Katie Costello is Brooklyn based singer-songwriter who recently released her third studio album Twice the Love on October 6th. The album has ‘80s synth pop influences and fuses them with a modern production. Katie recently talked with us about recording the new album, inspiration behind the tracks, and more. Read the interview below and Listen to Katie Costello here.
First of all, what was it like working with Justyn Pilbrow (The Neighborhood) and Tim Myers (One Republic)? What is it the most memorable moment you had working with each?
It was fun to work with different producers on my new album, Twice the Love, because everyone has different strengths in music. I always learn something new from everyone I collaborate with because I like to cultivate an open attitude when I create music.
A memorable moment in the studio with Justyn Pilbrow happened when he said something particular to me when we were recording background vocals. We had just cut the chorus vocals to a song, and he turns to me and says, “Okay, now let’s come up with a background vocal part that your best friend sings in the car.”
It made me laugh so much because of hanging out with theatre and art kids my whole life, I knew exactly what he meant by that. Everyone has a friend that manages to sing the notable harmony… The important part is that it [was] an opportunity to create yet another hook. Sometimes that “other” chorus harmony can be a hook in itself. A light bulb went off when he said that.
Working with Tim Myers, I found it very memorable that the first song we wrote together was “A Beautiful Mystery.” [track 8 on the new album] It took about 15 minutes to get it down. Sometimes songs come out very fast, but the recording process is slow. I found it memorable that both the songwriting and the recording process was very fast that day. After a few hours of work, I think we were both pretty blown away by what had come out.
What was the most random place that you got inspired to write one of your tracks on Twice the Love?
Great question. I get songwriting inspiration in very random places, at very random times. In fact, almost every song comes about in a totally unique way. I remember getting the melodic and lyric inspiration [for] “New York Graffiti” on the way to the studio in Brooklyn where I walked past different types of graffiti art and murals. Seeing how the art covered the streets, I thought to myself, “I love the irreverent, all out there vibe of the art on these streets. I want my music to be just as widespread and all out there!” Perhaps another contributing factor to coming up with “New York Graffiti” that day was the notoriously slow train I took to the studio. (For those who are familiar with the G Train in New York City, you know what I mean.)
The album has a lot of vivid storytelling. What was the idea behind the album’s name?
Thank you. The album’s title, Twice the Love, has a number of levels of meaning to it. I’m interested in knowing what other people take from it. With that being said, I can say that the title refers to the intention of the album…I wish for those who listen to it experience Twice the Love they did before! The album is about cultivating a love for life, despite the challenges that confront us everyday. Each song deals with finding an inner happiness in the midst of a complex world.
The genre of pop is ever changing, and so are pop artists. What will be the one thing that makes you stand out?
Among the things that make me unique as a pop artist is the fact that I actually am a songwriter and a musician. My experiences as an independent artist along with my musicality also make me stand out. Plus, I’m not chasing trends. My goal has been to create unique pop music with a classic, timeless sound. To create music that can be revisited over and over again.
Your music has been played on a variety popular shows like Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, 90210, among others. Do you think that Twice the Love will have a similar vibe?
My new album Twice the Love definitely has more upbeat tracks on it than my former releases. This opens up even more opportunities for music supervisors to use my new songs in TV and film. They have an even wider appeal and offer a greater range than my former material.
Based on your social media aesthetic and living in New York City, do you think that making a fashion statement can be related to music? If so, how?
Definitely. As an artist, I express myself in many ways, not just music… I don’t think fashion equates [to] musical artistry, but I do think that your outfit can reflect your vibe and give people a better sense of your unique personality. I believe fashion can inspire people and can give people a reason to smile.
If you had to choose any musician living or dead to collaborate who would you choose? Is there a particular song of theirs you’d like to sing with them?
I’d love to collaborate with Mick Jagger. It would be difficult to pick just one song to sing with him, but what comes to mind now is “Gimme Shelter.” The duet on that track is legendary.
What kind of advice will you give to young children that want to be part of the music industry?
Listen to your heart and never ever forget that music is about joy and happiness. My other piece of advice is never sign anything without thoroughly understanding the agreement and getting professional help to understand it, too. Sadly, many artists enter contracts that end up crippling them for years to come. It’s a tough industry… but it’s important and essential that the perspective of fun is not lost and the joy of music is never taken out of the equation!