on the computer writing press releases, only remembering to pick up my guitar as an afterthought. In hindsight it took me longer to burn out on this schedule and lifestyle than it should have, but after a number of years it eventually did happen.

Bit by bit, I began to ease up on my business practice to make room for the creative process. Now other factors such as motherhood have put the business side of things even farther back on the stove. As the sole person responsible for my career and body of work, I try to set my priorities of tasks and work my way down the list, using the many online and personal resources available to me. I've always compared notes with my peers, and now is no exception. I have some good friends at similar stages of life and career. We often put our heads and talents together.

Right now I'm looking backwards and forwards as I contemplate new things to do with Footlodgedindoor. As mentioned I'm working on a new album, but am also digging in my archives for older collaborative recording projects that may now see the light of day online, along with the rest of my titles available for digital sale.

Q7. Describe your level of involvement in the various business roles required to manage your career as an artist. What roles have you typically taken on yourself in terms of your career management, and in what areas have you brought in others to assist you?

With the exception of a few trial management relationships that didn't last, and the longer management/label deal I was in from 2001-2007, I have always been self-managed, running my own label and hiring a publicist for each of my five album releases (three solo and two with my previous band). I've worked with various booking agents over the years. Right now I am fully self-represented in every way.

Self-representation requires confidence, eloquence, ongoing knowledge of the business and industry, networking skills, gift of the gab and a sixth sense of when to push and when to back off. Over the years I developed different techniques. For a time I had a make-believe female assistant, with a first and last name and a brief backstory. I only brought her out when I felt I needed to be one-step removed from the situation, such as in correspondence with fans or cold-call solicitations with labels and other industry. She became a sort of alter ego. After one amusing misuse of her with a caller who asked for her when looking for me, but turned out to be someone I knew well, I knew her time had come and gone. With sadness I retired her, RIP. Interestingly, I've heard of other such phantom characters created for the same purpose by more than one of my peers.

From 2001-2007 I was signed to my then-manager's indie label, with major label distribution. My label (Footlodgedindoor Music) and his were in business together 50/50, via the pipeline of the major label distributor. My last two album releases came out under this joint deal. Long story short, I realized particularly after the release of my third solo album in 2005 that I was still performing the lion's share of the behind-the-scenes work. Much of that effort was spent doing clean up, and I figured I might as well be back on my own.

I chose to officially leave the deal in 2007, on good terms. I would have left sooner, but I was busy being a first time mother in 2006. Thankfully they let me go with minimal fuss, in full ownership of my work. Disappointed as I was with the outcome, I have seen similar scenarios play out in the careers of many of my peers in their own respective deals. Sometimes things haven't even ended as well for them. Now as I prepare to record and release my fourth solo album, I have even more appreciation for my return to indie freedom where I call the shots and protect my own interests.

Q8. How has your website - or the Internet in general - worked for you in terms of building a relationship with your fans, sourcing new gigs or selling product?

Due to my much-reduced touring at present, the Internet has become an essential resource. Even when I was traveling the globe, it was so. The tour Blog I began at my website just for kicks during Sarah McLachlan's Afterglow world tour in 2004 quickly took on a life of its own. Suddenly the Sarah fans from all over the world were all tuning in and commenting on each entry. One such fan picked up on my days as a Womens' Studies major in university, ironically in my Blog entry about meeting Gene Simmons. She invited me to speak and perform at McMaster University on International Womens' Day. A magazine caught wind of my writing and commissioned a story. A Sarah fansite invited me to do a live chat. Fansites were created for me. When I released my last album even after the tour was over, many of those fans stuck with me and bought it. My Blog is still going today.

Via digital music distribution service Tunecore.com, all of my CDs are available for digital sales at iTunes worldwide, Rhapsody, Napster, eMusic, GroupieTunes, Amazon MP3 and others. Facebook and Myspace have expanded my professional networks, and have made it even easier for fans to find me. It would appear all my worlds are colliding online. People who saw me in a film or TV show from my days as a professional actress from age 17-25 have been looking me up, buying my CDs and writing me messages. I recently sang a song for a Joe Fresh fall fashion commercial, and I've gotten a lot of online traffic and messages from people looking me up. How fun! And it's virtually free.

Q9. How did having your first child two years ago change your approach to music, and how do you now balance motherhood and your music career?

Having a baby has changed everything, in ways I thought it might and in ways that surprised me. My daughter is now two-and-a-half. Out of necessity I started doing live shows and sessions when she was about ten weeks old, but it was long after that before I began to feel normal again. A first baby is a miraculous shock. You just want to sit and stare at it unbothered for as long as possible. Getting up in front of people and having them look at you is the farthest thing from your mind for awhile. My first few shows back felt very bizarre, and normally I love attention!

When that alien feeling onstage faded, I felt the need to create a new mandate: Only do gigs worth leaving the house for. It sounds a little basic, but sometimes it takes something like parenthood to make a leap toward the obvious. I began performing at special events rather than club dates, selecting shows where I knew I would play to a new crowd to expand my fanbase and sell CDs, with a fee or expense guarantee. This philosophy has only lead to more good shows and opportunities (awards shows, high profile benefits, all-star tribute shows, and collaborative concerts with colleagues). Until I'm in a position to tour my albums again, I'm sticking with this approach.

Certainly, long backup singing tours with other artists have been out of the question, but in studio is ideal. Since my first baby was born I've sung on albums by the late, great Oliver Schroer, Barenaked Ladies, Melanie Doane, Joel Kroeker, Kevin Breit, and more, and I've done some local one-off live singing for RyanDan, illScarlett and the Top 10 and Top 3 Canadian Idols. This is not to say I never leave town. I go away for a few days here and there as a recurring member of a touring company with a symphony orchestra pop concert series. With this group, I've been singing live and selling my own original albums to symphony audiences across North America over the past 10 years and counting.

My actor/writer husband and I share an unpredictable freelance lifestyle. Amazingly, our daughter has never exhibited any separation anxiety when either of us goes to work. She simply says, "Bye, Mama!" or "Bye, Dada!" and off we go. That and her impressive sleeping and eating habits have spoiled us; we are probably really in for it with our next child!

Songwriting has been difficult since becoming a mother. It has felt indulgent and near impossible to get into the necessary headspace. I usually like to write alone, but my album producer Thomas Ryder Payne and I decided to try co-writing my next album. We started by sending ideas back and forth, with weekly meetings to play things through and document the results. Both of us being parents, we have to schedule our creative sessions. We work well together, and I'm very excited about the songs we've written.

Motherhood is as much of a dream come true as any music success has been. I'm thrilled to be having another baby next Spring. I think now that I've been through it once, the mental recovery time will be faster. That said, motherhood has been very good for a restless malcontent such as myself. I'm really looking forward to embracing and committing to those precious early days once again, and seeing it through the eyes of my first born!

Q10. Why did you join the CIRAA Board of Directors? What is your main objective as a CIRAA Board Member?

I was very happy to be asked to bring my years of indie career-building to the CIRAA Board table from an artist's perspective, and to have the opportunity to educate myself in much greater detail on the finer points of our changing industry.

My husband has been on the governing Council at ACTRA since before we met. It's been inspiring to witness his ongoing dedication to advocating for actors' issues. I've spent a long time working on my career in an insular way and complaining when things were unfair.

CIRAA is the first organization to specifically and exclusively represent the interests of independent artists, and I think this couldn't come at a better time. Indie artists have never been so empowered, nor have they ever had so much to protect.

Q11. What are some of the upcoming projects that you are working on?

I'll spend this fall and winter writing the rest of my fourth solo album and planning the recording, while singing other studio sessions. In addition to my ongoing live concert appearances, I sometimes perform in a trio side project with Melanie Doane and Emilie-Claire Barlow. I also have fourteen live appearances booked between November and May with the symphony pop concert series I'm a part of, in Dayton OH, London ON, Erie PA, St. Catharines ON, Kitchener ON, Jacksonville FLA.

Q12. What words of encouragement or wisdom do you have for up-and-coming indie artists who are taking the DIY route?

To be honest, I'm watching them! I need to keep up.

My best advice: Understand how the business works now in contrast to the old music industry major record label model. Don't be in the dark about what is available to you, especially in terms of remuneration (new media, unions, royalties, and neighbouring rights/copyright). Most importantly, find your community, and help each other.

For more information on Kathryn Rose, visit www.kathrynrose.com.
- CIRAA Newsletter - Canadian Independent Recording Artists' Association (Oct '08)

"Sultry jingle singer turns up torch heat"

Molly Johnson and Lisa Dalbello do it. So does Mary Margaret O'Hara if there's nobody watching. And young jazzer Emilie-Claire Barlow's been at it since she was six. Although they may be reluctant to talk about it, many of Toronto's top vocalists have for years been moonlighting as advertising jingle singers.

Few people who've seen Kathryn Rose performing with Esthero or King Cobb Steelie are likely aware that the in-demand backing vocalist -- who formerly fronted Wind May Do Damage -- also happens to be one of the city's most sought-after jingle specialists. When there's a jingle emergency, chances are it's Rose's special jingle pager that gets buzzed.

It's her sultry voice you hear cooing I've Got You Under My Skin in the milk commercials, reminding you that "you've always got time for Tim Hortons" and helping the cheese melt on Triscuit crackers with her seductive scatting.

Rose's first "ooohs" for the Triscuit ad were so hot, in fact, that the client gave the track an "X" rating and asked for a less steamy version. It's all in a day's work for the classically trained Rose, who gave up a promising acting career to sing for her supper.

Her lucrative sideline has not only supported her more artistic endeavours as a solo song stylist (she's just released the intoxicating My Little Flame album on her own Footlodgedindoor Music label) but it's also helped to stretch her vocal cords in unusual ways and allowed her to indulge her role-playing fantasies. If there's a credibility threat, Rose doesn't seem terribly concerned about it.

"Believe it or not," giggles Rose mischievously from her east-side home, "singing jingles is something I always wanted to try. I'd heard it was a difficult business to break into. You need to work very quickly, under pressure, and be able to manipulate your voice on cue. I wanted to see if I was up for the challenge."

On a session for country artist Julian Austin she met Danny LeBlanc, who had his own production company (Mad Music Inc.) and worked for a larger company, Pirate Radio and Television, that did advertising spots.

"When I finally got to sing a jingle, I found I really liked it and immediately wanted to do more. I kept taking more jobs and I've been doing it ever since. The money's great, and it really is a lot of fun. How can singing be bad?"

Spitting a 15-second snippet of a jazz standard or dropping a tag line from a Macy Gray song doesn't sound terribly taxing, but like acting in porno films, the job does require a certain facility that only a select few have. That's why the majority of jingles are voiced by a handful of busy professionals.

According to jingle top gun LeBlanc, who co-wrote the I Am Canadian bit and does the underscoring for Hockey Night In Canada, singing spots goes well beyond, er getting it up on command, so to speak. And when the money's on the line, Rose has proven she has those special skills that pay the bills.

"It's not as easy a job as many singers think," explains LeBlanc, "You have to do a lot of different things well and very fast, and Kathryn's brilliant at it. Besides having a tonal quality that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, she's smart, imaginative and stylistically very versatile.

"Most singers have a certain sound that they get called for again and again, but Kathryn's not a one-trick pony. We just did this cool pop record together under the name Blume that we're shopping in the U.S. right now. It doesn't sound anything like her new My Little Flame record. It's just another of Kathryn's many sides."

That chameleon-like knack for shifting styles that has served Rose so well in the jingle business isn't such an asset for a rising artist still trying to establish her own identity.

There's always a danger that a jingle singer adept at mimicking the traits of popular singers to suit advertising clients' needs can lose her own identity in the process. Rose knows it.

"I'm able to make the distinction between my own voice and my voice for hire, even though I sometimes use my own voice to sing jingles. I'm at a point where I'm comfortable singing my own songs or whatever I'm asked."

Rose was also confident enough in herself as an artist to release the elegantly arranged and beautifully realized My Little Flame album on her own terms. She didn't wait around for a major-label endorsement of her considerable talent.

"The first couple of years I was in bands, it was like waiting for permission to be an artist, like someone from a label would magically appear and say, "OK, Kathryn, you're ready now -- here's your record deal.' Then time passes, nothing happens and you wonder, "What am I waiting for? Why not just do it myself?' That's what I did.

"Right now I'm struggling to reconcile my need to make a personal statement with that whole clamouring-for-attention thing."

It's more than a bit strange to hear someone with such a flair for the dramatic talk about being reluctant to make a spectacle of herself. This is the same woman who tosses a bouquet of flowers into the crowd after singing I Married Myself and likes brandishing a blowtorch.

"Well, I guess there's still a little bug inside me that wants to put on a show. But I tend to forget about that; I need to force myself to get onstage. Once I'm out there, I know it's going to be a good time. Although I quit acting a long time ago, I still love to play dress-up." -Tim Perlich

Kathryn Rose with Reid Jamieson at the Rivoli (332 Queen West), Tuesday (January 15). $10. 416-598-1908. - Now Magazine cover story (Jan '02)

"How To Get Married, Go Off On A World Tour For A Year And Keep Said Marriage Intact"

(This is a story that Kathryn Rose was commissioned to write for this issue of 2 Magazine.)

I was standing at the corner store holding a bag of frozen peas when I got the call. Sarah McLachlan wanted me as her backup singer for her 2004 Afterglow world tour. My life flashed before my eyes. My married life, that is. The job would begin a mere nine days after David and I uttered the words "I do."

Sure, globe trotting with an international star sounds like hot times, but putting our young marriage on ice in the name of rock and roll sometimes made me feel more than a little guilty, even with my husband's blessing.

For other couples grappling with the challenges imposed by a long-distance arrangement, here's what worked for us:

David first heard the song I wrote for him, "One Person", when I sang it at our nuptials. He listened to it on my new CD while I was away to bring back that lovin' feeling. As for me, I found love notes stashed in my suitcases.

It's crucial you work out your trust issues before you are separated by one or more oceans. David wasn't even jealous when Gene Simmons snapped my bra strap in Brisbane. Not even when he saw the pictures.

Talk each day. It's easy to stop sharing the everyday, mundane stuff of life with one another, but when you lose that you may as well still be single. Also, visit each other: I know a couple that has a "two-week rule". That's the maximum period they'll spend apart before flying the other person in or coming home, even if only for a day. Besides, there's nothing like reuniting at a fancy hotel in exotic locales. We did, on two continents.

Besides these, all you both need is a high-speed internet connection. A set of his and hers was one of our more inspired wedding gifts. What you with yours is up to you!

To curb homesickness, I kept a tour diary blog and photo gallery on my website. Meanwhile, back home, David had the chance to spend more time with his buddies.

You both will have them. Best to take turns.

Knowing that test of endurance was finite, that our life together was waiting on the other side, was a comfort. With a sense of humour, you, too, will survive.

By the end of the tour, I made the decision to come home and stay there, resuming my studio work and limiting tours to those for my own music. Well, at least until Elvis Costello calls.

Kathryn Rose is a Toronto singer/songwriter/recording artist. You can find all of her CDs and read her blog at kathrynrose.com - 2 Magazine: The Magazine For Couples (Spring 2006 Issue)

"3 1/2 out of 4 stars"

Local siren and expert pop chanteuse Kathryn Rose is one of the go-to singers for big-league TV commercials and session work. Matching her fine physical voice with a newly intimate writer's voice, Rose has gone confessional on her third solo album (self-titled). She digs deep, charting her journey from a broken-hearted breakup, through two years of subsequent inertia, finally finding her way back to an unprecedented, lifelong commitment. Crafted with rich instrumentation, arrangement and production by Thomas Ryder Paine, the dark stuff is spooky, the hopeful stuff inspiring and that voice is always worth hearing. Kathryn Rose plays the Mod Club Theatre (722 College) July 7. -HD. - Eye Weekly - On Disc (2005)

"The world will fall in love..."

"I totally love your version of Watching the Detectives! A classic song that has been begging for reinvention. Your voice is totally beautiful and calming, I love it. Seriously I think it’s fabulous, and trust me, I don’t say that to very many people. Keep on singing and the world will fall in love with you. All the best with this new release!"

"I love the new CD. There are some songs on there I haven't heard before (Ghostwriter) and the live version of I Married Myself is really great."
-Katherine K., Kitchener ON.

"I think it's a pretty great cross-section of everything you've done so far. I really liked the new version of the song "Something I Can Use", too. Excellent use of banjo."
-Patrick N., Toronto ON.

"I am happily loading "Something I Can Use" onto my iPod as I type! ... Love the remake of the title track!"
-Megan J., Dallas TX.

“I listened to your recording and was so impressed. I had no idea your writing was so interesting. Thank you for the gift of enjoyment.”
–Issa (formerly known as Jane Siberry). - Fan & colleague reviews of SOMETHING I CAN USE (2010)

"Songwriter's Showcase"

The evening was closed off by Kathryn Rose, Toronto singer songwriter recently returned from touring the world singing on Sarah McLachlan’s Afterglow Tour. She sang a touching song she wrote as a tribute to her husband for their recent wedding. - Appeared in Canadian Musician / SOCAN'S Words & Music / SAC Magazine (June 2005)

"The Rose Blooms - Live at Ted's Wrecking Yard, Toronto"

Rose's talent burns big and bright. She has the voice and looks of a rock diva, but has chosen a more adventurous and intimate path in her lyrics and music. That's shown in a haunting tune like "Dear The Mother Of A Dead Son" while the far lighter "I Married Myself" just might become an anthem for independent women. Kathryn has a mesmerising and sensual stage presence, delivering her material in theatrical but convincing fashion. Peers spied in the crowd included DAN BRYK, MICHELLE RUMBALL and BLUE RODEO's BAZIL DONOVAN. Rose is clearly an artist to watch. -Kerry Doole - Tandem Magazine (July '01)

"Highlights of NXNE '02 - Kathryn Rose at The Tranzac Club"

Toronto singer Kathryn Rose put on an awesome midnight set. She sauntered about like she owned the place, and for her 45-minute set, she did. Rose dazzled the audience with her astounding vocal power and cleverly written songs. Compelling and theatrical.
- Imprint Online

"Festival Of Lights Offers Many Surprises"

Special guest Kathryn Rose, a lovely lady with a wonderfully strong voice, lent her talents to Ron Marenger and his Big Band on various tunes to a crowd of 8000 plus at Del Crary Park last night. She offered up a delicate and sexy rendition of the timeless tune Chances Are, and Paper Moon showed Rose fronting a band that was truly hopping with energy and great sounds. She closed with a song of her own, the charming "I Married Myself", even throwing the proverbial bouquet at song's end to a lucky person in the audience. - Peterborough Examiner (2003)



(2010) Something I Can Use
(2005) Kathryn Rose
(2003) My Little Flame Enhanced CD
(2001) My Little Flame original release
(1997) Every Lurid Detail

News about Kathryn's songs:

One of Kathryn Rose's most popular songs, "I Married Myself" recently came to the attention of the Taiwanese woman who made international news and even a mention on Late Show With David Letterman for her plans to marry herself on November 6, 2010. Chen Wei-yih will be using Kathryn's song as a part of her wedding event, sure to draw yet more global attention.

"I Married Myself" was also used with Kathryn's permission in a summer 2010 one-woman show in the Minneapolis, Toronto, Victoria Fringe Festivals, called "ONEymoon, A Honeymoon For One".

"I Married Myself" was also cited in a 2008 More Magazine article by journalist Cynthia Brouse as she walked down the aisle to the strains of Kathryn's song in her real life wedding to herself. Kathryn collects examples and testimonials of other such events in an "I Married Myself" survey at her Facebook and MySpace pages.

As originally selected via Sonicbids, many of Kathryn's songs have been in regular rotation on WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE RADIO (Live 365.com) since the release of her latest CD, 2010's "Something I Can Use", as follows:

Her unique cover of Elvis Costello's "Watching The Detectives" on their WE'VE GOT IT COVERED - '80s show;

"One Person" in their SPOTLIGHT ON GREAT SONGS show;

"Yellowknife" in their TRIPLE A (ADULT ALBUM ALTERNATIVE) show;

"Cliffhanger" in their HOT AC show;

Kathryn's trio with Melanie Doane and Emilie-Claire Barlow covering Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" in their WOMEN IN HARMONY Show, from Melanie Doane's "A Thousand Nights" CD. (The trio also appeared in the 2009 Luminato Arts Festival, performing in the Neil Young: Live at Massey Hall Tribute, at Toronto's famed Massey Hall.)

In two separate editions of the acclaimed ART OF TIME ENSEMBLE's Songbook series, Kathryn's bittersweet ballad "One Person" was covered by Melanie Doane (2009), and Sarah Slean covered her ode to platonic love "I Don't Need More" (2007).

The video for her song "One Person" (from the "Kathryn Rose" CD, just re-released on Something I Can Use) charted for 23 straight weeks on Bravo! Television's Top 30 Video Chart.

"One Person" made the 2005 International Songwriting Competition's semi-finals.

Kathryn's unique and excellent cover of Elvis Costello's "Watching The Detectives" was used in feature film The Overlookers, as were her original songs, "Mint" and "I Married Myself."

Song placements and vocals in feature films and television include: Bridal Fever, The Overlookers, Los Locos, When Night is Falling, The Circle Game; Degrassi: TNG, Cold Squad, Powerplay, Ready Or Not, Relic Hunter, Madison, Drop The Beat, Liberty Street.



-Recording artist Emm Gryner on Kathryn Rose

–Recording artist Sarah Slean on Kathryn Rose

Three solo albums and new compilation "Something I Can Use" into her career, fans of Kathryn Rose are well acquainted with her artful, cerebral brand of sexy-sad-funny cinematic pop.

Kathryn is considered a keen social diarist with a reputation for penning darkly atmospheric songs, her wicked sense of humour always at the ready. Her supple voice is an emotive, elastic instrument, and Kathryn's reputation as one of Canada's top go-to singers also precedes her, live and in the studio with other artists and in film, television and radio.

Her long, diverse music career has taken her to many unusual places. Kathryn’s various roles as a singer songwriter, recording artist, freelance writer, and voice-in-demand and mom to a girl and boy (4 and 1) make her a busy person, and fuel her as an artist.

Raised in North Vancouver and her hometown of Toronto, Kathryn started out in the clubs on the Canadian music scene while she was still underage. Affectionately known as KR to fans and friends, she releases her music on her own indie label Footlodgedindoor Music, originally founded in 1990 with then-band Wind May Do Damage.

Her well received 1997 solo debut “Every Lurid Detail” (produced by David Kershaw) was recorded in Vancouver with most of Sarah McLachlan’s band and other west coast luminaries. Kathryn's graphic pose in the cover image created a stir; people either loved or didn’t love her defiant avoidance of a typical beauty shot, but all agreed it made for a strong debut.

Her critically acclaimed 2001-sophomore effort “My Little Flame” (produced by Thomas Ryder Payne) led to a management and label deal with Kindling Music/EMI Canada/later Warner Canada.

Kathryn appeared on the cover of Toronto's NOW Magazine in January 2002, and was "Miss November" in their 2003 annual calendar. NOW also playfully named her "Best Jingle Singer" in their "Best Of 2002" poll, adding the category especially in her honour. She responded by writing the song "Jingle Queen" (hidden at her website if you look hard enough).

"My Little Flame" was re-released in 2003 as an Enhanced CD featuring Ron Sexsmith on the closing track, and was nominated for Pop Album of the Year at the 2003 Canadian Indie Awards.

From 2005’s “Kathryn Rose” (produced by Thomas Ryder Payne), the song "One Person" made the International Songwriting Competition semi-finals and the video charted for 23 straight weeks on Bravo! Television’s Top 30 chart. The album's sleeper hit "Yellowknife" still generates the most fan commentary.

After this release Kathryn amicably left her label deal and the Kindling/The Management Trust fold in favour of returning to her fully autonomous "Footlodgedindoor" roots.

Kathryn’s newest release, "Something I Can Use" (2010) is a CD compilation culling from her three solo albums with old, new, live and re-worked tracks, and marks her third creative collaboration with long time producer Thomas Ryder Payne.

Kathryn sits on the Board of CIRAA (the Canadian Independent Recording Artists’ Association). She’s also a feature artist in a touring symphony pop concert series, singing and selling her albums to orchestra audiences across North America.

She has sung on well over 60 albums of other well-known artists. (Barenaked Ladies, Susan Aglukark, Kevin Breit, Joel Kroeker, Dan Bryk, JD Fortune, Oliver Schroer, Sarah McLachlan... to name a few.)

While secretly pregnant with her second baby, Kathryn conquered morning sickness live on national television every week as a band member in the final (2008) season of “Canadian Idol”, singing backups not only for the competitors but also for guest stars Anne Murray and Sir Tom Jones.

In November 2009 Kathryn recorded Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" as a duet with NHL star Claude Lemieux (he sings!) for one of his routines with Shae-Lynn Bourne in CBC TV's hit show “Battle Of The Blades”, doubling her Facebook fanpage fans in the two days following the broadcast.


For more highlights of KR's storied escapades in music and to explore her many collaborations and guest appearances, visit her website: www.kathrynrose.com