“I’d like to be known for touching a person’s heart with my songs and helping them feel better, feel understood, or just feel something.” emerging talent Kate Grom disclosed. This young and beautifully articulate artist released her debut album Heroine in February of this year in hopes of doing just that. The songs on the album catalog the stories of her youth and that of her friends and family.
Grom explained, “They tell the emotional and memorable tales of what it was like for others and myself, growing up. There is a freedom and comfort that comes with going through things in life, and coming out of them stronger.” In fact, she went on to disclose it was a quote by Nora Ephron that inspired her record to begin with: “Above all, be the Heroine of your life and not the victim.”
With music described as a strong mix of folk, country and Americana with a dash of classic pop thrown in for good measure, Kate crosses genre barriers and touches the spirits of those who listen.
We caught up with this up and coming star for a candid conversation. She explained to us how a trip to Paris was a catalyst in her career and relayed her plans for writing more music soon! And as a holiday bonus, compliments of Kate herself, listen to her cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”.
Kate Grom, All I Want for Christmas is You
The Feature Story: Let’s start with your trip to Paris, what was it about that trip that changed your perspective on your life and career?
Kate Grom: I was going through a challenging time after several years of living in NYC – working long hours, finding it hard to sustain myself as a person in NYC and also sustain my art. I knew I needed to get out of the city and look at my life from a distance. I went to Paris and west France and fell in love. The French people, their culture, the French ‘Joie de vivre’, were all inspiring when I needed inspiration most. I had been writing the stories on Heroine before I went to Paris, but it was when I was there it was confirmed to me through a series of random events and opportunities to perform, that I had to find a way to record my songs. I rented a guitar at a guitar shop and spent many nights and mornings integrating my poems & stories with music. Thus became the beginning phases of Heroine.
TFS: How did that journey begin to influence the music that became Heroine?
KG: This journey in particular influenced me to go all the way in the songwriting process, and to not leave out any details with the storytelling. I believe this is in part, due to the freedom of expression that is respected, admired and rewarded in a city like Paris.
TFS: Is this album more a collection of songs? Or did it evolve into a theme?
KG: It is a collection of songs and stories told about the lives of others and myself during my mid to late 20’s. When listening to the record in its entirety, there are peaks and valleys. They tell the emotional and memorable tales of what it was like for others and myself, growing up during these years. There is a freedom and comfort that comes with going through things in life, and coming out of them stronger. That is where the quote that inspired the record comes into mind. “Above all, be the Heroine of your life and not the victim” by Nora Ephron.
TFS: Moving forward into 2018, what are some of your plans and/or goals for your career and the album?
KG: I have spent the last two years creating, releasing and promoting the record through local and national touring. I am looking forward to being able to create new music in early 2018 and go out on tour in the Spring again.
TFS: It’s noted that some of your influences musically range from Stevie Nicks to Bob Dylan, Patsy Kline and Emmylou Harris. If you could tour with anyone right now both living or passed, who would it be and why?
KG: I would love to be on the road with either Stevie Nicks or Neko Case.
TFS: As you build your career and musical brand, what are some of the characteristics you want to be known for or defined by?
KG: My ultimate goal as a person and an artist will always just be to connect with listeners. I’d like to be known for touching a person’s heart with my songs and helping them feel better, feel understood, or just feel something.
TFS: What are some of the biggest obstacles you are either facing, or have overcome to date?
KG: I used to have really bad stage fright. While I don’t think it’s something that ever goes away entirely, I do think it’s something that gets much better the more you perform. I have learned to channel it into performance, but it took a good few years. I had to learn to not run from it, and instead embrace it, so to speak.
TFS: Likewise, what are some of the rewards and/or accomplishments you are most excited about to date?
KG: I am just over the moon to have been able to put out “Heroine” and will never forget the day Stewart Lerman called me about making the record after I had researched him and sent him demos. It’s so rewarding to have accomplished putting out a record after always having dreamed about it, much less with the amazing musicians who were involved. I am really thrilled that I had the opportunity to open for Heather Nova and Mishka this year. Finally, so excited that I was able to make music videos for the songs “Whistle Cry” and “All I Want for Christmas is You” which are both on Youtube. It’s been a big year full of new and wonderful things and I feel very grateful.
TFS: What is your favorite piece of advice, or perhaps the best piece of advice you’ve received to date?
KG: I think the best advice I have received to date was when I was about to start my most recent tour…Steuart Smith of the Eagles (who was a major part of Heroine), sent me a message one day reminding me to ‘Take No Prisoners’. Which I think has been a mentality I have always channeled while navigating the music industry.