Katie Rox was born and raised in Alberta, and currently lives in Vancouver. She is a Juno and Much Music Video nominated artist, and the former lead singer of industrial rock band Jakalope. I am pleased to feature her today.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Katie, thank you for answering my questions. You have been singing since you were 8. Did you receive any formal training?
Katie Rox: Yes, I started taking singing lessons at about 8 years old. In college I studied music (voice major).
CM: You recently released your third album, “Pony Up.” How did you choose the songs? Do they share a common theme?
KR: It was tough to choose the songs because we recorded a lot more than what were released. But when listening to the songs trying to make my decision, it seemed that there was one batch that went well together, and then another batch that went well together. Pony Up is batch #1!
CM: What is the story behind the title of your album?
KR: I decided to have a contest with my fans. I already knew what I wanted the cover to look like and had the photo selected, I just didn’t know what to call it. I felt this was my most “stripped down” album to date and wanted an album cover to be something from my childhood as a symbol of some of the personal, reflective content of the lyrics. Naming it was hard! So I released the photo online and asked people to submit their suggestions. There were 3 or 4 entries that really stood out for me and made it pretty hard to choose. In the end I went with one that actually ended up inspiring the “Pony Up” title that was eventually used.
CM: How different is this album from your previous releases?
KR: I think my releases share a common thread of being very personal, sparse in terms of production,and therefore recorded in a personal manner, which is usually at home. It differs in the fact that I continue to evolve as a performer and songwriter and I think that is evident in the new album. Also, I got a few more friends involved in this one!
CM: You have toured Canada several times. In particular, you have performed at the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival and Calgary Stampede, and took the stage in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Any favourite moment you would like to share?
KR: I love playing during Stampede Week in Calgary. I grew up just outside of Calgary and so it is “hometown” for me. When I was growing up, we always had our cattle (I grew up on a black angus cattle ranch) in the agriculture barns and I would spend the full 10 days looking after them. The other ranchers and cattlemen got to know that I was a singer and so they’d have me standing on buckets in the barns singing to them. Once I was older, I entered the Youth Talent Showdown Competition. I didn’t win but I did well. SO – to finally come back to playing the Stampede as a professional, sure felt good. Like full circle.
CM: What is the daily routine of Katie Rox? And what is your creative process?
KR: I’m the opposite of most musicians – I am a morning person! I love getting up and getting started on a song right away. Scientifically speaking, you are at your most creative and child-like when you wake up as you are closest to the “dream state”, so for me that is when I do my best writing. And then the rest of my daily routine depends on which hat I am wearing. Am I writing, recording, booking a tour, planning a video…
CM: As an independent artist, what are the main challenges that you encounter?
KR: The main challenges are that it’s up to you to get everything done. There’s no one else making it happen – yes, there are people who help you (and thank goodness for that) but you need to take that help and make something out of it. No one’s going to do that for you. So…it can be overwhelming and frustrating, especially at the times when you realize you literally can’t get everything done without more hours in a day, and as a result you have to pick the opportunity you are going to go after and the one you have to move on from. Oh, and in this day and age of the music industry, I’m always trying to think of new and different ways to do things. That in itself is a challenge.
CM: What is next for you?
KR: I’ve always got something on the go. There’s a new music video in the works, some new music, more touring for next year…the list goes on!
CM: Where can people find more information on you and your music?
KR: www.katieroxmusic.com, facebook.com/katieroxmusic, twitter.com/katieroxmusic.
CM: Any last words?
KR: As a non-stop talking…I always have last words…but I think I made this long enough!
End of the interview.
Cendrine Marrouat may be contacted for potential interviews, reviews and general enquiries at email@example.com. Website: www.cendrinemarrouat.com.