This young, blue-eyed-soul singer is a sultrier kind of pop star. Katie Hargrove’s new self-titled debut EP, released on Transoceanic Records, is “everything I have–rolled into a few bars: it’s real, it’s painful, it’s empowering and it’s true.”
Music was always an important part of Katie’s youth. The native of Knoxville, TN, began performing at age 10. She was classically trained and competed nationally in piano, but began to favor the guitar once she hit her teens. Her early influences were Carole King, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks, and Tupac.
She continued to sing and write songs through high school and college, especially when things got rocky in her life. “Music is my outlet…during the ups and downs…I knew no matter how silenced I felt, my music would always give me a voice.” After graduating from the University of Florida, she moved to Washington, DC, where she now calls home. After briefly touring and playing at national charitable and community events, she was chosen by the US Dept of the Interior to perform in the Christmas Music Program at the White House this past December.
She has performed alongside Aaron Carter, “American Idol’ Kris Allen, Jason Lancaster, and Death of Paris. But when 21-year old Katie Hargrove stepped into the studio for the first time in Philadelphia, at Morningstar Studios, she almost cried she was so nervous. “I think singer-songwriters wait their whole lives hoping and dreaming of a day when their music will be more than a project,” Katie says.
Together with multi-Grammy award winning producer Glenn Barratt (Elton John, Diana Ross, Shirley Caesar, Melody Gardot), producer and industry veteran Jock Wanamaker, and Morningstar engineer Dave Schonauer, Katie sought to “create something bigger than just ‘a song’ or ‘an album’ ” and to let the work resonate on its own merit. From the hundreds Katie had written, the final songs chosen for the EP were the ones that “kept her up at night”, whose deep, forthright lyrics spoke to the subjects of love, seduction and bargaining with loss.
Arranger John Conahan (The Crossing, National Cathedral Choir, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center) and the producers employed a team of luminary musicians to play on the record: strings from the Philly Pops; Grammy-winning trumpet player for Michael Jackson, Matt Cappy; guitarist for R&B legends (the Sound of Philadelphia, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Gladys Knight, Regina Bell) Ron Jennings, and touring guitarist for Elvis Costello and Amos Lee, Ross Bellenoit. The collaboration generated just the right balance of soul and punch, vulnerability and swagger.
And now, with this debut album, Katie delights in her greatest passion: sharing her music with the world. Her music embodies the new generation of strong outspoken female pop singers, and has earned her comparisons to both Adele and to Alanis Morissette.