Quick Q and A with Kat Quinn

Kat Quinn is an emerging singer-songwriter in the New York City music scene.  She’s learning the ropes pretty quickly and has impressed a host of notables with her memorable songs and easy on-stage demeanor.  You’d think she was born on stage…she makes it look that easy.   She’s got two EPs to her name thus far but we predict a long and lasting career as she continues on and makes more and more waves within the acoustic music scene.

To learn more about Kat Quinn, check out her website.

Here’s the video of the title track from Kat’s latest EP, Kind of Brave.

But you must see Kat’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon.

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Your latest recording, Kind of Brave, has a bit of a different feel than your first EP, Exhale.  How would you compare the two recordings? Was your approach different?  

Yes, Kind of Brave definitely has a different feel than Exhale, and that’s really just a result of having played so many more shows when I recorded it.  When I recorded Exhale, I had just moved to New York and I didn’t have a firm grasp of what I wanted my songs to sound like with a band, so I definitely did a lot of experimenting with that EP.  It was a great learning experience, but since then I’ve moved in a bit of a different direction.  So I think Kind of Brave captures more of what my live shows sound like.

 What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned about songwriting and about performing live now that you’ve got a couple of years of experience under your belt?

Hmm.. for songwriting I’ve learned never to settle for something that is just okay.  Because if it’s just okay, there’s a better and more interesting song out there, I just haven’t found it yet.  As far as performing, I have learned so much and continue to learn so much every single time I’m on stage.  The most important thing I’ve learned is to just have a blast up there, even when everything that could possibly go wrong has.  The second most important thing I’ve learned is don’t wear red lipstick when singing, because it will absolutely end up all over your face and the microphone.  (I’ve learned that lesson so many times… and yet… I continue to do it.  Someday…)

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How would you describe the NY music scene?  

The New York music scene is such a close knit community.  Or I guess it’s more accurate to say that it’s made up of many close-knit communities. It’s a pretty big city 🙂  But each community that I have encountered has some of the most supportive and talented people I’ve ever met.  It’s really been such a welcoming place to grow and develop.

You play in a group called The Bangs Collective.  I want to know more.  Love the name.

The Bangs Collective is pretty much a name for my friendship with Caitlin Mahoney and Jo Kroger.  The three of us met while playing around New York and we started singing on all of each other’s songs.  And one day we decided it was about time we made it an official group.  The name came from Caitlin’s obsession with bangs.  Caitlin and I both have bangs, and somehow at every single show we would find ourselves talking about bangs.. like into the microphone.  We talked about bangs so much that the name was pretty much thrust upon us when one time someone went up to Jo after a show and said, “don’t you play in that band Bangs?”  So, we really had no choice but to call ourselves that 🙂

Speaking of New York, how cool is it that you got to appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon?  Tell us about your experience as part of Battle of the Instant Songwriters.

It was pretty cool 🙂  I still can’t really believe it happened.  It was such cool experience.  They gave us our song titles an hour before the show taped, and then brought us each to a different room to write our songs.  I got to use the SNL writers’ room, which was a very cool place to write a song.  We had about 40 minutes to write and practice the song, and next thing we knew, we were singing them on TV, ready or not.  It definitely was a scary type of pressure, but I think lead to some cool creativity.

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words “Carole King”?  (Were you in the production of Really Rosie in middle school?)

I think the first thing I think of is her song “You’ve Got a Friend.”  I love both her version and James Taylor’s version.  So great!  I wasn’t in the Middle School production of Really Rosie.  I must have just missed that one, because I was certainly in a lot of Middle School productions.

Are you familiar with the pre-Tapestry Carole King?  If so, do you have any favorites from her songwriting with her former husband, Gerry Goffin?

I am!  I love so many of those songs!  “One Fine Day” is one of my favorites from the King/Goffin collaborations, and I’ll be singing it at the show!  And some of my other favorites will be sung by others- “Up On the Roof” and “I’m Into Something Good” are a couple of those 🙂

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