Interview with Catalina

Catalina joined WHWS on October 18, 2016 at Area Records in downtown Geneva. Along with singing three songs off of her latest album, “In The Midst of A War”, she answered a few questions for the audience as well. 

Catalina performing. Courtesy of The Finger Lakes Times.

Robert George (H ’19): Online it says that you are Chilean but you also crew up in Connecticut?

Catalina: Yeah, kind of. I was born and raised in Chile, I only came to the U.S. six years ago for college. I’ve really only been here for six years or so.
RG: How have these varied locales influenced your music?
C: Traveling definitely influences the sound, but more the people I’m exposed to. I’ve been meeting a lot of different people who have a lot of different genres that they like and they’re like “hey have you ever listened to this song? That song that you played reminds me of this,” even though it might be remote, I have some people who send me weird, eclectic, alternative-indie, or sometimes it’s something that you definitely see the connection, but I think that it’s influenced in that kind of sense, because I have kind of been all over the map in the last six years. So I do have friends that I consider family up in Syracuse so I’ve been in Upstate NY quite a lot but this is my first time going through all these cities. I’ve been to Cleveland, Ohio, and the Smokey Mountains down in Tennessee, so it’s definitely been more of the people and the music they listen to and what they have to bring to the table, I think, that’s been influencing what I do.
Kayla Jones (WS ’17): Your album is “In The Midst of a War” and online you say that each song is a battle. Could you elaborate on that?
C: Yeah! So if you were to listen to the album as musically soundscape, or themes, there’s nothing that really connects, there’s no thread that’s why they’re all different parts that is my life so far, and the different sounds of it represent this battle, this war that I’m in. But all of the songs, most of them might be like a little bit romantic, some are tongue in cheek, they all represent different experiences or challenges that I’ve had to go through, or how I conquered those challenges. I have, I’m trying to think, “Vibrations” is about how, you know, you feel good doing what you love. “Lips Whisper” is kind of like you’re not gonna screw with me ever again, you know? Like stop stabbing me in the back! An I’m gonna uncover your cover kind of thing! It’s a bunch of different life lessons that I’ve learned, and just some feel good songs too, so it’s, you know, the ups and downs of battle.
Greg Cotterill: When you’re not listening to your own music, what are you listening to on your iPod or whatever you listen to it on?
C: A lot of stuff! Lately, that new Bruno Mars song, “24 Karat Magic”, if you guys haven’t heard it, it’s really funky, like old-school funk kind of thing. Good overall combination. I don’t know, I listen to Grace Potter and Justin Timberlake and Lake Street Dive has been on my Spotify list recently. Alabama Shakes, The Black Keys sometimes, Marvin Gaye, I used to listen to a lot of Motown, so that rotates. I listened to JoJo’s new album, which is awesome! I used to be a JoJo fan ten years ago and I’m still a JoJo fan now. All sorts of things!
RG: Who are the artists that got you interested in writing songs at such a young age?
C: I think it was all of the Motown exposure. My parents raised me on a lot of Motown or like old school jazz and soul, like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. I also had the Beegees that my Mom was playing, and this artist called Shade and Madonna, also, was one of my Dad’s favorite artists. It was kind of, you know, all over the place. It was definitely coming from a soulful niche or core, which is why I do what I do now I think.
RG: I could definitely feel the soul in YOUR LAST TRACK, it was fantastic.
C: Thanks! On the album there’s a really cool trumpet solo, which I can’t do, I can’t play the trumpet, and I’d need extra hands too, so that wouldn’t be possible as a one-woman show (laughs).
GC: Tomorrow, you’re gonna pay a visit to our sister station in Rochester.
C: I am! I’m going to be at WRUR which also plays on WITH, right?
GC: That’s right, in Ithaca. You’re going to be on in Rochester and Ithaca tomorrow.
C: I am! That will air, and then at 6 PM I will be at WITR in Rochester as well.
GC: And you’re gonna make your way across the state and we can find you online and we’ve enjoyed you today here at Area Records! Thanks to Mike and the crew for coming in and playing your first record store appearance with us.

C: Yeah! Definitely the top of the list of the cool shows I’ve played.

Another thank you to Catalina for her music, performance, and wonderful interview. Check out her website catalinamusic.bandcamp.com for information, streaming of her album, and more. 

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