Katie McGarry creates new songs to sing
Katie McGarry was 10 when she first started playing the guitar. Sixteen years later, listening to her lyrics, she makes it sound so easy, so I was curious as to what goes into writing one of those songs: “It’s after I’m inspired by something,” says Katie, “whether it’s going to see someone’s show…it sparks this inspiration. For me, if it’s a chorus or a verse, I write it really fast. When those kind of bursts of inspiration happen, those are my favourite songs that I’ve written, when I’ve written them in just 10 minutes. They’re few and far between when those moments happen, but when it does, it’s such a weird feeling and you can’t wait to feel it again.
“And then there’s other times when you get a cool line or a good vocal melody that you kind of craft words around. It’s almost like how you’d paint a picture, you add something each time.”
Making it on your own is challenging in any profession. You don’t really have a boss to lay down rules and keep things moving quickly. You have to do it yourself. Of course, you can hire a manager to poke and prod you, but a lot of the work is still on your own shoulders. It can be pretty daunting. Keeping a vision of want you want in your head helps. “I learned that a lot, even over the last two and a half years since my first album came out,” explains Katie. “I feel like I was so inexperienced, and I’m still inexperienced. I’m always learning more. But just take that time to develop yourself if you need to. Getting out of your comfort zone. Once you get out of your comfort zone, it just gets bigger and you can’t go back. And if you tell yourself something enough, you’ll start to believe it. But make it something positive.”
Katie’s first album, My Side of Town, is available for download on her website, www.katiemcgarrymusic.com, in exchange for an email address. It was produced with the help of Dennis Ellsworth and recorded in Mark Geddes’ living room. The list of performers includes Tim Chaisson, Gordie MacKeeman, Meaghan Blanchard, and plenty more.
Her new album, which is tentatively being released in the fall, was recorded at The Sound Mill. She produced it herself with help from Dan Currie and Jon Matthews. She says expect something a bit different than her first album.
She’s also helping Dan Curry with his next album.
You can catch Katie on June 15 at noon playing in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada at the Confederation Landing Park in Charlottetown. She will also be playing at the Haviland Club on June 26 at 7 pm.