My name is pronounced Kate-ill-in (three whole syllables). Since I was a child, I have loved to sing and draw, but it was always strange to me that art and choir were graded classes in school. While in high school, I dropped out of a drawing class because it would have ruined my otherwise perfect GPA, and I only completed one year of choir because the choir director didn't like me. The adults in my life did not encourage me to pursue art or music and, instead, told me to pursue a practical career. I have a strong aptitude for math and am very self-motivated, so at the suggestion of my high school accounting teacher, I studied and become a credentialed actuary. Success followed in that profession, and the only thing missing....was joy. I had found there was a stark difference between who I could be (an actuary) and who I truly wanted to be (a performing and visual artist).
It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that I picked both singing and drawing back up as hobbies and decided to create things that are undeniably beautiful to my own eyes and ears. I didn't need approval or a certain grade from anyone else anymore. Then something strange happened - people started offering to pay for my drawings and paintings and to hear me sing. While in the crowd at a Dierks Bentley concert, a close friend of mine told me, "That should be you on stage singing", and I got full-body chills and started crying. She had expressed, out loud, the dream I had within since I was a child, so I moved to Nashville a few months later to chase it!
These days, I write; compose on the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and piano; co-produce; and sing rock, pop, singer/songwriter, blues, and country songs. I typically come to the recording studio with several separate work tapes of ideas for the whole production arrangement of my songs... one for each of the lead vocal/guitar, electric guitar solos and riffs, synth bass, piano, melody for strings (e.g. cello/violin), percussive arrangement, and various background vocals. I also create colored pencil drawings, realistic acrylic paintings, and abstract acrylic pour paintings, as well as write articles for ThoughtCatalog. As a lyric from my song, "Who I'm Not" states, "The more I try, the less I know who I'm not".
Songwriting has become a true silver lining in my life. No matter what happens to me, be it positive or negative, I have found that I can turn the experience into a song. Even uncomfortable emotions such as anger, jealousy, and sadness are inspiring, relatable, and common, so we might as well share them with each other and connect. The lyrics in my songs and the words in my book and articles are true, reflecting personal experiences in my own life. Life can be tough if you don't have a sense of humor, so some of my lyrics poke fun at minor everyday frustrations. My slower songs resemble lullabies, and I hope they help you release your tears or slip off to sleep. I am sharing what I've been through, and what I've learned from it, in hopes that my listeners and readers will find comfort in knowing someone else has felt the same way they do, even if they've never met that person.
My colorful artwork and the photographs I take (all of which are shot and edited on an iPhone) highlight the vibrant colors I see on my travels that match the joy I feel when I'm experiencing something new.
I love listening to and singing all different kinds of music (and was even in a karaoke league singing songs across all different genres in Chicago), so the music I create is rather varied, as well. Despite EDM and pop music being my favorite genres to listen to, I am a rock artist, at heart. The grit in my voice reflects the toll society takes on a woman who is unafraid to speak her mind and whose desires differ from the pre-packaged American dream, and the empowerment in my lyrics and my book reflect why I believe I am here on this earth - to help tip the scales toward gender equality, challenge the status quo, and encourage authenticity in all people. The tattoo of a hand holding a microphone on the underside of my wrist is meant to remind me to keep speaking up and singing until the world is ready to hear what I have to say.
Some of my many musical influences include Priscilla Ahn, Sia, Florence Welch, Ashton Shepherd, Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves, Gryffin, Kygo, Zara Larsson, and Jo Dee Messina.