A Conversation with Kat Orlando

What initially sparked your interest in pursuing a career in the arts for those who may not be familiar with your background?

Thank you for having me! I can easily trace my interest back to getting my first few 45 records. My grandmother gave me these from the jukebox, when she worked at that the restaurant my Uncle owned. The more I listened to the radio and watched my favorite artists and groups on TV, the more I tried to emulate them. This led to trying to learn more about music and eventually getting my first gigs.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your latest single?

“St. So and So” is call out to an unknown person who is willing to be, and in the position to be a hero in this mess we’re in with our democracy. Somebody that is willing and has the guts and power to stand up to the power hungry mob boss in our midst and constantly in the media, threatening our country’s very existence.

What themes or emotions are explored in this song?

Frustration, hope are the 2 that come to mind. And all to a real cool beat with a sax solo!

How does this single fit into the larger narrative of your music career or your upcoming projects?

The last several EPs I’ve done have a social commentary approach on the majority of those songs with a few love songs thrown in the mix. Early on my songs were about being dumped by somebody or struggling in a relationship. Later, I wrote song about being in love. When we play these songs live, I refer to them as being from my collection of “songs about Larry” (my husband). The audience loves that. Then I also had some dance party music in there. Now, I guess, as I age, I feel compelled to sing about what’s on my mind. I’m not too literal in my approach though because I want it to be a strong groove and not too much of a downer, lyrically.

Could you describe the creative process behind this single, from concept to production?

The concept began from a chord progression I put down. I kept hearing the hook in the chorus. But later, I changed the chords, so I adapted it to the different set of changes. As the song progressed the chord progressions morphed into a different thing entirely. Then I adapted the verses to the changes in that section. You have to try different approaches sometimes.

What can listeners expect to experience or feel when they listen to this track?

I can only hope they get the same message I intended to put out there. It’s not very direct. If the listener shares the same beliefs, they might get it and share the feelings of anger and frustration that while we go about our everyday lives, just trying to live, there are other powers that be, in the media, that threaten the way we live. Maybe not now, but that threat hangs over us, until somebody has the power and guts to stand and protect us from that situation. I’m not saying get angry and act out. I’m saying get angry and participate, peacefully. Others still have to face reality. Still, I try to inject the feeling of hope in all this. Even if they don’t grasp the lyrical meaning, the music, to me, still feels great!

Are there any interesting stories or anecdotes from the recording or writing of this song that you’d like to share?

I guess I just remember, when I put the vocal tracks down, my producer Gayle and engineer, Eric, were talking as I walked into the control room. I think he was surprised at my take, I put a lot of feeling into the vocal track. I just had a blast in the studio doing it.

As an artist, can you identify three key traits that define you?

One is, I’m dedicated. Two is, I’m semi-obsessive, about music anyway. Third is Drive. I need to perform. So I do all the behind the scenes work to do that.

What can we anticipate in terms of your upcoming projects?

I took 2 songs from the 60s 70s era and I’m once again working with Producer Gayle Brannan to give those a modern twist with my musical stamp on it. I’m also working on two of my songs. I’m thinking these will have the same R&B with a hint of jazz funk influences.

Where can our readers find additional information about you and your work?

Most info is on my website: katorlando.com. You can find my music for purchase on bandcamp.com and on most streaming platforms like Spotify. Search “Kat Orlando”. Know that it take a million streams for it to even register on my end, where as a purchase, affordable as it is, is much more effective and enjoyable for you, the listener. Thank for your support!