April 2013

With Katrin Roush running fast on tour in Europe,
BWME's Amanda Carr cuts to the chase with this on-the-road Q&A:


www.KatrinMusic.com

Amanda:
It only took me a moment to look at your website and figure out that your career is the result of a lot of hard work. Do you agree that it’s a common misconception that “careers just happen”...you just do a few key things and it just “blossoms?”

Katrin:
I started performing in clubs in my late teens. It's been a lot of work and dedication just to keep writing new material, let alone promote, book gigs and just believe in myself every step of the way. I am more of an artist than a business person. I know how important it is to wear many hats and to surround myself with people who both challenge me creatively and support me with their own strengths. I am lucky. My friends believed in me early on. Mark Dailey let me record in his studio some years back when I was just starting out, and it was extremely helpful to me at that point in my career. Having a good recording and being able to sell my CD's made a huge difference, especially early on in my career.

Amanda:
Tell my about your name. You just use your first name to promote yourself....like Mariah, Whitney, Beyonce and Madonna...(pardon the pop references)!

Katrin:
To tell you the truth, my last name ROUSH is not easily pronounced let alone KATRIN (KaT-Rin). After being in different band incarnations, I wanted to keep going as a songwriter no matter who I was playing with. It seemed logical to stick with my own name. Over time it has morphed into my brand.

Amanda:
Traveling in Europe as much as you do, how do you navigate the language barrier...not just in everyday conversation, but with your original lyrics? Do you find that most people speak English?

Katrin:
I am in Switzerland now and most people speak English here to some degree. I think music transcends language especially if you show a lot of emotion. It has been fun and a little scary trying to speak German, French and Italian phrases to the audience. I want to try and connect a little with people's native language, so whatever I can learn is helpful. In general, the response to my music has been great despite the language barrier.

Amanda:
How would you define ‘success’ in the music business?

Katrin:
I want to have a long and lasting career. Touring in Europe has been very helpful because it has exposed me to new audiences. I want to keep writing and recording and putting my music out there. I also have a dream to open a venue and restaurant with my partner Paul Chapman. We both want to create a business that will help exceptional, independent musicians and all kinds of artists get exposure and recognition.

Amanda:
Is being able to play as a solo act (guitar and vocal) essential to you as an artist? It must come in handy when you are traveling alone and dealing with the logistics of a tour.

Katrin:
It is my first extended tour here in Europe. I had to make it work as a solo act, and thankfully I can accompany myself and be a “one woman show.” I would certainly love to invite my band when it becomes more feasible.

Amanda:
What are some of the sacrifices you've made for this career?

Katrin:
I have had to choose to live simply, and be willing to wait for things like marriage and children. I'm newly engaged, so I'm looking forward to that part of my life...and even how the experience will influence my art. I've had to take a lot of different kinds of jobs over the years to supplement my music career. My favorite has been my work as a music specialist with children.

Amanda:
Obviously talent is necessary to sustain a career, but how important have your connections with industry pros been in forwarding your career?

Katrin:
It was Jerry Marotta (my producer and friend) who has played with greats like Peter Gabriel, Indigo Girls, Hall & Oates and others...who made the connection to touring in Europe. I would say that working with well known musicians gives what I do as a lesser known artist more credibility.

Amanda:
If you could go back and change something foundational in your musical journey what would that be?

Katrin:
I think I would have benefited from more music industry education. Like I said before, I am more of an artist than a business person.

Amanda:
Is there there one misconception about making your way as an artist that you'd like to change? Something that bugs you?

Katrin:
When I play my recordings for people, they will often assume I am just the singer...not the songwriter or the musician. Maybe it's because I'm a woman. I don't know...but it really bothers me. Another misconception is that because I come from Boston I must have gone to Berklee. I went to the School of Life!

Amanda:
Who are some of the people you’ve performed with...artist who have inspired you? Do you have a wish list of musical collaborators?

Katrin:
I got to open for Chris Isaac, Huey Lewis and Joan Armatrading over the past two summers. I can't tell you how exciting it is to have the chance to perform in front of such a big audience! I want to meet and work with Robert Plante...and collaborate with him kind of like Alison Krauss did a few years ago. I also think it would be amazing to meet and play with Stevie Wonder....Bonnie Raitt, too. I would love to write a song with or for Bonnie. She's a hero of mine.

 

Find out more about Katrin and her music:
www.KatrinMusic.com

www.facebook.com/KatrinFanPage

Katrin’s tour blog