Kate Davis’ story is one of elegant artistic evolution. Having grown up in the spotlight as a jazz prodigy, she performed in the Grammy Jazz Ensemble, won ASCAP’s Robert Allen Award, played slots at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and collected fervent endorsements from Herbie Hancock, Ben Folds, Alison Krauss and Jeff Goldblum among others. But — Kate outgrew her accolades. Days spent practicing and performing standards became nights spent writing — cathartic indie rock. Forbidden chord progressions emerged like diary entries, documents of an internal reaction to routine. Time intended for technique slipped into secret listening sessions of Beach House, Elliot Smith and TV on the radio. In the same bright, arresting croon that ignited her youthful stardom, Davis created confessionals. Now older and audibly matured, Kate is prepared to properly share the artefacts from her late night craft, a full length reaction to ritual required of perfection, an outburst from the pedestal. Throughout twelve tumultuous tracks, she poetically reflects upon the intricacies of what it is to live, ruminating on topics too close to her heart identity, self-worth, loss. Kate Davis give us her answers to our 11+3 questions…
1: This is my first trip to Europe
2: I have lived in NYC for 10 years
3: I had a cat named Fritz Kreisler
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I have found that my experiences with people inspire my music the most. I like to write stories about people. Sometimes I’m in the middle of it, or I can make up a new narrative with details that I’ve borrowed from other peoples lives. Human interactions, the experiences, and full range of human emotions are what drive me to make new music.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing piano and violin as a kid. I really loved it and stuck with playing from then on. I changed instruments, styles, and began writing later, but music has always been a constant in my life – something I couldn’t imagine not being able to do.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Elliott Smith – Roman candle
Jeff Buckley – Grace
The Cure – Seventeen Seconds
Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen
Leonard Bernstein – Brahms: Symphony No. 4
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Wim Wenders’ ‘Wings of Desire’.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I love NYC so so much. Some of my favorite neighborhoods are the LES, East Village, Soho, Fort Greene, and Red Hook.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Jay Reatard – Blood Visions.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I will never forget my album release show in Brooklyn. Officially releasing my work and being met with so much support was a moment that helped reaffirm what I’m doing and why I do it.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I like to write by hand, but it’s sometimes easier to use technology to keep all of my work in one place. I use Evernote a lot – I keep lyrics and updated voice memos in the same document so that everything feels organized.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes, I have two amazing sisters. They are both musical but not in their careers. Music has always been something that’s kept my family close. I think they are happy that I am making work I believe in and that I am able to share it.
Kate Davis will perform in Berlin at Monarch on Wednesday, 5th February 2020. Presale tickets are available here.
Image credit: Melissa Nelson