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The Hot Sweat
Kate Voegele
Hana Pestle
By Ann Frohoff-- Assistant Regional Head, West/Southwest

Kate Voegele is a superb role model for the ages whether she aspires to be or not. Her outlook on life, her music and how to manage a full plate of unexpected opportunities is outstanding. She finds the ability to stay grounded even though her current existence is sky-rocketing through the atmosphere. Her life is - a dream comes true - for any musician, actor or college student just any one of these “full time jobs” would leave your head spinning, but for Kate she’s living all three, and has found a way to accomplish and have it all. She shares with us her journey thus far and shows us that if you want “it”, “it” will happen, just never give up:

So, I have to say, since the first time I heard the name Kate Voegele, you have certainly sky-rocketed. With what’s happening in your life today is what you expected it would be?
It’s definitely…I don’t think you could ever picture exactly what it’s going to be like, you know, like when you start to really get noticed. Then when people start to know your name…I always knew that it was something I wanted to do and I wanted to tour and I wanted to make records, play shows, everything like that it’s definitely as great as I’d imagined it would be and more, it’s definitely more than that. I think that this last year and a half has been just crazy in all the best ways. This brand new record that we’re promoting is called A FINE MESS for a reason, because my life has definitely been chaotic, but I think the beauty is in the chaos and that’s what makes it interesting and colorful.
You just started your tour – on April 24th? Is that correct? To promote your new album A FINE MESS, due out on May 19th – tell us how that’s been going.
May 18th now! It’s pretty cool. They’re going to release it on Monday because One Tree Hill is doing a very amazing job of heavily promoting this record. It’s going to air that Monday night, and there’s a scene where I’m really doing my record as Mia on the show, so they wanted fans to be able to go online right after the show and buy the record. So they were cool enough to figure out how to (do that) and release it a day early. So we get one day closer.

How long is your tour?
It’s six weeks, into the middle of June, we’ll probably continue to be on the road for a good amount of the year, we won’t figure out the next tour until a few weeks out, so yeah, this particular headline tour is gonna go through mid-June so where we’re so excited, it’s so much fun, my band is great and University of Phoenix is an unbelievable sponsor, it’s just great working I’m just so, so happy to be back at it.

Tell us a little about your new Album, like are there any particular songs that resonate more with you?
Yeah, A Fine Mess is definitely a thing I’m most proud of in my career so far is I’ve been….having these incredible experiences, traveling to new places promoting my first record, working on TV sets for the first time, meeting tons of new people and that in itself was busy and it was crazy and hectic but is was so inspirational, I wrote this record…this record sort of wrote itself…I wrote it while I was on the road. Just having all these new experiences, to me that the most inspiring thing, so definitely different from the first record in that it’s a lot more current, it’s been written really coming from the same voice after a year and a half. It’s more grown up than my first record; it’s also kind of an evolution. It’s a similar sound it’s kind of that pop music…that catchy melody combined with lyrics that will speak to people and is artistic and poetic. I kind of aimed for a blend of those two elements when I write. I think the song that stands out most to me on the record is the song 99 Times, which is the first single, that one is just fun because the influences are all over the map, for this whole record, but definitely that song, it’s a little edgier and kind of funky. It’s a driving rock song that has a little more spark than the stuff on the first album.

Would you say that was a little bit of a departure for you?
Yeah, I would say it has some energy and a rock edge to them….as (compared to) the first record some things are a departure, (this one) is a little bit root-sier, probably a little more honest, and it’s more direct. I think my message in a lot of these songs is maybe more straight forward. My first record, I wrote a lot of it when I was in high school. I was afraid that people would find out I was writing about them, so I kind of hid my messages and some of what I was saying in metaphors and other things like that, and I definitely have an element of that still as an artist still I think this record is a bit more vulnerable.

How long did it take you to write this new record?
It really all came together in the last year and half, I didn’t set out to write this record, which is the funny thing, I was just focusing on not writing a record (laughs), I was so busy and my life was crazy and totally chaotic, I feel that that’s what inspired me to write, I was just writing because I wanted to say something and not necessarily because I thought ‘Oh, I need to write a second record’, you know, I wasn’t even thinking about that, but when it came time to make a second record, I kind of already had it written, so it’s been in the works only for a year and a half, while I was promoting the first record.

I have to ask this, trade magazines – just as a human being walking down the street and seeing yourself on the newsstands, what does it feel like to read praise about yourself and your music?
It’s pretty amazing, you know, when I started writing I never that I would be in Billboard Magazine or be on a tour bus or be on TV playing songs on national television, it’s unbelievably cool, because I’m a kid from the suburb of Cleveland, Ohio who had no idea what I was getting into, and had no idea how to be in the music business; and so it’s cool to see the journey and to be here and to finally look back, and you have to kind of look at every new opportunity and new milestone through the eyes of yourself as a kid when you dreamt of all of this. Because when you begin to lose sight of all of that, when you get caught up in everything, you really have to remember how exciting it is and never take it for granted. That’s kind of the attitude I always try to have.

How challenging is it juggling your music and TV career?
It definitely was an adjustment at first just to try and figure out how to balance my time between flying to Wilmington to shoot One Tree Hill and flying back out to the road to play shows, and on top of that I’ve also been taking online classes with the University of Phoenix who is sponsoring our tour, so it’s definitely kinda of a tri-fold thing, trying to figure out how to work all of these things I’m passionate about into my life. It’s gotten so much easier since I’ve figured out how to manage my time and plan out my days and that’s a tough thing to do as an artistic right brained person, but you eventually get there. It’s just kind of about everything in moderation, balancing things out and making sure you’re giving enough of yourself to each thing that’s important to you so you’re not spreading yourself to thin. The great thing is that every one's been super flexible. University of Phoenix has an amazing program, super easy to get my work done whenever I have time and everything with the show we’ve worked out really, really well and One Tree Hill has been super flexible as well, so, you know, it hasn’t been stressful by any means, but it did take me a second to figure out how to be able to have a career that involved so many facets and factors.

Now, on to the producer who you worked with on this album –Mike Elizondo – how much influence did he have with producing this album with you?
Yeah, I had never worked with Mike before and it was an absolutely incredible experience, I mean he is one of the most talented people I’ve ever met. It was just really amazing as a creative person, when you write a song – you kind of hear the end result in your head – even though I can’t execute that, and I can’t play the bass and I can’t play the drums or the strings, when I write a song I hear it in my head all finished; and to be able to work with a producer who can understand my creative vision just by me describing it to him and executing exactly what I was hearing when I wrote the song is pretty amazing….Mike is just immensely talented, so passionate about what he does and it was incredible to work with him, he was just such a collaborator and brought in the most perfect musicians for every song and really just, you know, he built this record up into something that really accomplishes everything that I wanted it to. I was very exciting to work with him.

I love asking this question, because everyone has dreams, things they want to do, people they want to work with if they had a chance - who would your dream producers be? Who would you like to work with?
Yeah, you know, I think there are so many incredibly talented producers out there, probably some that I don’t necessarily know about. Like Mike, I know the records that he’s worked on, and never in a million years did I ever think I’d get the opportunity to work with him. It’s cool because there are so many records that I love, and it’s cool to think that – wow, maybe there are other people down the road that I never thought I’d have a shot at working with; that I could someday collaborate with, but um, I love a lot of work by Ryan Adams, and Ethan John with his stuff. If I ever went into an indie or folk direction with a record down the road I think he would be an amazing person to work with. Mike worked on Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine album, which is just brilliant. But um, a guy named John Bryan had done some of her earlier stuff and I would die to work with him too, with John Bryan on a record down the road. So, there are definitely so many producers that….I admire, and thinking that making records for the rest of your life and the people that you might get to make those records with down the road.

Is there anything that you’d like to say to your fans?
Yeah, the biggest thing that I always like to say to my fans is just how much I love seeing everyone at the live show; it’s definitely a huge part of which I am as a musician is bringing the music to the fans on tour. We have so much fun and it’s really great to just be hanging out with people who enjoy the music. I always encourage fans to come to the show. Also, you know when people ask me what my advice would be to some of my fans who want to be musicians themselves, I always say not to be discouraged, I had probably about four or five years of search for the right team and the right record label, the right management, the right sound and it’s very easy to get discouraged especially if you’re kind of a perfectionist. You can be too hard on yourself and I can definitely be that way as well but, I think the most important thing is, with anything you do even if it’s not music to not be discouraged; because not everybody is gonna get it, you know, everybody sees things so differently and has a different idea of what works and not every body's gonna get it - so my advice to fans is to keep at it, it sounds cliché but you just have to persevere and have resilience and think skin. If you believe in what you do then somebody is gonna believe in it too.
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