kathryn dean

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Kathryn Dean

Kathryn Dean is a captivating singer-songwriter who is ready to take on the world with her incredible music. Gifted with the power of writing stirring songs which focus on the message, she promotes the wisdom that comes with learning from mistakes, as well as the personal growth earned every time defeat is transformed into victory.

The singer released her critically acclaimed album Hit The Lights in 2015. Its lead single, ‘Be My Sin’, spent months on the AC Published Charts, with the Paul Boyd-directed music video sitting at over a million YouTube views. Kathryn’s second single ‘City of Angels’ spent seven weeks as the number one indie record on the Billboard and Media Base AC Charts. The music video, again directed by Paul Boyd, has shot up to over two million views on Facebook.

Her latest offering, ‘Bad Girls Make The News’, is currently making a storm on the charts. In addition to success in the US, Kathryn has a growing international fanbase in Brazil thanks to her music being featured on various television shows.

Kathryn spent a lot of last year spreading her message whilst touring with artists such as Anna Nalick, Howie Day, Tiffany and the iconic John Waite. She is currently on tour with American Idol winner David Cook.

Now, Kathryn is in the process of completing her second EP, which features multiple songs produced by Grammy nominated producer, Chris Seefreid. We recently spoke to Kathryn about ‘Bad Girls Make The News’, her forthcoming EP, touring with David Cook and much more.

We love your new single, ‘Bad Girls Make The News’! Can you tell us about the song and the inspiration behind it?

Thank you! This song is inspired by the Laura Thatcher Ulrich quote, “Well behaved women seldom make history,”. Being a “bad girl” is not about disregarding morals, but rather about ignoring and breaking away from the confines of what other people view as a “good” fill in the blank (significant other, daughter, etc.). It is also about questioning anything that does not seem right to or by you, even if it is, “what is always done”.

You’ve released a lyric video for the song, can we expect an official video for it?

We do not currently have any plans for an official video, but I have a vision for the story line of a video in my mind, so we shall see!

You’ll be dropping a new EP this fall, what can we expect from it?

The three words I would use to describe the EP are lush, relatable, and badass. I wrote or co-wrote 100% of the songs on the album (as I did for my debut album), and I feel the EP better represents my musical style and what I have to say than even “Hit the Lights” did. There is a really great range to this album in terms of message and mood content. The songs on my last album were written from ages 17 to 19. Now that I am 21, different subject matter appeals to me and my lyrical content and voice have matured. I think there is a song for just about everyone on this record. There are a couple that are more vulnerable, a couple that are very romantic, and a couple that are more fun and upbeat. A focus on taking power back is also very prevalent throughout the record. I really love the dynamic instrumentation of these songs and I was also able to have a lot of fun with harmonies and background vocals, both loves of mine.

How did you find the writing and recording process for this EP?

Songwriting has always been incredibly cathartic for me. I feel so lucky to have found such an effective way to process the world around me. The world is not always easy to come to grips with and I am hoping that my music will have that same valuable impact on my listeners. I always love my time in the studio, working out the details for a song as its singer, rather than as the songwriter, and of course recording the vocals. I will admit that I am definitely a perfectionist. Thankfully, with the help of my incredible vocal coach, Gary Catona, I have been able to evolve into a “marathon runner” and can always tell when there is a better take yet to come out of me.

You’ve been working with Chris Seefried on it – what’s he been like to work with?

I have absolutely loved being able to work with Chris. Before working with him, I had a sense for what I liked and disliked when listening to music, but I had no idea how to describe what exactly it was that I wanted, or how to incorporate it into a signature sound. He was also incredible about pushing me to explore different types of melodies (especially as they relate to background vocals and harmonies) than I was used to and has been a mentor as much as he has been a collaborator. He and his right-hand man and sound engineer, Seth Atkins Horan, created such a supportive and hilarious environment to work and learn in, which made the process all the better.

Can you let us in on what is one of your favourite lyrics from your new material?

Somehow, that is even more difficult of a question to answer than which of my songs is my favorite! Perhaps that is because melodies tend to come out of me more naturally or stem from collaboration, whereas I write all of my lyrics with intention and a story in mind. Out of the songs on the EP, my favorite lyric is probably, “With compliments that bite like bullets, your shots won’t leave any holes”, which is a line from “Make It”.

What do you hope that people will take away from your new music?

It is my belief that while the details of people’s lives vary, that some emotions (joy, heartbreak, insecurity, love, and many more) are essential to the human experience. Music has the power to demonstrate that fact in a way that establishes a sense of belonging and support. Music also provides an escape from reality, if even for just three and half minutes, which can be a gift. I hope that my music will provide that support and escape for my listeners.

You’re touring with American Idol’s David Cook this summer. For anyone who hasn’t been to a show yet, what can fans expect from your set?

We have absolutely loved being on tour with David and his incredible band and crew. David is wildly talented and puts on a fantastic show. He is also very gracious to his fans (and supportive of his opening act!). What makes David’s show and our show so compatible is our shared focus on creating a variety show, so to speak. Not only is there some great music, but there are also a lot of laughs, some serenading and wingman-ing, and a few tears (usually courtesy of my song Broken Home’s Daughter).

You’ve already toured with the likes of Anna Nalick, Howie Day and John Waite. Did they give you any advice whilst you were on the road?

Everyone that I have been blessed to have toured with has been very supportive and I have learned a lot just by watching how they approach their shows and their fans. The best piece of advice I have received came from (American Idol winner) Lee DeWyze. Lee’s advice was that it is ok to set boundaries with fans and protect your “me time”. He is really great about meeting with every single fan who wants to talk to or get a picture with him after his show, so his fans respect his request for a private sound check and pre-show break. Like him, I have found that if you have to be “on” all day, you do not always have time to stick to your pre-show rituals or center yourself before going on stage, which can throw you off.

You’ve had a lot of success in Brazil. How does it feel to have such a dedicated fanbase over there?

I feel honored. It has been amazing to interact through social media with fans of all ages and to see how my music has positively impacted them. I am really looking forward to releasing new music that will reach them in the coming year, and I would also love to visit and perform there again in the future.

What else can we expect from you this year?

I plan to continue touring through year-end and would love to gain new fans at every show. I am also constantly writing and I hope to have a full LP ready to go in the near future. Finally, I hope to continue to share my activities through social media and to better connect with fans, new and old, through those platforms.

Thank you to Kathryn for her time! ‘Bad Girls Make The News’ is available now.

Keep up to date with Kathryn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Let us know what you love most about Kathryn Dean – get in touch via Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Katrina Rees

I'm Katrina, or Kat to pretty much everyone. I'm an editor for CelebMix, a content writer, a boyband lover and an all round music fanatic.
Twitter: @lifeofkatrina
Email: katrinanaomirees@gmail.com