Interview: Kate Voegele
Thu, 21 May 2009 08:18:41
Kate Voegele is at a hotel in Atlanta, prepping for a gig. She’s as effervescent as they come—bubbly and upbeat in a way that never even comes close to crossing the line into annoying!
That’s a rare trait, but let’s be honest; she may be incredibly friendly, but you don’t want to hit her over the head with a frying pan either. The ultra-sweet singer, who nudged her stardom and her music career a bit thanks to her recurring role on TV’s teen sudser One Tree Hill, was hunkering down to participate in our interview and was also itching to get outside and explore all that Atlanta has to offer—a quality which can be applied to her career.
“I'm somebody who—in my career as a singer, musician and student—wants to do as much as I possibly can,” Voegele said. “If I have an hour free, I'm like, ‘Let’s go find something awesome.’ I don’t want to sit around on the bus. We have played this venue a few times, so I know there’s good shopping here, a cool café there or a Starbucks around the corner. I love being in new places and discovering things.”
Voegele is currently promoting her new album A Fine Mess, which fans will discover is the Kate they know and love, with more than a few lovely surprises.
One Tree Hill has definitely helped your musical career!
Oh my God, yes, in ways I don’t even know how to describe. I cannot tell you what it has done. It has allowed me to be on the road, selling out venues. It’s created so much awareness about my music to a very fitting audience. It’s cool since people understand I was a musician first, before I was an actress. People don’t have this misconception and think that I was an actress first, which is awesome, because that is how I want to be seen. So many actresses try to be singers and it’s obvious. That’s not how it went for me
This album feels a little freer than your previous work—how or why did you achieve this tone?
This record is so much fresher and so much more recent, since it is a story of the last year-and-a- half on the road. I didn’t have to hole up for six months and write it. I love that it’s edgier in the songwriting, in general. And it’s more vulnerable. Some of the songs on my first album were ones that I wrote when I was 15. I was afraid of people knowing who I was writing about in the songs, so I used metaphors and allegories, because I was afraid to say stuff directly.
You were probably a little self-conscious.
I was, a bit. I didn’t have a tour or anything. I was in high school. This release is more vulnerable, and I am okay with that. But it has more punch and is more direct. I stretched myself as far as I can go, and stretched the places we can go, musically. Mike Elizondo, who produced it, had the best instincts about taking songs a step further. It wasn’t just a pop album for him!
This is a hard one—who is a Kate Voegele fan?
The thing is, I write with the hope that my music can be relatable and enjoyable to anyone. That may sound cliché or unrealistic, but I do feel that there is an art to writing music that can elevate the personal to the universal and can be applied to anyone. It’s mainstream, accessible and something that can hit at radio, but I write from a voice of someone who has something sincere and intelligent to say. You want to be a poet with writing. I want to blend the record so that it can be something worth listening to. I want moms to buy my record and college kids to come to my show and have a great time and enjoy it. I want anyone to relate it.
Tell us something about Kate Voegele that we don’t know from your public persona!
I have a passion for visual art. My back lounge of the tour bus is my little space and I make an absolute disaster of it with paint and canvas. I think one artistic process really just feeds another. So if I have writer’s block or have a crappy day, I like to go back there, unwind, paint and sketch. I take my sketchbook to coffee shops. It’s my little way of chilling out. When I take some time off, I’d love to go to art school maybe.
— Amy Sciarretto