-Interview- Katrina Maree (4/11/23)

Katrina Maree talks about her start with music, her eclectic signature sound and much more.


From: Australia
Sounds like: Singer/Songwriter

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name "Katrina Maree" and is there any meaning behind it?

I joined the choir in Year 5 in primary school because I thought it was a good way to get out of class on Thursday afternoons. But then I started to enjoy it. A lot. At the same time, I was fascinated by the way the pianist played as he accompanied us in the choir. My family wasn’t in a position where we could afford instruments or music lessons, but my choir teacher came up to me one day and told me that I could have half an hour with the piano teacher each week after school. This went on for about 6 months, learning very basic piano skills. I then picked up the flute in year seven and played in the school band, but didn’t really like it that much. I told the music teacher I wanted to play bass guitar instead. Knowing my situation, she gave me a deal: play the flute in the school band for one more year and she would teach me bass. I played that instrument all the way through high school and created a piano composition and a bass composition for my high school assessment in music. Katrina Maree is my real name – well, my first and middle names. So not much in the way of originality or meaning there, except that’s my name!

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

The best thing in the world is when someone feels something from my music. Most of my music has a meaning or a message in it, and sometimes quite personal to me. But I love when people have their own interpretation and reaction to my music, and it moves them in some way. I have songs that cover mental health and talk about how important it is to support each other, even in the darkest of times. I have a song that talks about the beauty of nature, but also how catastrophic that we humans are destroying this planet. I have songs that are designed to motivate you in some way to achieve your dreams and others that just express the crazy emotions of life. I’ve been overwhelmed by some people telling me that my songs have brought them to tears, or have given them comfort. Music is about feeling, and is at its most powerful when it stirs the emotions.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

That’s a hard question. Sometimes it’s gentle, like a ballad or a pop song. Sometimes it’s bluesy or jazzy. Sometimes it’s punchy, gritty rock. Sometimes it’s this weird gypsy cabaret style. I don’t think it’s easy to describe my sound because I don’t stick with the one genre. If you have any ideas of how to describe my sound, I’d love to hear it!

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Twisted Horizon would be great fun to tour with. They are a great original rock band from Australia who I had the pleasure of supporting with The Black Souls. They were fun, their songs were great, and they were just super chill to hang with. The other two bands – well, they could be anyone really – as long as I like their music (that wouldn’t be too hard, I have an extremely eclectic taste) and that they are fun to be around.

5. How has Covid affected what you do?

While COVID was good from the point of view that I wrote a number of songs and I guess that was productive, the flip side is that the music industry has never really recovered from the lockdowns. I’m still seeing venues struggling to make ends meet and there are many venues that are no more. People are also more reluctant to go out to their local venue now because of COVID as well.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Singers/Songwriters?

There are some amazing songs being written by really talented singer songwriters right now. The problem is that you probably have never heard them because you really have to look around to find them. But when you do, you will wonder why you weren’t listening to them sooner. I have a massive playlist of indie artists from all over the world and I can guarantee you that they are extremely talented, passionate musicians that write amazing songs that should be heard.

7. What's the current music scene like there in Australia?

I don’t think the music scene has recovered since the COVID lockdowns. There’s plenty of amazing talent playing every week at venues, and the venues are empty. People don’t seem to support bands and artists like they used to in the 80s and 90s. It seems to be that people in my town prefer to pay big money to see a big tribute band or famous extremely old bands but are reluctant to pay a $10 cover charge to see amazing up and coming artists. I have also travelled to other cities and seen similar things. If you don’t support your local music scene by seeing local bands at local venues, people will be wondering why in a few years they all are listening to 100-year-old covers and nothing new. Remember, indie musicians of today are making the covers of tomorrow.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

It’s a pittance and is a prime example of the exploitation of artists for big companies to make money. The industry needs an overhaul and needs to provide fair payment to artists. While streams are important to break the algorithms, you need so. many. streams. Artists need your support by you directly buying their songs from their websites, buying their CDs and vinyls and buying their merch so they can keep making music for you. Trust me, streaming is helpful to grow an audience, but there’s no money in it.

9. What's next for Katrina Maree?

I’ve got a few more songs that I’ve been performing live that I haven’t recorded yet, so I guess it’s time to go back into the studio soon. I am also working on some music videos for some of my songs so that I can expand my reach to You Tube and other similar platforms. When the time is right, and I have built a big enough fanbase, I will also consider touring.

10. Any shoutouts?

You can’t make good music without surrounding yourself with amazing people. A special shoutout to my guitarist, Bart Black, who has been supportive of my song writing endeavours for years and somehow comes up with some great guitar work on my songs – even the more strange ones! I also must give a shoutout to Guyy at Amberly Studios who gets the best out of every recording session and makes the songs come to life. An additional shoutout to Dax Liniere at Puzzle Factory Sound Studios for his mastering magic. And finally, a big shoutout to my family. They are the ones that are truly my biggest fans, putting up with rehearsals in the house, my incessant practice, hearing my songs countless times as I work to get them right. And sharing the excitement as I continue this amazing journey.