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UPLIFTT | July 27, 2017

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Catie Waters: Exclusive Interview

César Vargas

I sat down with Latin American Jazz, Soul, and R&B sensation, Catie Waters. At only 16 years old, she’s already getting a great deal of attention as she is taking the world by storm with her debut album, ‘Stone Child‘. The classically trained prodigy is a singer, songwriter, and composer. I was taken aback at how incredibly wise and mature she was. Not only is she a great lyricist, she’s also an amazing vocalist and surprisingly and pleasantly humble.

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When did you realize you wanted to be a singer?

Catie: I began vocal training when I was seven years old. However, I think I have always known this was something I wanted to pursue. Even before I began formal training, I would make up words and melodies to songs at around four and five years old. I didn’t have this great epiphany or moment. I feel like I was called to do this. There is nothing else I would rather do.

How supportive have your parents been of your music?

Catie: The support my parents and family have given me has been nothing short of amazing. I thank God for my family.

I‘ve seen how people react when they hear you sing; usually ecstatic. How does that make you feel?

Catie: It makes me happy when people appreciate my music. It’s a great testament to know that I affect people in a positive way. I hope the messages in my songs are an inspiration. If I can encourage people to speak up, have a voice, and help change the world around us, then I feel like I’ve accomplished my goals.

How does it feel to be loved and admired by so many people?

Catie: I feel honored and humbled. Honestly, it’s hard for me to believe sometimes that I am someone that people look up to. It’s not something I take lightly. I will continue to work hard to make a difference through my music and be the kind of artist people can respect.

Do you get stage fright?

Catie: It depends on the setting I am in. Every now and again I feel a bit nervous before going on stage. There is so much to think about and do to put on a great performance. Remembering lines, playing instruments, and focusing on making my audience feel at home. But, as soon as I start singing, the music takes over, and the passion I feel for the songs washes everything else away.

What do you do prior to being in front of an audience? You seem to be really comfortable. No jitters?

Catie: I have a routine I go through before each show. I get a good night’s rest. I do vocal warm-ups and drink a cup of hot tea to sooth and open up my throat. I also like to take some time to relax a couple hours before a show. By show-time, I am mentally and physically prepared to give everything I have into my performance.

I know that you’re proud of your background. What does it mean to you to be Latina?

Catie: Being Latina is just who I am. It means loving my family, being proud and loyal to my community, and standing true to my values. My mother is an immigrant and a strong individual. I owe a lot to learning to be appreciative of my culture and background to her. My heritage is something that means a lot to me. I am blessed and excited to be a strong Latina woman in America and being a part of changing history in our country.

What do you want your fans to get out of your music?

Catie: I hope my fans can find experiences in my music that are relatable. I hope they have that special moment with friends while listening to a song when they say, “That’s my favorite part.” Most of all, I want to move people to recognize they can overcome any adversity and inspire them to follow their dreams. There isn’t anything one cannot accomplish when you set your mind to it. I hope to inspire my fans to speak up, have a voice, and work to change issues in our world that need changing.

What are your influences?

Catie: My influences are a broad spectrum, everything from Morrissey to Billie Holiday. I love Jamie Cullum, Marvin Gaye, The Cinematic Orchestra, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Amy Winehouse, Donny Hathaway, Sam Cooke, Jose Gonzalez, Frank Sinatra, Robert Glasper, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Spirituals, etc.

Where do you see yourself five years from now or where would you like to be?

Catie: I see myself touring. Headlining shows around the world. Hopefully winning a Grammy, but most of all, making a difference. I would love to be an ambassador for charities that are working to restore hope, changing lives, and empowering people.

Tell me about your debut album, ‘Stone Child’. What can the audience expect from it?

Catie: ‘Stone Child’ is a fusion of music that includes R&B, jazz, soul, and hip hop. The audience can expect to hear real life experiences. It’s about moments and chapters in my life. The songs are stories and reflections of peace and pain.  But also, messages of overcoming adversities and following your dreams. The album includes organic instrumentation that I believe makes the album have a different kind of quality.

Get yourself a copy of Catie Waters‘ ‘Stone Child.’ Available on iTunes and Amazon.

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