In this interview spotlight, we chat with Kate Grom about challenges, her latest project and more.
Full Q&A along with links and the music video for Whistle Cry below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I am from a little farming/river town called Frenchtown, in NJ. Lorne Behrman said it best when he described the feeling of the Americana/Indie/Folk music I make: “The songs simmer with slow … a fragile power—they’re filled with longing, soaring emotionality, and a quaint soulful melancholy that’s both stirring and comforting.”
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going?
Growing up out in the rural country I spent a lot of time outside. Forests, creeks, rolling hills, creatures… these surroundings provided a hideaway for reflection and thought. I spent a lot of time locked up inside my own imagination. The beauty of nature was inspiring and my music reflects my personal experiences and journeys (and those of others) as explored within this rural, beauty setting. Growing up I explored music through performance in church choir, chamber choir, and women’s choir, and was fascinated by 60s and 70s rock n’ roll. I loved Fleetwood Mac, Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, CSNY, and the band America. Later I studied formally (sacred music/chamber music) at Moravian College, then made my way to Nashville, TN to immerse myself in the Folk, Country and Bluegrass sounds of Nashville. Later I moved to London for a period of time then lived in New York City for several years. All this time, spent traveling, listening, writing, searching for sound of different variety…was motivated by passion for songwriting and storytelling. My motivation has always been toempathize with listeners and write their stories and my own in an effort to create an connection with humanity through music.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?
This release was different in that I had never recorded a Christmas song before. I listened to Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris on my record player while imagining how I wanted to do this song. These women and their sounds and styles are timeless. I wanted to create a classic and lasting rendition of my one of my favorite Christmas songs.
Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)?
One challenge I face is the need for shameless self-promotion as an artist in today’s digital world. For an artist that genuinely wants to reach listeners and connect with them personally, relying on the digital marketing/services can feel disingenuous at times, but it is a necessity to attract listeners in an oversaturated market. If artists are totally dependent on streaming services they will not be able to finance their art in the long run and will at some point need to seek employment elsewhere Unless a label is supporting an artist, they must build a dual or side career into the life in order to support their creative endeavors, which is a a lot to take on. This is daunting for new artists, who ware necessary to keep the future of music alive. Technology on the other hand has allowed myself and other indie bands to attract new listeners, and get heard by a greater audience. The internet has allowed for fans to discover my music and touch base with me more easily which is a great thing.
Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?
Anything else before we sign off?
It’s been a really amazing yet busy year spent releasing and promoting the record through touring and shows so I’m looking forward to a relaxing and creative winter spent at the farm with my horses!