Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Moving with the Wind

Everything Has Its Way - Katie Costello

A couple of years ago I stumbled across "Kaleidoscope Machine," a jaunty tune about being a little off kilter, and was immediately charmed. Turned out it was released in 2008 by Katie Costello, 17 at the time.  I've followed her career with interest ever since, especially as she is an independent artist, with all the attendant challenges and opportunities.  You can see a bit of how she uses her creativity to connect directly with listeners at the top of the video later in this posting.

Last month Katie released a new EP:

Below the fold, she performs "Everything Has Its Way" from the EP and gives insightful answers to seven questions...

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@katiemusic on twitter

1 - Up until this EP, you have written most of your songs by yourself.  For "Everything Has Its Way" and the four other songs on "Follow Your Every Beat," you had two co-writers, Peter Min and Eric Schermerhorn.  Who are they?

Katie Costello: Pete Min and Eric Schermerhorn are both amazing writers / guitar players that live in Los Angeles. Pete Min produced the EP as well as writing and playing multiple instruments on it. They are two talented, incredibly cool guys. We wrote one song together and it was so magical and fun that we decided to make a five song EP.

2 - What inspired "Everything Has Its Way"?

KC: "Everything Has Its Way" is about the ebb and flow of the universe. It's about recognizing everything as a piece of the puzzle, and trying to go with the path of least resistance.

3 - How did the co-writing process work - was it words first, then music; did all three of you pitch in on lyrics and music or did you bring them something for them to help flesh out; etc?

KC: Pete and Eric started playing some amazing guitar parts, and I would sing along and write the melody and lyrics. Pete and Eric would then offer their opinion on where I was taking the melody and lyrics. There was a very effortless, unspoken yet extremely clear understanding to our writing process. Co-writing is often pretty difficult and it can definitely be a struggle. With Pete and Eric, it seemed like we all knew how to chip in, so we did just that. Because I wasn't sitting at the piano, it opened up a lot of space for me to take the melody and lyric to a completely new, untapped place.

4 - The song appeared on last week's episode of "Private Practice" and you have had other songs used on television series.  Is there a huge spike online afterwards of people coming to your website or finding you on twitter or buying the song on iTunes?

KC: Lots of new fans always reach out after a song being on television, which is extremely exciting. I feel really lucky to have that sort of platform for people to hear my music.

5 - This song, like all the others on the EP, has that wee-hours-of-the-morning feel, something you listen to when you are exhausted but too keyed up to sleep, so you keep the lights low and put on something kind of melancholy.  Was that intentional or just kind of the way it all came together?

KC: Ooh, I am so honored that it feels that way! I certainly WANT the listener to have that sort of experience and have the music take them on a journey, but everyone has a different interpretation depending on where they are coming from. I just want to deliver music that is meaningful and authentic and let it take the listener wherever they need to be taken.

6 - Images of nature and a zen-like acceptance of the way things are; I feel these things in the lyrics for EHIW and in Roxy Music's "More Than This."  Thoughts?

KC: I wanted the lyrics to very clearly paint the picture of a serene place where the nature of the world and the nature of reality seem simple and beautiful and flowing. The song is about tapping into that place of effortless flow and simply going with the way of the world. I don't know Roxy Music, so I cannot comment on their song... But if it's a song about going with the flow of the world, then yes, it is a similar vibe!

7 - After your experience collaborating on this song and the rest of the EP, who would be your dream songwriting partner the next time you don't compose on your own?

KC: I really want to co-write a lot more because I really enjoyed the collaborative creative process. Usually I write alone in my bedroom, and although there is a magic in that as well, there's nothing like getting into a creative space with another brain and creating something the two of you had never dreamed of creating. My dream of all dreams is to write with Ryan Tedder. I think he is a killer songwriter.

1 comment:

  1. I like the wind imagery she uses in the song. Lots of classic rock and pop songs use it - Blowing in the Wind, Candle in the Wind, Dust in the Wind, Against the Wind, etc. Good to see something more current.