Quick Q and A with Kat Quinn

Kat Quinn is at home on stage.  She’s comfortable there and invites her audiences to feel the warmth, passion and humor of her performances.  Kat grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, attended town schools, and took advantage of the music programs offered there.  There’s something to be said for supporting the arts, that’s for sure.  Kat began writing and playing her own music while in college and has continued to bring much happiness to those who listen to her songs. She has released several recordings and each one builds upon the last one—showing a broader expanse of Kat’s musical sensibility.

To learn more about Kat, visit her website.

Here’s a video that for “Going Home” which perfectly captures Kat’s irresistible style.


You released your latest EP, Rust to Gold, last fall.  What did you learn while recording it?

I learned that fancy production isn’t necessary to produce something that people connect to.  I think sometimes the bare-bones recordings can be the strongest ones.  This EP started as a series of acoustic singles, when literally I would go over to Adam’s studio, he would press record, I would play, and he would press stop, and that was it.  When we listened back, we knew we had gotten what we wanted– a simple, emotional telling of these stories.

How did you begin your association with Adam Rhodes?

I met Adam at a show of mine a few years ago.  A mutual friend had thought we might make good collaborators, and brought him along to check out what I was doing.  It turns out this friend was right.  Adam and I decided to try working together on one song, “The Door,” which then led to an EP, and then another EP, and countless cowrites.  So. I’d say it was a success 🙂

Tell us about making the video of “That String” which Samuel Parsons, another Marblehead native, directed for you.  Who came up the concept?  It’s a lot of fun!

Thanks so much!  Making this video with Sam was one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done.  I approached him with the concept of trying to break all of the balloon-related world records for the video, and he really ran with it, making it into a video that is fun to watch.  Marblehead is a great source for all kinds of creative talent 🙂

Do you listen to a lot of new music or are you more inspired by artists who have more tenure in the music business?

I listen to all different kinds of music.  There are some new artists I think are making really cool music, for example the Ten Out of Tenn group, and there are older artists I will always go back to.  I also find a lot of inspiration from poetry and written word, as I tend to approach music as a writer.

I’m curious about the trip to Ecuador that you took while in college.  You were studying Spanish and Peace Studies and your goal was to write songs about young people whose parents had emigrated, leaving them behind as they searched for work elsewhere.  Do you have any specific stories about those you met during that trip that influenced the songs.

Yes.  There was one girl in particular who just blew me away.  She was a young teen and her mother had emigrated to Spain looking for work, leaving her to live in Ecuador with her grandparents.  She spoke with the serenity and wisdom of someone who had lived a lot more than 13 years of life.  She talked about the unemployment situation in her country, what it meant to their family when her father left, and how she didn’t feel any amount of money was worth it if her mother was so far away.  I wrote a song called “Maybe Someday” about this girl’s story.

Have you considered writing more songs about social issues such as immigration or other pertinent twenty-first century issues or do you prefer not to dwell on such topics?  Bringing joy and giggles to people’s lives is an admirable ambition too!  

Definitely.  I love dwelling on those topics.  And sometimes those topics make for great songs, and sometimes I feel like the better songwriting choice is to take ideas from those issues and apply them to other relatable situations.  So when a song sounds like it’s about a relationship, it can actually be sprinkled with the pain and injustice found in greater social issues.  But yes, maybe I’ll be more clear about what the issues are in the future, or maybe I’ll keep sneaking the ideas into heartbreak songs 🙂

Do you have any career ambitions that you’re aiming for?  

I recently started a blog on the creative life in NYC called To You, From a Songbird.  I’d love to expand into different types of writing and get involved with more projects like this one.


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