Here at CelebMix, we love bringing you the latest in fresh talent which deserves to be heard by the world. We recently introduced you to singer-songwriter Katie Buxton who’s not long unveiled her new single ‘You Flew’. Katie’s honest, relatable and meaningful music certainly struck a chord with us, and we’ve been hooked on her haunting vocals ever since.
We recently got to chat with Katie about ‘You Flew’, as well as her songwriting process, life in Nashville and her musical inspirations. Check out our interview below.
It seems that music has always been a big part of your life. Can you tell us your first memory of music?
One of the first memories I have with music is my mom holding me in a rocking chair and singing me to sleep when I was really tiny. I was only a baby so I don’t know how or why I remember it so clearly but it obviously had an impact on me.
You’ve been practising your songwriting craft for a number of years now, but can you tell us a bit about your songwriting process?
Usually when I write a song the lyrics and the melody come at the same time. I’ll have a concept or idea to start, sometimes a line or a melody, and I’ll go off that. Most times I work through the song in order – I’ll write the first verse, then pre-chorus or chorus, and so on, but occasionally I’ll start with the chorus. I used to be able to finish a song in one sitting, sometimes in as little as ten or fifteen minutes, but lately I’ve found that really hard to do. It’s a process that tends to ebb and flow and change depending on where I am mentally, how inspired I am, and what’s going on in life.
You recently released a new single called ‘You Flew’. In your words, it “focuses especially on the process of learning to let go” – can you tell us the inspiration behind the song?
‘You Flew’ is a really special song to me because it’s one that came out so easily and quickly and took what felt like almost no effort. Basically it’s about caring deeply for someone who is not ready to be loved or seen for all of what they are, so they “run” and disappear out of fear. It’s something I’ve experienced more than once, but most recently right before I wrote this song.
You also released an EP called From Songbirds earlier this year. Can you talk us through it and its message?
With ‘From Songbirds’, I wanted to make an EP that was centered around honesty, new perspectives, and embracing every shade of life. There are four songs on the EP – the first song, ‘Light From Love’, focuses on loving those who give you none; the second, ‘Happens Like This’, it about letting go of control and doing the best with whatever life throws at you; ‘Painted Hearts’ was actually written around a Native American chant from the perspective of a Native chief; and ‘Journey Home’ is about trusting in your path and wherever life leads.
With your music, you strive “to open the minds of your listeners and help them to approach life with more understanding, compassion, and surrender”. Is there a specific song that you’re particularly proud of, in terms of achieving this?
‘Light From Love’ is probably the song that conveys this message the most. The song is about sending love to even those who hurt you, because those people are always the ones that are the most broken and in need of it. There’s a line in that song that says, “hate is born from hate…anger is born from pain, light is born from love.” I think it’s one of the hardest things to do, to love somebody who only gives you anger or hatred, but it’s also one of the most important lessons to learn and adopt because I truly believe it can change the world.
You moved to Nashville back in 2014. Aside from being renowned for its music, what made you choose Nashville as a place of study and residency?
Music was definitely the main reason, but I also just really liked the city itself. It’s so unlike the rest of the south and doesn’t feel like it at all since almost every person that lives here is from somewhere else, so coming from Pennsylvania it was an easy transition. It’s a very friendly city and feels really laid back, relaxed, and joyful, and much more like a large town than a city, which I love.
Since being in Nashville, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given by your fellow industry peers?
Last year I took a songwriting class at my college and one day I was talking with my professor, Jodi Marr, about how to be successful as an artist when she told me, “Be Katie Buxton but thirty feet tall.” That little line has stuck with me since and that philosophy is so central to my artistry. Being honest in everything I do and create is one of the most important things to me, and remaining rooted in who I am has opened so many doors for me. The most successful people are the ones who aren’t like anyone else.
You name Trevor Hall and Liz Longley as some of your musical influences – what is it about them that inspires you?
I think Liz Longley is an incredible songwriter. Her lyrics and the way she delivers them vocally is just incredible. She is an amazing storyteller and always has a way of grabbing your attention with the first few lines. Trevor Hall is my all time favorite artist – I remember the first time I heard him I was immediately transfixed and hooked from, quite literally, the very first note. His writing style is unlike anyone else I’ve ever heard and there is something incredibly sacred about his music. I also think of him whenever I think of the type of career I’d like to have, because he’s been very successful and is pretty well-known but at the same time has remained so anchored in his message and who he is. That’s something I respect so much and really strive to emulate.
During your career, you’ve achieved numerous feats, including being a finalist in the 2016 American Songwriting Awards. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
Speaking of Trevor Hall, I think my greatest accomplishment has been getting on the same bill as him. I’m scheduled to play Unify Fest in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 23rd, which he is also playing and headlining. Several months ago it was only a dream that I hoped to make reality, and now it’s actually happening. I’m so grateful and feel so lucky.
What are your plans for the rest of 2016?
Right now, I’m in the process of booking a lot of shows and am working on getting a band together so that I can start doing full band performances. I’m hoping to do a lot of writing and to get back in the studio before the end of the year. Fingers crossed!
Thank you to Katie Buxton for her time. Her latest single ‘You Flew’ is available to download now.
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