Skip to main content

First Interview: Katie Uva

I've pegged this week (in my mind at least) as the week of a thousand (or at least three) interviews. The first up is a girl I met not too long ago through a mutual friend, Katie Uva. Katie Uva is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter with a lot more on her plate than just music alone.

She has some fast approaching shows in New York and was able to do a question and answer session with me (via Facebook messaging, hey, the wonders of technology) yesterday.

How did you get started in music? Where do you take your influence from?

Katie:  I took several kinds of music lessons as a kid. I played piano from the age of 7-17, although I never got very good at it. I also took bass in middle school. I think I started the way most people do. I listened to music a lot and I liked to sing along, and eventually I wanted to imitate what I was hearing. When I was younger, I listened to the Beatles pretty much nonstop. In high school, I discovered the Indigo Girls. They became my favorite band and their music seemed more approachable. The Beatles are great, but they have a lot of wacky chords, strange instrumentation, and effects that can only be produced in a studio. You can do a good rendition of an Indigo Girls song with just yourself and a guitar, and listening to them made me feel like I really could learn to play. The Indigo Girls are definitely my biggest influence, but I also draw some inspiration from Ani Difranco, Paul Simon, and the Roches. I try to combine pleasant acoustic guitar music, clear vocals, and meaningful lyrics, the way all my idols do. 

Do you have any recordings currently out?

Katie:  I have three self-produced CDs, each of which has 12 songs on it. They are "The Me Album" (2006), "Good Things in Small Packages" (2007), and "Banana Genesis" (2009). I made these CDs myself, so the production values are a little rough, but I'm proud of each of them. They were each a labor of love, and there is a certain degree of collaboration on all of them. My friend Grace Gillies did the album artwork for all three. I'm particularly proud of Banana Genesis, because you can hear that I've really improved as a musician on that one. I play all the instruments on all the CDs, but I got a little more ambitious on Banana Genesis, trying my hand at some percussion. I also think it has the best variety of songs.

question:  is Banana Genesis not one of the best names ever? I think so.

How often do you do shows?

Katie:  I play shows periodically. Over the past year and a half I have been playing more, because I'm in touch with a booking agent who sends me things. Last year I played about 10 shows in various venues around Manhattan. It was a lot of fun, and I even made money at some of them! I have 4 shows between now and March, and I hope to keep that rate consistent.

we hope so too!

What does your material consist of for shows?

Katie:  Playing live really is exhilarating. Even though I play small venues, and usually I know most of the people in the audience, there's still something exciting about getting up in front of people and putting yourself out there. There's also the fact that you just never know who's going to show up. At a show I played in October, three of my high school teachers came! I've really enjoyed seeing the different types of venues, too. I don't go out to bars much, so it's been interesting for me to play in various places and see how they're set up differently, what kind of crowds they attract, and what it feels like to play in each of them. My current favorite venue is the Alphabet Lounge, on Avenue C, although I also like the National Underground because you get paid no matter how many people you bring in.

Where do you see yourself in five years, musically speaking?

Katie:  One of my biggest concerns as a musician is whether I can keep going with it. I'm a full-time student with several jobs, and so music isn't my main job or priority most of the time. I don't expect to be rich or famous or playing music full-time in 5 years, but I would like to be able to keep playing on a small scale. I hope I can keep writing songs on a regular basis, and keep improving as a musician and songwriter. I'd like to play more shows with other people, and maybe stretch my legs in various genres a bit more.

so come out and support Katie Uva in NYC these following dates and enjoy some good acoustic music:

December 2nd, 7:30 at the Alphabet Lounge
December 27th, 8:00 at the Bitter End WITH BAND!
January 21st, 8:00 at the Village Lantern
March 28th, time TBD, at Bar East 

and check out her MYSPACE for more details, as well as information on her recordings. 


Popular posts from this blog

3 New Lana Songs Come Out From Upcoming Album "Blue Banisters"

Not even that far off from "Chemtrails Over The Country Club" being released this past March, Lana Del Rey dropped three new singles off her upcoming project, "Blue Banisters." They include the title track, "Text Book," and "Wildflower Wildfire." All three songs seem to merge the worlds of "COCC" with "Norman Fucking Rockwell," specifically Lana's mouthful of a track "Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me To Have But I Have It." They also seem uncharacteristically more confessional than most of Lana's catalog to date, specifically "Wildflower Wildfire," which alludes to a conflict with her mother. She even starts the track with "Here's the deal," readying to show more of her backstory than she ever has in her decade-plus-long career. The three songs are gorgeous - especially "Text Book," which has a haunting quality to it (she mentions "Black Lives Matter" i

"Anchors" - AM Higgins

Here's a nice breezy, almost sensual song from AM Higgins (the solo project of musician Annie Toth) to start your Tuesday off right.  Her debut album "Hymning" will be out November 5th on Victorialand Records. The album was mixed by Casey Foubert, a frequent collaborator of Sufjan Stevens. The album "captures the first years of moving from an American city to rural France." Sounds like "Hymning" will be a welcome escape from the world we live in right now, especially considering that Annie Toth counts poets Mary Oliver and Thomas Merton as influences.

You Need to Hear This: Concrete Castles

I first heard of First to Eleven a few years ago thanks to the powers of social media. They are a talented young band straight out of my hometown (Erie, PA). Since I've first heard of them, First To Eleven - which primarily were a social media-based cover band - has revealed an original music incarnation, Concrete Castles.  No matter if they're covering songs or releasing their own music, one thing is evident: Concrete Castles is MASSIVELY talented. Anchored by Audra Miller's powerhouse vocals that are vaguely reminiscent of Hayley Williams, Concrete Castles demand your attention. Although they can fall in that sort of amorphous "indie pop" umbrella, I don't think their sound would be amiss on mainstream radio - top 40 or alternative.  "Wish I Missed U" - their debut album - came out earlier this September, and it's an enjoyable, invigorating listen that would probably make those who were raised on emo or fans of CHVRCHES feel at home. Hell, Anth