A Q&A with Kat Eaton

A Q&A With Kat Eaton

Brought up in Sheffield, a new Soul, Blues, Gospel and
Jazz artist…

What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
My second album (released 22nd March ’24) is entitled Honestly and the title sums up the content. My writing partner Nick Atkinson and I always write from our own experience and this selection of songs is brutally honest. There’s lyrics in there about mental health, fertility, rejection and also some happy stuff as well of course! But as you know the writing process can be so cathartic so we felt compelled to write what we were going through.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
Nick and I moved up to Dronfield in October 2022 and stupidly decided to write and record our album straight away, while I was also writing lyrics for a Swedish musical, all in time to master in April! Magically we achieved that goal but it was gruelling, plus we had a lot of personal stuff going on too. We set ourselves very optimistic deadlines but you have to when your self employed.

Who produced the release – what did they bring to it? If you produced it yourselves what do enjoy most about producing your own material?
Nick Atkinson – my husband guitarist and songwriting parter. He’s a bit of a wizard between you and me. It was integral for us to record this album in our own studio. Recording is such a personal process and the more comfortable the environment the better the performance and what could be more comfortable than being in your home studio with someone that knows you best. Some of the vocals we used on the album are the demo vocals which I laid down on the day of writing the song. We tried rerecording them to make them “perfect” but we couldn’t capture the raw vulnerability of the original. I remember crying at the end of recording the vocal you hear on ’Let Me Let Go’ and I’m not sure I would have felt comfortable doing that in a fancy studio with a hit producer. Music and production doesn’t have to be fancy – it just has to be real.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I want them to feel seen. There’s a lot of subjects I sing about on this album which aren’t usually addressed in music and in a culture where we compare and despair it’s important to me to be open about the good and the bad parts of my life so people can relate. Don’t get me wrong I love a good euphoric pop song but as I’ve got older I’ve leaned towards the more introspective artists that bridge that sad/hope gap. They make me feel seen so I hope I can do that for someone else.

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
So many different ways. ‘Ain’t No Mardi Gras’ came from hearing someone using the expression on a podcast and I just loved the way it sounded. ‘Bad Advice’ came from a poem that I wrote and showed Nick and he just started playing a riff while I was reading it and a melody popped out. ‘Time We Said Goodbye’ was written entirely by Nick and he had the chords first and that line and melody naturally came into his head spontaneously. ‘Frequency’ took longer to write and I remember wanting to really set a scene with the first verse with that steady slow beat emulating a grandfather clock so that was quite complicated but very satisfying to finish it. There’s no fixed way and I don’t think there should be.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Amy Winehouse was a huge influence back in the day. Same with Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin. For this specific record we were influenced mainly by our late great mentor Frank White. He was a Sheffield blues singer and guitarist and he introduced us to the Blues and Rock N Roll so this record is a homage to his talent and generousity. There’s also influences from Gregory Porter, Tom Waits, Foy Vance, Ray Charles, Hozier Brittany Howard, Leon Bridges and Michael Kiwanuka in there too.

What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
We’ve already toured NL and Belgium but we’re heading over to France and Germany for the first time this year and I can’t wait! There’s helpfully going to be a few dates in other EU territories to announce soon as well. I’d love to get over to the US but all in good time.

A Q&A With Kat Eaton

If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
‘Bad Advice’ is pretty fun – upbeat and defiant if you’re feeling in that kinda mood. If you’re feeling a little more chilled and introspective ‘Let Me Let Go’ is a good one to listen to.

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
World tour baby! Ha! We’ve already started writing the next album so more music and more touring with the full band out in Europe I’m hoping.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
If you’re an aspiring artist please be kind to yourself – it’s so easy to get caught up in social media and just compare yourself to other’s perfect presentations of their messy selves – having to pretend to be a social media expert is not the reason we started writing music in the first place – creatives tend to take things to heart including whether a reel goes viral or not. But there’s so many variables and you just have to believe that the content is good, regardless of reach. Constantly remind yourself it’s just a means to an end. Its just a job. For me, the more followers I get the more people will hear my music and I might be able to connect with them to help them feel seen. That’s all it about.

Find out more about Kat Eaton at kateaton.com
image: Chris Saunders


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