Katie Ferrara is a Burbank-based street performer and songwriter with a tender approach to life that bursts forth from her guitar and vocal chords in a way that’s both charming and reassuring.
She’s already started capturing audiences around the globe with her purity of spirit and her belief that people everywhere are worthy of acceptance — and deserve a soundtrack. No wonder she rose from an unknown busker to participating in the 2015 “Feeling the Street” competition in New Zealand. She's also an author who has written about her experience meeting people through music.
Recently, Ferrara recorded a video for her song “No Bad Days” in the Hollywood Hills. It is a thing of beauty. She strums the ukulele with nonchalance that isn’t forgetful or crass. You’re reminded that we all have one life to live, and so you better make the most of it. Her voice is clear as a bell, thankfully without the high-end whine too many emergent singer-songwriters have decided to cloak themselves in these days.
Ferrara celebrates the euphoria of starting over every day. It’s a constant theme that shows up in her latest release “Weightless.” She knows that straight-forward and honest is a force unto its own. The song forces the listener to contemplate just how far they've come. It’s the kind of music I’d want on in the background if I was wandering through Burbank Town Center, during an evening of light shopping with a friend. “Weightless” is as joyous as the wide open sky and as hopeful as the dawn. It’s almost country without the twang. You’re not gonna push any boundaries with this one, but that’s not what it’s about. It's a personal affirmation.
Don't forget to listen to "Weightless" here.
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Check out Katie Ferrara's interview below where she gives us a glimpse of her songwriting process and some wisdom for other songwriters!
Hi Katie, care to introduce yourself?
My name is Katie Ferrara and I am singer/songwriter from Los Angeles. I sing for a living, play acoustic guitar andsome piano. I’ve been playing music for about 10 years now and this year I will be putting out my first full lengthrecord. This month I am releasing a song of that record called “Weightless”
How do you find the crowds in the Los Angeles area differ from elsewhere?
The LA music scene is very interesting. I find that the audience of many of the shows that I go to and play are madeup of other hungry songwriters and musicians who want to play the same showcase or venue. It’s kind of rare to see a “true fan” at a show-by this I mean someone who isn’t a musician themselves and has a normal 9-5 job. Not to say that other musicians are not fans of their counterparts-it’s just weird that the majority of audiences at local shows in LA are other artists, and producers. LA is all about finding your artist community or creating one around something that’s music related. I’ve seen a lot of artists start their own songwriting showcases, open mics, or pop up house concerts to bring people together. I’ve toured outside of LA to different cities on the west coast and abroad in Europe. It’s a completely differentexperience. Because people in smaller towns don’t have as many options for live entertainment, they appreciate when artists come and play. They buy your merch, CDs, and follow you online simply because they enjoyed your show whether it’s a small winery, coffee shop or even a big festival with curated acts.
Can you please describe what your songwriting process is like? Is it the same every time or do you like to come at creation from different angles?
I usually start my songs with melodies I come up by singing to myself. Sometimes I may start with a chord progression I come up with on the guitar or piano. I record these melodies into my phone and then I write lyrics to them. Sometimes I come up with the lyrics before the melody but most of the time I work with the music first. If I ever get stuck I like to co-write with people or go to a jam session.
What was it like to participate in the “Feeling the Street” competition?
This was a competition I entered a while ago in 2015. I think I’ve grown so much since then. When I entered, my voice was not as strong as it is now. really had to work hard to keep up with the other musicians. I will say that I’ve never won anything in my life and when I was selected to be a part of the band It was very special. I felt like I got a real taste of touring and working with other people on a project that was greater than myself. New Zealand is a beautiful country and I hope to go back one day.
When you do feel the most “Weightless”?
I feel weightless when I am in love or when I can break out of my shell. I also get this feeling when I’m traveling or in a situation when I can just be myself. I also feel weightless I hear a song that resonates with me.
What do you recommend to people who maybe are stuck in some sort of rut in their life and want to feel the way you so clearly do in this song?
I would tell those people to change their environment because the people and living situations you immerse yourself in shape your personality. Get rid of things you don’t need in your house, delete old phone numbers, repaint your walls. Maybe try dying your hair or getting a haircut. Take up a hobby like photography, cooking drawing, or running and find new people to practice those things with. Most importantly, travel--whether it’s just a local day trip to the beach or if it’s to another country for a week!