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Kat Saul Talks About Creating Autobiographical and Empowering Music

“Trying to be a boss bitch is something to be proud of, not ashamed.”

Kat Saul is steadily taking the pop music scene by storm. One listen to her infectious and relatable pop music will have you wondering why she hasn’t blown up sooner. Her latest song, “Compromise” lets listeners in on a very real aspect in the young musician’s life: releasing the emotion that comes with choosing to follow your dreams over a relationship that wants to hold you back from them.

Kat recently chatted with POParazzi about how her music has changed over the years when she sent some of her first music in to us (It was amazing btw.) She also talked about being Amazon Music’s Weekly One Artist of the Week, writing “Compromise” and filming the music video with the scene-stealing pup Sadie.

  • Hey Kat! You’ve come along way over the past few years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is your ability to make damn good pop music. How have things changed for you since you started out?

 Thank you! Well, I’ve changed. I started writing songs when I was in middle school. Now I’m 21, have blonde hair, live alone for the first time, am about to graduate college, etc. Part of life is growing as we age, and fortunately, I’ve had music to express myself and evolve with during that journey. 

  •  What was it like being selected as Amazon Music’s Weekly One Artist of the Week as an independent artist?

So amazing and surprising! I got an email asking for content from Amazon, like for example a voice recording of how to pronounce my name. I  was so confused and actually thought there was something wrong with my music in the platform. My manager Wallace texted me was like “Kat, we aren’t in trouble, this is a good thing.” I feel lucky to live in the digital age where someone from Amazon is a button click away from the pop music I’m making with my friends in living rooms. I’m even luckier to have a squad that pushes me to grow and helps provide exposure to opportunities like the Weekly One.

  • There’s a lot of emotion in ‘Compromise,’ and it’s refreshing to hear a pop song about a doomed relationship that still manages to empower the listener to follow their dreams above all. What was it like writing the song and realizing you needed to end your own relationship at the time?

 To be quite honest, I did not want to write this song. I think I knew that if I said what I was thinking out loud that it would be true. I was sitting down with Paige and Megan, and there was this guitar loop going. We talked about our lives for a while, and every time I’d try to divert the conversation away from my relationship, Paige would be like, “KAT…There is something here. Keep digging.”

So I kept talking about me [sic] and my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) and finally said “I don’t wanna compromise.” That ended up being the premise for the whole song. I was just so sick of dating someone who made me feel bad about following my dreams. If I’m honest, I’m still not sure my self esteem has fully recovered. Because of that, I wanted the song to be empowering to other listeners to never lessen themselves for another person. Having plans and trying to be a boss bitch is something to be proud of, not ashamed. 

  • ‘Compromise’ is written and produced all by women in the Nashville pop community. Do you have any special memories writing and recording it?

 So obviously the way it was written was super personal. Being able to confide in women who are close to me and turn that into art is a privilege. It only makes sense this song was written by women, because at the heart of the song, it’s about not lessening yourself for a partner, which women experience regularly. It was very energizing for all of us. By the time we were cutting vocals, I actually felt the safety and confidence to belt for the first time in a session (which you can hear in the last chorus). That was a special moment. 

  •  The song is a lot more complex thematically than some of your previous work, but it fits alongside it perfectly. When creating a song, how do you go about developing your sound?

 Thank you! Honestly, I never go into a session trying to write a song for my sound. I just want to serve the best idea, feeling, emotion or groove that’s happening in the room to create good music. If afterwards that’s a song I decide I want to pursue releasing, I’ll sit down with the producer(s) and analyze what sounds from previous records might work to loop the song into my “katalogue” (pun intended.) Also, every song I release is written and released autobiographically. I hope people are catching onto that. 

  •   A lot of your music deals with dating in the 21st century, exploring things like hookup and party culture. Rather than praising these things though — like on most pop records — you often look introspectively and take a magnifying glass to them. Do songs like ‘Compromise’ come to you as life is happening in the moment, or do you take time to look inward while writing your music for inspiration?

 Both! Writing sessions are like therapy to me, so a lot of times when I’m having realizations about life or love it’s when I’m already making a song. Other times, I’m in the shower thinking and have a eureka moment. I’ve been writing songs since I was 15, so I’ve gone through a crazy amount of general concepts and hooks for songs. At this point I’m almost always writing based on my experience. 

  •  What was it like shooting the music video for ‘Compromise’? Also, how adorable was that puppy? 

So fun and spontaneous! We literally had the idea to shoot a video on a Sunday night team phone call. We shot it the following Saturday morning at Wallace’s grandmother’s farm house. It all came together so quickly. Re: the puppy, her name is Sadie and she is my family’s therapy animal. You can follow her @they_call_me_dogdog. She’s perfect, and I have no shame advertising this. 

  •   You’ve been performing live around Nashville lately. What’s it been like to connect with people and share your talent on stage?

 Performing is my calling. Crazy enough, it’s actually the only time I feel like myself. People often comment that I’m so different on stage, almost like an alter ego. To be real, it kind of feels like that. I love being in the studio, but I live for the moments when I get to scream and shake my booty with no rules. The fact people actually want to come see that and listen to my songs is wild to me. Best feeling in the whole world.

  •  What do you hope people take away from your music? What do you hope to one day accomplish in the world?

 I hope my music makes people feel something. I write autobiographically because it helps me process what’s going on. When people tell me they relate and that they are glad someone understands what they are going through, that’s the best. Even if someone doesn’t relate and it’s a song they want to dance or cry to, that’s awesome. Music has always been the only way I’ve known how to express myself. I want to help other people do that too. I’d love to play the Super Bowl one day. Just speaking it into existence. Like I said, performing is my calling. But I’m just happy as long as I get to make music and be on a stage.

  • What are your plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond?

Up next, I’m releasing a remix of “Compromise” by the super talented DSKO on July 5! Planning to announce much more music later this summer as well. Meanwhile, I’m writing and playing shows. You can check my mini tour schedule on Insta– I always post updates <3

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Written by Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett is the creator and editor of POParazzi. He works primarily in Washington, DC. You can contact him at sam@poparazzi.org and visit his portfolio at sam-bennett.com.

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