Amidst the hustle and bustle of New York, a talented dream pop artist resides. Her name is Kate Brunotts – a musician inspired by Grimes (and a little reminiscent of her). She took some time to chat with Turtle Tempo about her latest single ‘Interesting’.
Why did you choose to go into the music industry?
I think I’ve always liked the performance aspect and the unique opportunity to connect with strangers on a vulnerable level almost instantaneously. I also don’t feel like I’m naturally “good” at it or have a particularly tuned ear or voice, and I appreciate a challenge. Above all, there’s nothing that’s helped me identify more with different parts of myself than other musical artists, and I think it would be really beautiful to give that gift to someone.
I read that you left home at 18 to support yourself in NYC. Do you think the move from Northern Virginia culture to NYC culture has influenced your music at all?
ABSOLUTELY!!! I feel like Northern Virginia (or Nova, as we like to call it) has a prominent pop-punk, folk, country, and pop scene. I don’t necessarily feel like I fit into those genres 100%, so coming to New York was like discovering a whole new part of myself. New York is where I learned about artists like Grimes and FKA Twigs, strong lovely ladies who are turning the “rules” of music on its head. New York is one of the few places I’ve been where I feel like you’re almost encouraged to act outside of your normal bounds, and I love that. I feel like “Interesting” wouldn’t have existed if I was inspired by the vast diverse sonic landscape that is NYC.
What is ‘Interesting’ about?
I’m always impressed by how put together artists are, and it seems like a lot of musicians have their entire identity and brand mapped out based on their polished presence online. They’re always in well-orchestrated outfits, have on-spot visuals, and know exactly how to cater their image so that they look godlike to the rest of us. I sometimes wonder how much branding is about artistic expression and how much is just interesting to draw attention to ourselves. ‘Interesting’ is about all the things we do as artists to be relevant to our listeners. It’s not necessarily inauthentic, but I definitely think artists have some pressure to look or act a certain way.
You’ve released a couple more singles in 2020 in addition to ‘Interesting’. What can you tell us about ‘Cozy’ and ‘Mac and Cheese’?
‘Cozy’ is just about a feeling of safety and security you get from someone. I think all too often we look for constant excitement and stimulation in romantic relationships when we really need someone who makes us feel even more at peace with ourselves. ‘Mac and Cheese’ is all about appreciating the little things someone does for you simply because they’re going out of their way to make you happy. Mac and Cheese isn’t a particularly impressive meal, but if someone makes it for you, it’s suddenly the best thing since sliced bread because it was made with care and intention.
Of your three singles in 2020, which is your favourite and why?
‘Interesting’ 100%!!! This year’s goal is to release a single at the top of the month, each month. Last year, I made a demo each week and produced two EPs and a couple of singles, but I wanted to challenge myself to do something more consistent. Since I believe in making music consistently and constantly, it’s only every once in a while where I’m super jazzed about a song. ‘Interesting’ feels different than anything else I’ve ever made, and it’s one of the few songs that I was like, “hey okay, I kind of like this”. *laughs*
What inspires you to make music?
I get most inspired by artists who I feel like are pushing the boundaries of their genre or creating something entirely new like Kate Bush or others. In general, I’m inspired by my life experiences, especially sad songs having to do with love or frustration with myself. *laughs*
Do you believe there is a theme to your music? If so, what is it?
No! I want everyone who listens to my music to make it their own. I definitely have my own reasons for writing a song, but it’s not for me to say how someone should interpret what I create.
Of all artists, who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would say Grimes, Lorde, or FKA twigs, but I don’t know if I’d be way too intimidated in actuality to be productive. *laughs* I think I’d be more interested in collaborating with certain producers like Jack Antonoff or Rostam.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2020 and beyond?
I’ll be releasing a self-produced single on the 1st of every single month on all platforms. May’s single is entitled ‘Quarantine Crush’ and is about loneliness during this tricky time.
Do you have a message for all your fans and potential fans?
Thank you so very much for listening. I’m so grateful and lucky that we could connect in this very unique, special way. I’m extremely flattered and honoured to create something that speaks to you.