by Roger Zotti
Singer-songwriter Katie Ekin admits that when she first meets a person, she’s shy. That changes, however, when she’s performing on stage. Before a live audience, she says, “I am the most secure in myself that I can be.
“Performing is a very comfortable thing. It allows me to share who I am in a way I am not able to out in the world.” Because Katie’s songs are autobiographical, she says, “performing can be a very vulnerable place to be, but it gives me the connection with people that is really touching.” She adds that it’s exhilarating when people talk to her “about their experiences and how a song I wrote is close to their heart. I think that because I am very honest when I write, people flock to that.”
When The Resident asked Katie, who was born in Santa Cruz, CA, about her musical influences, she cited The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, and Leslie Gore: “I grew up with my dad playing music from the ’fifties and ’sixties, and I fell in love with the energy of that genre.”
Katie began writing and singing when she was 15 years old. Now at age 21 her voice has as intensive and expressive grasp of emotions. Her songs are simple—but scrape the surface and you’ll realize her lyrics, like the [Greek-Egyptian] poet Cavafy’s verse, have deep meaning. What Cavafy and Katie, a poet who puts her words to music, also share is directness and honesty. There’s no ornamentation. No frills. For example, in “Far Off” Cavafy laments, “I should like to relate to this memory…/ but it is so faded now…scarcely anything is left—/ because it lies far off….” In Katie’s “Grown Up Fairy Tale,” she wastes no time in warning her listeners that “I know this life is no fairy tale/ It’s as real as can be.” In “Stranger in Seattle,” with the right degree of mystery and understatement she sings, “I don’t know your name and I don’t think I’ll ever see you again/ … a day I’ll never forget was the day we almost met.”
The winner of ten songwriting awards (along with Best Song and Best performance) at the West Coast Songwriters Hollywood competition, Katie believes in the power of music to connect people and hopes her music “can do that for [my audiences].” Right now, she’s “looking to play as often as I can and continue to play shows and share my music with new faces.” As for her career goals, “If I could make a living doing what I love, I would be very happy. I love playing, writing, and performing. I do it even though I can’t fully support myself that way, but because it makes me happy. Just being able to be successful would be my long term goal.”
Katie’s first CD is titled Katie Ekin. Her second and most recent EP is Caught Up in You. Visit www.youtube.com/katieekin to view, enjoy, and hear the musical stylings of this talented young artist.
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