A Chat with Kate Brunotts (20.08.2020)

Music has always been a part of Kate Brunotts life. Now, the singer-songwriter and producer is ready to share her latest single with everyone. ‘Two Minutes’ and its accompanying music video captivates you from the first moment with an interesting arrangement and pushes you to focus yourself. We sat down with Kate Brunotts to talk about the single, her creative process, music and much more!

OSR: Was there a moment or experience that drew you to the music industry?

Brunotts: I can’t say that there was a specific moment that I knew “YES! This is it”, I think I’ve just always loved music in general. I can say that I feel like it’s something I’m not naturally good at. I definitely don’t have Demi Lovato’s pipes or function as an experienced instrumentalist but I do enjoy a good challenge. I was very much drawn to teaching myself music production because I always felt like my somewhat niche voice didn’t quite feel right when covering other songs. I wanted to make a world that my voice could exist in loudly and proudly, and it’s something that I still wrestle with nowadays.

Being interested in music was natural for sure, but being recognized for musicality is still something that’s fairly new to me. I always grew up singing, writing poems, and I wrote my first song at 13. When I figured out that I had the power to produce instrumental tracks I went haywire. A lot of the time I would refrain from going to the cafeteria at lunch in high school so that I could continue honing my music production skills. There’s something so exciting about knowing that all the tools I need are right in front of me, I just need to continue putting in the effort.

OSR: You started producing professional around 3 years ago, what prompted this?

Brunotts: This was about the time that I moved from Virginia to NYC to pursue music. I definitely had a huge fire under my ass but I owe a lot of credit to my partner Matt for encouraging me to try out freelancing and monetize my production experience. It’s been amazing to have full reign over my schedule, and I have so much more time to work on my passion projects. I think my first gig was making meditation music instrumentals, but now I do a lot of podcast editing and just producing/engineering for other artists. I’ve also started experimenting with film scoring so I hope to explore more of that world as I progress in my career.

OSR: If you were not a musician, what would you be doing right now?

Brunotts: I’d love to be a therapist or a counsellor. I took a lot of classes and participated in a lot of activities surrounding social work, and I really believe it’s the medicine everyone needs but doesn’t necessarily have access to. Navigating interpersonal relationships is one of the, if not the most, important part of the human experience in my opinion. Good therapists make such vital impacts on the lives they touch, and I also suspect they pick up a lot of skills while training to deal with their own internal dialogue. I also have a profound respect for how emotionally taxing a job like that could be.

TLDR; Probably a therapist (laughs) I’m a big rambler even in text.

OSR: Is there a backstory to your single ‘Two Minutes’?

Brunotts: I suppose! (laughs) I made the song because I wanted to write about my tendency to be a workaholic and sometimes inadvertently neglect some personal relationships. I’m always like, “I’ll be there in a minute… or maybe two…” and whenever I get introspective, I just realize how self-fulfilling saying something like that is. It’s like communicating “Yeah, you’re important enough to me to be on my back burner, but I get to determine where you stand in terms of priorities”. I don’t know, I always over-analyze as well, but for some reason, that stuck with me. It’s also about the grasp for time now that I’m young and already feeling like I’m behind when I haven’t even reached anywhere near (hopefully) the apex of my career.

OSR: What was the biggest challenge you faced creating the single?

Brunotts: I knew I wanted to create a song without a lead vocal, so finding a suitable replacement that still felt full and engaging was a challenge for sure! Luckily, my vocoder and some whispering came to the rescue. I was inspired by the lack of a lead vocal in the song ‘I’m on Top’ by Otha.

OSR: What was the process for creating the music video? How did you determine the direction?

Brunotts: I’m super fortunate that my partner, Matt, happens to work and film and has so graciously offered to make music videos with me. We knew we wanted to follow the frantic “getting ready for work” moments, but going into the water was completely spontaneous! I actually do a little behind the scenes after the music video as well if anyone is interested. I knew we had to capture frantic work life. The original ‘chorus’ mental picture was me stunting at sunset, but on the filming day, we underestimated how long the sun would be out and we just ended up having to think of something on the spot. Matt started walking into the lake, fully clothed mind you, and I had no choice but to follow.

Kate Burnotts

OSR: If you could have people remember one thing about your music, what would it be and why?

Brunotts: That it made them feel something? I don’t really know, if anything something about themselves. Music brings me the most joy when I’m able to deeply connect a feeling or uncover something about myself I hadn’t recognized prior to listeners. I can only hope that my music can do the same for someone.

OSR: What do you love most and hate most about making music?

Brunotts: I love the democracy of it. Nowadays, there are far fewer excuses when it comes to making music. All you need is software and a $100 microphone. I recognize, that especially as a woman, fulfilling this dream would be so much harder even just 20 years ago, so I’m forever thankful I happened to be born when I did.

I hate the mystery of it. In terms of creating a career in music, it’s extremely competitive and it’s definitely a possibility I can put in all of this work and see no return. However, I suppose that’s also part of the fun of it. I honestly can’t say I vehemently hate any part of the process (laughs).

OSR: Are you planning to tour once the pandemic is over?

Brunotts: (laughs) Let’s hope so. In all seriousness, it’s definitely in my major life goals. I hope I get to the point where I’ve developed enough of a diverse audience to go on tour or even just open for someone. It’s a major dream, so yes, (laughs) or I’ll die trying.

OSR: What else can we expect from you in the next 12 months?

Brunotts: A single for every month remaining in 2020. I’ve put out a single every 1st of the month this year so that’s the plan for 2020. In 2021. I want to really focus on selecting a small number of songs and make super well-thought-out visuals that will probably manifest into an EP of some sort.

Thanks to Kate Brunotts for chatting with us! You can find more about her on her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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