Kat Lewis
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Kat Lewis

Newnan, Georgia, United States | SELF

Newnan, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Featured Artist: Katya Lewis. From Finding Her Music Partner on Craigslist to Finding Her Voice through Family Struggles"

Featured Artist: Katya Lewis. From Finding Her Music Partner on Craigslist to Finding Her Voice through Family Struggles
by Music Xray on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 12:23pm ·

Louis J. Giusto II
Photo Credit

MusicXray EPK: http://www.musicxray.com/artists/katlewis

Interview:
1) How did you find your songwriter partner, Mike Spence?

I was contemplating on how to move forward with my music and discussing my options with my family. I had a lot of lyrics on paper and melody lines running around in my head, and I desperately needed another musician to collaborate with, so my Dad decided to run an ad for musicians in the Atlanta Craigslist. In the first go-around, we didn't get the kind of response we were hoping for, but my determined Father decided to run the ad again; and that time, the heavens opened up and Mike Spence, on a whim, responded. I seriously could not have hand picked a better musical partner; we absolutely complete each other in our creativity. Mike is an amazing piano player, having played since he was 5 years old. He also lives in my hometown, and the icing on the cake was he had been searching for a female singer to accompany and work with...how cool is that?

2) Where are you from, where are you living now, and where would you like to see yourself living if music becomes a full-time career?

I was born in Wilmington, Delaware, just outside of Philly, and some of my family still lives there. When I was 3, my parents moved us to Cape Coral, Florida just outside of Fort Myers. And then at 7, we moved to Metro Atlanta. That is where I am living now, in a quaint southern town called Newnan, Georgia; which is about 35 minutes south of the city of Atlanta. Anything within a hour and half radius is considered Metro Atlanta, which I think is funny but Atlanta is pretty cool so I understand the connection. When music becomes my full time career, I can't see myself settling in any of your typical music towns like Nashville or Los Angeles, but rather think I will be living on some beautiful beach with a surfboard and my wiener dog Florence!

3) How do you feel about having your family manage and promote you? Are you still living with them, or are you living on your own (obviously this depends on your age of course!)?

I really loved your past article from Aug. 10th, "How shysters take advantage of musicians." Not only was it informative for up and coming musicians but it was my very first experience out of the gate as a singer. Fortunately for me, it was my family that rallied round and that situation ended quickly! I have 4 older brothers, an older sister and sister in-laws that are quick to circle the wagons when they sense trouble. It was also in that experience that I learned I needed to keep the people that loved me and respected me in my circle, people that keep my best interests at heart and also keep me grounded. My Dad helps manage, my Mom works on my promotional stuff, and my brother Louie is my photographer and graphic designer. Everyone else cheers me on! I am in the writing and recording aspect of my music right now, so as a struggling artist, I am still living with the folks; but it's all good since I am only 20.

4) Tell us about your musical style. Do you think it belongs in any certain category?

I am actually in the process of deciding on my musical style. I know that my voice has it's own unique quality (all God given), but the direction and the dynamics of my sound are something Mike and I, along with Chris Riggsfrom Dreamlab Productions, are currently trying to create. I think that everyone will get a better sense of my style when my new single "Melting" comes out in October. It is a fusion of the Civil Wars meets Adele. I would like to create music that crosses several categories.


Louis J. Giusto II
Photo Credit

5) What instruments do you play and which is your favorite? Are you more comfortable singing or playing?

I wrote my first song "Supply and Demand" as an Economics project when I was a Senior in high school. It was a song based on the only three chords I knew on the guitar, and sorry to say I haven't progressed from there... hence my need and desire for Mike to make my music come to fruition. I am starting to learn how to play the ukulele because I think it would be a great aspect to my music, and it is a bit quirky, like me. So to answer your question, I am absolutely more comfortable singing, my voice is my instrument.

6) How did you stumble upon MusicXray, or was it a family member? That being said, how has MusicXray been beneficial for your musical career?

My Mom is known as the "Google freak" and she is always looking up or investigating one thing or another - that's why she helps me with the promotional aspect of my music. She found your website and was very excited to show it to me. We made the decision to upload a song, some pictures and a short bio to try you all out. I love the fact that as an independent musician I have websites like MusicXray to help me out! It feels awesome to have control over your projects and I have gained great exposure and insight from your website that otherwise would not be available to me. I have participated in the focus group tool, which can give you great ideas on the direction of your songs. I have also submitted my music to several of your opportunities, which gained me a spot on "Women of Substance Radio," and a worldwide radio blast from Mia Bajin. It is also important to get your songs certified through MusicXray as it gives what you are doing some validity.

7) We noticed you mentioned having a lot of struggles within your family, so we assume that your music is somewhat of an outlet for you. If so, can you talk about how music is an outlet for you? Also, who or what inspires you?

I love to write and sing sad ballads that usually resolve themselves with something positive. When I was twelve my Grandmother committed suicide and that wrecked me, and it continues to have a residual effect on my life. I have watched a brother struggle with kidney cancer, an Uncle who was murdered, which is still unsolved, and a sister who had to put her life back together after being raped. Seems like right out of a soap opera right? But it is the reality of my life. My family and I have overcome these obstacles together, becoming more compassionate about the world around us. At 20 years old, I understand just how precious this life is and so are the people that are on this journey with me. I write my music based on my experiences, they influence me and I want to share them with the millions of others that know pain and redemption. I love lyrics and I love when they can arouse an emotion along with a beautiful melody. Music is an integral part of living and it brings about healing. I am so blessed to be able to create and sing music.

8) We see you're rockin' some tattoos - how many do you have and are any of special significance to you?

I have 5 tattoos and am always drawing more ideas to have done... it is true that once you get one tattoo you want more! All of my tattoo's have some personal significance because it is another avenue for expressing myself. My very first tattoo was on the top my foot (which they say is one of the most painful places) It is of a beautiful Oak Tree and it is based on Psalm 1 "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Another tattoo I have is based on a Robert Browning poem and it says, "Be our joys three parts pain," which means that no joy in life comes without hardship. I got it after graduating from high school to represent the hardships and changes I went through that helped me become who I am today. I love my chest piece because it reminds me everyday when I look in the mirror that you need to refuse to be average and never be afraid to be yourself even if you're different. Each tattoo brings me back to a different time in my life and evokes an emotion. I love them all and cant wait to get more.


Louis J. Giusto II
Photo Credit

To listen to Kat Lewis' music, check out her MusicXray EPK here: http://www.musicxray.com/artists/katlewis
- Musicxray


"winners of the behringer 16 track mixers!"


Whotune Karl: Hi Kat, Well done on wining one of the mixers. I've listened to your song Supply and Demand and like the feel behind the song.So how did you end up in the music business?

Kat: My Mom was a singer with a band outside Philadelphia and she sang and performed the whole time she was pregnant with me. She said that I was the only child that came out singing, that I must have been performing with her in the womb! Being one of seven kids and the youngest I loved to entertain but was also painfully shy and most times whenever I had to sing I would break out in these huge angry hives. When my brother got married he asked if I would please sing at his wedding reception, it was a fairly large crowd and when I finished my two songs I was so well received, (no hives this time) just a huge explosive rush of joy and excitement, well lets just say after that experience... I was hooked!

Whotune Karl: Where do you get your inspiration for song writing?

Kat: Most of my inspiration comes right out of my life experiences. I know that I am young but my family has endured quite a lot over the years which has given me a wide range of emotions to pull from and songwriting is an awesome outlet or therapy for expressing thoughts and feelings.

Whotune Karl: When writing, what is your method? Do you start with lyrics first, a melody and do you use a guitar or piano?

Kat: My partner Mike Spence sits at the piano or acoustic guitar and just starts playing chord progressions until I hear something that moves me. We then put that together and record it where I will sit and listen to it on my own and pick out a melody line and create lyrics to go with it... Or I will write the lyrics first and then we do the process in reverse. We work really well together, he is such a blessing in my life and really completes me musically.

Whotune Karl: Where did you record your latest songs & what gear do you use?

Kat: I actually recorded my song at a friends studio here in Peachtree City Georgia. His name is Chris Riggs and it is a family run business and that is how they treat you when you work with them, just like family! The name of the studio is Dreamlabs. I used studio musicians which included guitar, base, drums, keyboards and violin.
Whotune Karl: What do you think the secret is to playing a great live show?

Kat: Because I am so new at this what I am realizing is that live shows go well when you have a great rapport with your band members. When you have practiced and worked through material with your band mates that confidence goes with you on stage. You then are comfortable to parlay that ease with your audience. But all in all you have to love what you do and the music that you perform because you can't fool the crowd, they will know!

Whotune Karl: You’re are based in Atlanta, how is the Live scene there & how do you get your gigs?

Kat: The live music scene in Atlanta is incredible and that spills over into the Metro area as well. Like anything that you are breaking into it takes time and persistence. We are finding that a really good RPK or digital promotion helps, the new artist is fortunate to have several websites at their disposal to send potential jobs to such as "whotune" to hear your music, read about you in your bio and see what you look like with pictures and video! My Mom and Dad, Jim and Debbie are my management team and they work hard getting my name out there and making phone calls and mailing out information. When you see people on stage performing somewhere a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to make it all happen.

Whotune Karl: Whats your goal as an artist?

Kat: Right now I am in a writing phase with my songwriter partner Mike Spence. I want my music to be relevant and something that people can relate to and find themselves singing or humming at odd moments because the song has become stuck in their head. I would like to establish a great following of fans so that in turn I will have a voice that can lend itself to some platforms that I feel passionate about like bullying and suicide prevention. I really just want to make a difference, know that I had a positive impact on humanity.
Whotune Karl: What are you doing as an artist to stand out from all the other independent artists out there?

Kat: Honestly I have been quirky my whole entire life, my favorite outfit as a child was my Lion King pajama shirt and Christmas socks and that was in the middle of July! So what I am trying to say is that I don't try to stand out - I think you do that just by being yourself and by putting out really good music. Music is such an honest art form that people easily get it or they don't. It is all about being true to yourself and then praying that someone else out there thinks that you are relatable.

Whotune Karl: Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years?

Kat: I hope to be reading a very long list of names at the Grammys, thanking everyone who has helped me along the way to become successful as you don't ever get to the top of your profession alone and especially without a wonderful fan base.
Whotune Karl: Do you think Major record labels are still relevant?

Kat: I think they will always be relevant but I do believe that with the internet and an artists accessibility to so many tools that self promotion has become a lot easier. We are living in a digital world and you know longer have to hand deliver your vinyl to radio stations and hope that it gets airplay. As I stated earlier, websites like "whotune" allow a musician's music to get heard by thousands of people just by uploading their stuff.

Whotune Karl: And finally, Any words of wisdom for independent artists?

Kat: I learned a hard lesson very early on... watch who you put your trust in because there are a lot of people out there that want to promise you the moon for their own financial gain. They quickly put stars in your eyes and talk about fame and fortune only to lead you down the wrong path. So keep yourself surrounded by those that love you and respect what you are trying to do, those family and friends that keep you grounded. Never, ever sign anything without great council. And remember that anything that you want requires a lot of work! Believe in yourself and always push through! Anything worth having is worth fighting for!

Whotune Karl: Thanks for your time today Kat. To find out more about Kat and listen to her track. You can visit her Kat Lewis' profile. - whotune newsletter


"Whotune interview with Kat Lewis"

Whotune Karl: What are you doing as an artist to stand out from all the other independent artists out there?

Kat: Honestly I have been quirky my whole entire life, my favorite outfit as a child was my Lion King pajama shirt and Christmas socks and that was in the middle of July! So what I am trying to say is that I don't try to stand out - I think you do that just by being yourself and by putting out really good music. Music is such an honest art form that people easily get it or they don't. It is all about being true to yourself and then praying that someone else out there thinks that you are relatable. - Whotune Newsletter


"Kat Lewis on Woman of Substance Radio"

"What's on My iPod" Show will include my music!!!
The Show Airs Tues March 20, 2012 at 4 PM Eastern (1 PM Pacific). You can hear the show on Woman of Substance Radio via
www.womenofsubstanceradio.com
www.wosradio.com
www.live365.com/stations/breenoble - Women of Substance Radio


Discography

Supply and Demand on Women of Substance Radio and avala dsf.
Working on my EP

Photos

Bio

I am a new artist who loves to sing most styles of music only I want to put my unique spin on it. I am a girl who loves lyrics and I am currently working on a few songs that lend themselves to that.
Supply and Demand was actually an econ assignment in High School (I got an A by the way). I eventually just popped up the lyrics and went into the studio to record. So in essence I have to give a shout out to Coach K for giving me my first song writing opportunity!
My influences are Adele (right?) Lenka, Regina Spektor, and my favorite is Florence and the Machine, I even named my new puppy "Florence".
I am the youngest of 7 children, 5 brothers and 1 sister. Our family has had it's fair share of struggles, cancer, suicide, death of a sibling... I think these things have made me an old soul and add depth to my singing.
I look forward to what the future holds, Peace, Kat