For some people, music is a path they intentionally walk down, chasing their muse and working to build a career, as you do in any job. However, this medium is also one of the only scenarios where you can simply fall into songwriting and discover how well it suits you. This is how Kat Quinn got her start.
“I was playing the guitar one day when I was upset and a song kind of just fell out,” Quinn said. “It wasn’t something I had set out to do or anything, but afterwards I was like, ‘Hey, that was fun!’ And it sort of spiraled out of control from there.”
Since that first outpouring of emotion into music, Quinn has moved from Massachusetts to Astoria and built up a number of intimate songs around her guitar and her voice. Her first EP, “Kind of Brave,” came out in December of 2013 and she has steadily released singles since then.
In fact, Quinn has so many songs that she said the biggest challenge of recording “Kind of Brave” was deciding which songs would make the cut on the four-track EP.
“I wanted to really choose the songs strategically. I wanted to make sure that each song brought a different element to the record, so there’d be something on there for different tastes and moods,” she said.
Like most singer-songwriters, Quinn’s life has shaped her playing and her lyrics. One of those experiences that left a big impact on her was a songwriting trip to Ecuador. She received a grant to travel to the country and write songs about children left behind by parents, who went outside of the country in search of work.
“It was such an amazing opportunity to not only meet some truly incredibly people, but also to write about other peoples’ stories,” Quinn said. “I know for me, everywhere I’ve lived and traveled, and the people I’ve met along the way, have really opened my eyes to new experiences and have made me a better writer.”
One of those places that Quinn moved to, and still lives in, is Astoria. The musician said that the neighborhood has an “amazing” artist community. Many of those artists have become friends and collaborators.
In October, Quinn had a chance to be part of a New York music institution: the CMJ Music Marathon. She performed at the Astor Place Starbucks, which she called an excellent location for acoustic music.
“It was great to be surrounded by incredible artists all week,” she said. “I was impressed by so many shows, and it was so cool to be part of such a great event!”
With her video for “Little Rose” out now and a video for “Phoenix” scheduled for November, Quinn shows no signs of slowing down. You can catch her performance at The Patch Café on Nov. 8, followed by a show at Rockwood Music Hall on Dec. 7. You can check out all her music and news at www.katquinnmusic.com.
– Joe Marvilli