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Interview with Renée Catrine
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I have always been fascinated by how music can transport you to another place or emotion. I was curious to express myself through sound so I began songwriting.
If I weren’t a musician, I think I would still want to be creative in some way. I would probably be a writer or a director.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love quiet moments. I need space to think which really helps me come up with ideas. Spending time in nature, visiting an arboretum, going on hikes with friends… I’m so inspired by the seasons and I try to embrace whatever the weather may bring. I also spend a lot of time studying music. I like to continue developing my skills and challenging myself to find new ways to express myself through music. I believe it helps me as a songwriter.
How long have you been making music?
I started studying guitar and piano since I was a teen. I was in several bands and played more of a background role early on. As those bands ended, I found myself really wanting to try to write my own songs. I started pursuing songwriting more seriously in the past 10 years or so.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am from Chicago but I have been based out of Brooklyn for the past 7 years. I think I grew tremendously as a songwriter since I moved to New York because I was ready to focus on being a better songwriter. I’m still very connected to my music friends in Chicago. I head back frequently to rehearse, record and develop ideas with my Chicago friends.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I think my two most recent album release shows were very memorable. I had a wonderful turnout of family and friends at my Illinois release show. I was able to hire string players to present more lush arrangements of the songs. My New York shows were more pared-down but still with a full band. I think the lineup provided a more intimate expression of the songs. The bands in both settings were fabulous and I’m really proud of the shows we presented.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I like venues that really make the effort to dial in your sound for the best possible representation of your music. I don’t think I have a specific favorite venue yet.
I would love to one day play at L’Olympia in Paris, Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and Royal Albert Hall in London.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I think it would be really fun to do a show with Taylor Swift, Cœur de Pirate and Amanda Palmer.
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?
My advice for someone just getting started is to record. The only way you’ll get better is to get your ideas down and get experience with the whole recording and mixing process. Even if you start with just one song, you’ll learn so much from the process.
The advice I’d give to my younger self would be to write your own songs sooner and to stick to a writing routine.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think Nashville means the most so far. I was at a point where I was doubting what I could do and, through writing the song, I really started showing up for myself and for what I wanted.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My first album has a lot of slow to mid tempo songs. This new record has faster, upbeat songs mixed with several ballads. I’ve been really enjoying playing the faster, more rocking songs lately such as Waiting For a Sign, Right Where I Want To Be and Winter Town. They’re just a lot of fun with the whole band. When it’s possible to have string players at a live show, I enjoy playing the slower ballads with the string arrangements. For slower ballads, I like playing Les Laurentides, The Closing and If It’s Ever Gonna Happen. Distant Song gets requested a lot.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I start by writing a lot of song sketches. Usually I’ll write 3 or so melodic ideas or chord progressions a day during the week. Then, I’ll sit and listen to them and start sketching out lyrics. I try not to edit at this stage as I’m still finding out what the song is trying to be. Then I’ll go back and develop those sketches at a later point.
I’m inspired by trying to capture an idea through sound or through words. I usually find the need to write when there is something I’m trying to express in some way.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I’m usually drawn to telling a story or exploring an emotion. Hopefully the listener is willing to go on that trip with me and create their own connections to the songs.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’m writing new music now and I am planning to record again in 2024. I am working on booking tour dates for next July and August and hopefully line up some college shows and festivals, too. I’m also working on sync licensing for my music.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out? I’m currently most active on Instagram, YouTube and my website.
Website: https://www.reneecatrine.com/ Thank you so much!