Today we’d like to introduce you to Catterina.
Catterina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’d like to be able to say that like most singers and musicians that I grew up taking piano or voice lessons from a very young age. But that wasn’t the case for me. I grew up in Brooklyn and Queens New York until the age of nine. During this time, music was always an interest of mine but I never thought I’d be able to pursue it seriously in any capacity. I wasn’t someone who was completely engulfed by creativity, but, I was lucky enough to have parents that exposed me to great bands and artists like U2, The Cranberries, Pearl Jam, Alicia Keys and Alanis Morissette. I can honestly say that the eclectic mix of artists that was introduced to me from adolescence has shaped me into the artist I am today.
In 2007, my family uprooted and moved to Katy, Texas. After the move, I was in the fifth grade and started to sing in the school’s choral group. That was really the first time I was able to express myself through music. When I went to junior high, I joined the orchestra ensemble and learned the violin. Orchestra was where I started to learn how to read sheet music and really start to feel the music while I was performing. I continued playing in orchestra throughout my high school career but did not start to sing again until my junior year.
I joined my high school’s choral program and eventually had the courage during my senior year to sing at the school’s Coffee House. Before Coffee House, I would learn to sing new songs and try to show them to my parents but I made them close their eyes and I would turn around completely. So needless to say, I really didn’t think I’d be where I am today performing at reputable venues like White Oak Music Hall and the House of Blues Houston.
After high school, I was on the fence about what I wanted to do about college. I thought about becoming a neonatologist because I was born 28-weeks premature and felt like it would be a great way to give back. In my heart, I felt that I wanted to become a singer and a performer but didn’t know how. I had never really performed in front of anyone and no one in my family has a background in music. So, I took a semester off after graduating to figure out what I wanted to do. I went to a local coffee shop and stumbled across a jazz saxophone and trumpet duo and fell in love with jazz music. It was at that moment that I knew I fully wanted to pursue music. I went to college and created the band Roses in April in 2016. During this time, I started to write my own songs, performing, and really learned what it was like to brand yourself as a band/artist. I loved the feeling I got while performing in front of an audience. At first, it was scary but after a while, it became second nature.
After my band dissolved, I decided to pursue my career as a solo artist. I rebranded myself into Catterina and have been writing music ever since.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been a series of ups and downs for me. There were days when I felt like I was on top of my game creating and performing. But there were also times when I felt completely lost and like this wasn’t the right path for me. There were times when I’ve had triumphs but also times when I’ve had a failure. One of the struggles I’ve faced since beginning my career is rejection. It’s something that I have been learning to cope with since the start but it is still something I struggle with. It’s really hard to feel like you’ve completely laid yourself bare with your music or go to an audition or meeting only to be rejected.
Another struggle has been having people take me seriously. In this heavily male-dominated industry, I’ve found it difficult to be considered a capable artist. There’s also this stigma that in order to make it you need to be “sexy” which is something that I’ve never fully been comfortable with. I want people to like me for who I am and for what I have to say through my music. Not just because I’m a “pretty face”. Through it all, I’ve learned to pick myself up and keep pushing forward.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a singer-songwriter who finds musical inspiration through real-life experiences that express the heartache and triumphs which comes with being a twenty-something. My vocal stylings are heavily influenced by blues, folk, contemporary R&B and jazz. I am known for being an authentic singer and musician that delivers music in a really raw and honest way. I am most proud of the fact that I write all of my own music and have earned every opportunity that has come my way. What sets me apart from other musicians is that my music is based on personal experiences and unlike some of the music today; I will be sure that all of my music stays true to my brand of being produced with live instruments.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Throughout my career, many people have entered my life and really helped shape me into who I am today. I’d like to thank my piano instructor Joanna Reeder, and first voice coaches: Tony McQueen and Leah Dyer. They have all helped me perfect my craft with endless hours of lessons and support. I would also like to give a huge thank you to all of my friends who have come to all my performances as a solo artist or when I had my band Roses in April. Also, thank you to my very first fans who so lovingly named my band fanbase as “rosebuds”. I have so much love for you all. Most importantly, I would like to thank my parents and brother for always being an endless supply of support and encouragement for my career. You guys have shown me time and time again that I can do anything I set my mind to and are the loudest people in the crowd at every show. I have more people to thank but it will take too long to list them so I will just say thank you to everyone who has ever come to one of my shows or just listened to me on YouTube. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you all.
- Website: https://www.iamcatterina.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamcatterina/
- Facebook: https://twitter.com/iamcatterina
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamcatterina
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXOJ6MHscGlkQcdQFl2j-5A
Angelica Duong @angiejustshootme