It's a pleasure to welcome Kate Rose back to Listen Local. In the two years since her original feature, Kate has been an extremely busy artist and high school student. In addition to high-profile musical collaborations with Prozak, Tech N9ne and C the Gray, she also recently released her debut EP, Bittersweet. It's an all-too-short collection of songs that show remarkable growth and confidence. Enjoy our new interview with this Overland Park, Kansas-based artist and see what she's been reading and listening to lately.
A lot has happened (and/or you’ve made a lot happen) since our first feature on you two years ago. You released your first EP, Bittersweet, in October, for starters. Talk about the recording of these songs. How did the EP come about?
Bittersweet came about because I felt I was ready to record something higher quality than what my home recording equipment could provide and I was trying to get a fuller sound. I wanted to do it this year because some college programs I was applying for asked for recordings and I felt having something I could sell at shows and a fuller sound would help me branch out and book more places.
You continue to collaborate in unexpected ways with other artists, most notably with Tech N9ne, Prozak and C the Gray. How does writing hooks for others compare with writing material for yourself?
Writing hooks for others is different because the process for it varies a lot. With C the Gray and "House of Cards" I was sent the track and I just had to write the vocal part and lyrics. With "A Certain Comfort" and "Hold On Me" I wrote the chord progression, vocal melody and lyrics. Writing hooks is sort of like writing a free response essay; it's like you're answering a prompt. Most of the time they'll tell me what the song is about or what sort of theme they want stressed in it. Whereas in my personal writing I usually either sit down to write with a specific idea in mind or I just play around until I come up with something I can work with. Also with writing hooks a lot of times you have to sort of generalize the lyrics so it can apply broadly to the subject, which is different from my personal writing where I can write specifically about personal experiences.
How do you look to for inspiration these days?
I just try to live my every day life to the fullest and experience everything possible to gain the most inspiration. also sometimes I'll look at a song title and try to write a song of my own around that title. I pay attention to words and try to catch very connotative phrases that I could use multiple ways.
Kate's recommendations from the Johnson County Library catalog:
Lets Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Rumors by Fleetwood Mac
Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
The Open Door EP by Death Cab for Cutie
The Sun Will Rise by Priscilla Ahn