words by Troy Davis
Y’all, the world is messy right now. It’s something we all can agree on, regardless of where you fall politically, religiously, sexually, or in any other category you identify. Many of us are looking for light at the end of the tunnel, or at least something to lighten the burden. Enter, Katie Costello.
Katie is a relentless optimist. Her music is lighthearted, upbeat, sunshine pop. It’s something that’s been a part of her identity her entire musical career, and something she’s happy to highlight on her newest EP, “New World”.
This week, I got a hold of Katie to talk about her new music, finding positive inspiration from difficult situations, and a bit about her future in music.
Heya Katie! It's been almost 5 years since your last release, correct? What made you take a break from releasing music? What did you do in this time?
Since my last album release, I've been writing and recording a huge catalog of new songs... I've released various EPs over the years, but all while I have been working on this new sound. I traveled to many different cities to collaborate with many different kinds of songwriter/producers. Also since my last full-length release, I started studying yoga and meditation, and did some teacher trainings as well. Becoming a more inwardly happy person has changed the way I look at life... After my last album "Lamplight" came out, I had difficulty figuring out how I was going to make and release my next album. From that uncertainty blossomed the independent record label that I founded with my manager Vivekan - REBEL POP Records - which just released my "New World" EP. The last few years have been a fun rollercoaster! I'm very happy to be releasing new music again.
Can you talk a little bit about what influenced you to write "New World"? It seems like something so many artists are trying to write about right now, but you're doing it in a very different way.
The song "New World" was inspired by current events in the world and hearing how many of my peers and other people around me have felt like giving up, and that all is lost in the world... It pains me to see people feel down when the situation is actually not hopeless. I wrote this song in Brooklyn after I started humming the chorus on the subway ride over to the studio of the songwriter/producer I was working with. We finished the song pretty quickly... Which is usually an indication of how the song is flowing from the heart. I try to take the positive spin on even negative situations, and it's often reflected in my writing. Generally, in my opinion, hearing a song that provides inspiration is better than a song that is angry or bitter.
What would you say is the message of your new EP? What do you want your listeners to take away?
The overall message of the EP is that we can transform our world by transforming ourselves and our point of view first. I'd love for my listeners to also feel an inspiration to live from the heart and enjoy themselves... Let alone as they listen to these songs. When I reflect on the tracks on the EP, they all remind me of the journey I've been on to be a happier person. I'd love for this to be the soundtrack for an ever-growing number of people's celebration of life... Or, the practice of doing so!
Who's your dream collaborator?
Mick Jagger. Now most people would say that because he is a legend... I however feel this way because he is perpetually fresh... Not only as a front man for the greatest rock and roll band in the world, but also as a songwriter, producer and artist. As someone who wears many hats myself, I truly admire this. His lyrics are clever, intelligent and interesting. I'd love to make a hot track with him!
You're listed as doing pretty much, well, everything to produce your music (dang, girl). What made you decide to take on such a big burden, on top of writing and performing your music?
Necessity is the mother of invention! But really, this is the easiest way to explain why I've been the music video director, producer and artist all at once sometimes. When you're creating and releasing music independently, it often requires wearing many different hats, so to speak. That's the kind of fashion sense I have... Wearing many hats!
You define your genre as "Rebel Pop". Can you give us your definition of exactly what that is?
It's "rebel" because I'm writing, recording and releasing my music independently with an authentic spirit... It's "pop" because it's upbeat, fun music intended for everyone's ears and all occasions.
What's next for you? Are you planning an LP to be released, or maybe a tour?
Yes! My next LP is called Twice the Love and it'll be coming out October 6th this year. I'll be playing an album release show at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood that night. A tour is also in the works... Stay tuned for all live dates on my website katiecostellomusic.com
This or that: Lou Costello (comedian) or Elvis Costello (musician) or neither?
Meaning am I related to them and/or do I like them?! Spoiler alert, I am unrelated to both men... I know Elvis Costello is a stage name... Both are very talented people with legendary careers, so I'm pleased to share my name with them.