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Interview with KATELYN LEHNER
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My first time onstage was at 3 years old. I fell in love with performing and making people smile on stage. I loved watching Britney Spears and Shania Twain concert videos and would dance along with them in the living room when I was a little girl. If I wasn’t doing music, I’d either be using my University Kinesiology degree (probably working with a sports team.), or still competing Internationally as a Track & Field Athlete specializing in the 100m Hurdles.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I’m not playing music or working on the business end (which is a lot of the time), you can probably find me outside being active in some way. My background as a Team Canada Track and Field Athlete is still very prevalent in my day-to-day life. I love high intensity workouts, playing tennis, and have recently started to get better at golf! Other than that, I love being with my friends or animals. Best case scenario, hanging out with my friends who have animals J
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been writing song since I was in elementary school (they weren’t that good, but you’ve got to start somewhere). I started releasing my own music in the pandemic. My debut single “Red” was released in Fall of 2020.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. My family has always lived in the city, but we have a farm just outside of town. I’ve always loved being out in the open spaces at our farm. There’s something freeing about standing in the middle of a field. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration for my songs while being out at the farm. Being Canadian, I always gravitated towards the females from the country making a name for themselves internationally. (Shania, Avril, Celine etc.). It’s inspiring to see artists from small Canadian towns living out their dreams on the world stage.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I would say my most memorable show to date was opening for Blue Rodeo at the Calgary Stampede. It was a packed tent and a beautiful hot summer day, and my makeup managed to stay on! I attended the University of Calgary and competed as a Dino in Track & Field throughout my time there. My close friends and teammates always knew I wanted to chase a career in music when I graduated. My old coach, teammates, and some of my best friends from my track days were in the crowd that day. I’ve been to the Calgary stampede as a fan with some of those friends and it was a special full circle moment to be the one on stage that summer. Check out my recap video from the show here.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite type of venue to play at is an outdoor, large stage with a crowd full of people. Some bucket list shows/festivals for me are Boots and Hearts, Cavendish, and SaskTel Centre (the area I attended my first ever concert at. I’ve always wanted to be onstage there!). The Grand Ole Opry is an obvious bucket list venue for any country artist. This past WHL season, I was the anthem singer during playoffs for the Saskatoon Blades. I would love to sing for an NHL team someday!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Country female lineup - Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Mackenzie Porter.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
It’s a crazy industry that’s a marathon, not a sprint. Surround yourself with people who support you through all the highs and more importantly, the lows. My advice to my younger self would be, don’t be afraid to show your original songs to people.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“This Bar” is a song that means a lot to me. I wrote this song about going through a breakup and realizing that it’s okay to have high standards. I think it’s important to be confident in yourself and know that it’s alright to be picky with who you allow into your life. It’s a fun upbeat song that the crowd can dance and sing along with.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My song “10 Bucks” is by far the most requested and most fun to play. People are always singing along to this one which is one of the coolest moments as a songwriter. The cover songs I love to play most are popular songs that I’ve changed the arrangement to. It takes people a second to clue into the song, but once they do, they’re singing along to it with me. My current favs of this are “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry and “Gotta Be Somebody” by Nickelback.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I get a lot of my song ideas while driving. Driving has always been therapeutic and relaxing for me. If I remember the lyrics or melodies by the time I get to where I’m going, that’s how I know it’s worth working through further. “10 Bucks” came to me while driving, and I finished the song later that day. My songs are all based on personal experiences. As an artist, it’s important to me to write my own music and connect with my fans through real experiences.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
Music has always been a safe space for myself and something that can always make me happy. I want my music and shows to be the same thing for people. I love to write lighthearted songs that are made for a girl’s night playlist. Female empowerment is a consistent theme in my songs. Nothing wrong with a little confidence and sass!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’m excited to be heading into summer shows. “10 Bucks” is my current single out on Canadian Country Radio. If you like it, make sure to request it at your local country station! (It helps us independent artist out a lot!). If you haven’t watched the music video, be sure to check it out here. Keep your eye out for the custom-made outfit in the final scene! It’s the most expensive outfit I’ve ever worn.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?