Where do you live?
What is your job title?
CEO of music-type things at katiecoleofficial.com
I write songs and travel to cities like Nashville exclusively to do that. I also tour across America a lot to play concerts. If I’m lucky, I occasionally make it across the pond to the UK for some shows too. I’m a self-made independent artist, so I pretty much have to do ALL jobs -so I’m in charge of marketing, web and social media. I’m my own tour manager, radio promoter, craft services, personal trainer, merchandise manager and stylist. There are a few amazing press and radio people I employ to help me do a few of these jobs, but for the most parts I wear a lot of hats. Songwriting and being artistic are the most important part of what I do. But they probably only take up 20% of all the work I do.
What’s the best bit?
Playing a great show is always a good payoff. Because I’m playing to a live audience I’m able to see faces and reactions, and the result is immediate. Writing a great song is great, too. It’s always amazing hearing a song of mine on the radio or TV!
And the worst?
I recently caught a flu after performing at Sundance Film Festival in January. I was up in snow country and of course got sick immediately after returning. I lost my voice completely. I think having to travel so much is a great fun, but it’s a challenge to stay 100% healthy all the time. I also don’t like reading negative fan comments or reviews – but you take the good with the bad.
How did you get your job?
Being a musician is either a hobby or a paid job like most other occupations. I started performing live as a paid professional when I was about 15/16, performing 5 – 6 nights a week for around ten years. I then moved over to America to work with my current record producer Howard Willing (he also works with The Smashing Pumpkins, Sheryl Crow and Gavin Degraw). I started recording and touring immediately.
Since that point I’ve won awards, toured with Glen Campbell and supplied all the female vocals on his 2011 release Ghost on the Canvas, toured across America, and played at festivals like Namm, SXSW, and Sundance. Howard, with his incredible music connections was also able to get Kris Kristofferson to be a guest vocalist on my new album, which comes out on March 3. It’s been a pretty crazy time.
What qualifications or experience do you need?
I think talent is really important. Having some degree or training in music is a huge benefit. Personally, I have no training, so some things are harder for me as I can’t read or write music. For the most part, that hasn’t been a huge hinderance, as I write and perform contemporary music in folk/rock/country. I have a great memory and perfect pitch, so I have other strengths. Drive and persistence are equally important as it’s a really competitive field. Being good or great isn’t enough -you have to push, make calls and be hungry to succeed.
What advice would you give someone who would like a job such as yours?
Do as much as you can, as often as you can: write, perform, practice, go out, listen and learn. Go wherever you NEED to be; geography definitely plays a role. Most entertainment companies and artists are based in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles and London. Meet as many people who do what you want to do and ingratiate yourself into a community of your peers.
Be fit and healthy – I’m not saying don’t eat french fries or enjoy the occasional glass of wine, but if you can’t physically perform often, you’re not going to last.
Katie’s new album, Lay It All Down, is out now. Click here to find out more.