by The Alchemist
If you haven’t heard of Cat Janice yet, you are missing out. She is a Washington D.C. native that is on her way to becoming a household name. She has spent time in orchestral productions, jazz bands, and the theatre, and is now a solo act that been featured on both Netflix and ABC. She was also the winner of Best Rock Artist for the Washington Area Music Awards. We decided to ask Cat Janice some questions to get to know her better.
What first got you into music?
A: I started taking classical violin and piano when I was 6 and I never stopped! It was very challenging but I learned a great deal of theory and got to play in orchestras, ensembles, bands, and in the theater. But when I was 14, my cousin gave me the album “Neon Bible” by Arcade Fire…and that completely changed the way I thought about music. I’ll never forget the first time I banged out “No Cars Go” on my old Yamaha and decided that I wanted to do this forever.
How did you first start developing your career?
A: I started writing in my teenage years and for every good song I wrote, I had about 500 bad ones. Finally, I started recording an EP when I was 18. That little EP got me enough experience and confidence to start forming “Cat Janice”.
What is the most challenging of your creative process?
A: The most challenging part of the process for me is definitely my limited capability on the guitar. I can play basic chords on the guitar but my skills in keys and violin are way more advanced so I get frustrated when I don’t produce the sound or the feel that I want from the guitar. I write pretty much everything on the piano but when it comes to adding guitar, I have to ask friends for help with bringing my ideas to life.
Do you sing in the shower? If so what songs?
A: I don’t think I ever stop singing. I come up with little songs for everything that I’m doing…I’m writing my own life musical haha. Usually when I sing in the shower it’s something really heady or progressive. My go to is Tame Impala or Lana Del Rey.
Who would you most like to collaborate with/what music artist do you most admire?
A: I would love to sit down with Win and Regine from Arcade Fire and talk about their writing process. They have some really obscure and dark content and I would love to know about the experiences that drove them to write about it. I also really love Lana Del Rey as an artist and creator. She’s so talented in many ways beyond her lyrical writing.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment in your career so far?
A: There have been a few moments that I’ve had in my career that have been big personal accomplishments. But I think most recently winning the WAMMIE for The Best Rock Artist of 2020 was pretty dope! It feels really great to be recognized like that by your own city and your musical peers.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: “You don’t play music; you release music”. I read that somewhere a few years ago and it really stuck with me. I have struggled with my career at times because it can be very exhausting and feel unrewarding at times. I have told myself that I was done playing, that I was going to focus on something else in my life, that I wasn’t good enough. But I always come back to it…because music is an energy inside me. It is a part of who I am. I think any musician can resonate with that…
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
A: If it wasn’t for music I would most likely be playing soccer. I still do actually, quite frequently. I play anywhere from 1 to 3 nights a week. But I used to play semi-professionally and it completely consumed my life so I put it aside to play music.
What does being from the DMV mean to you?
A: Telling people I’m from the DMV feels powerful. And not just because it’s the nation’s capital metropolitan area, the DMV represents so much diversity and culture you can’t experience anywhere else in the country.
Favorite food spot in the DMV?
A: Recently I’ve been a big fan of The Diner in AdMo. I’ve gone there at least 5 or 6 times in the last three months! It’s just the best diner food, hands down. Give me that fried chicken and challah french toast every morning!
What’s next for you?
A: Right now I’m working on an album that I’m hoping to release next year and get on the road for a short tour! Some of these plans had been moved around from this summer so the performing itch has been real.
As we listened to “Luxury”, Cat Janice’s newest track, we were impressed with the unique production, amazing bass line, and catchy vocals. The song took us to place of happiness, and made us think of some of the best times of our lives. Our favorite part is the bridge right around 2:15.
When asking Cat Janice about luxury she says, “That moment you look around at your best friends and smile, that moment you catch your lover’s eye and everything fades away, the moment the bliss takes over and you’re completely content…that is Luxury.” Check out the track below.
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Flow-bending artist aSanTIS discusses art, culture, and whether sound can solve the world’s problems in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
My interview with Amy Santis aka aSanTIS began in the most unexpected way. The Maryland-based flow-bending artist and lyrical storyteller came prepared to engage in conversation around questions I had posed – and she also brought one or two of her own thoughtful prompts based on her curiosities around my view of learning.
This practice of taking in her surroundings deeply through observation and inquiry has come naturally to aSanTIS ever since she was a young child. In terms of her early starts in music, she notes that she began as a discerning listener. “Just listening to music from my mom, on the radio, just being a consumer in the world of sound. But I think mainly, my mom has always loved dancing and listening to music, so that was sort of like second nature. We play music at gatherings, we play music in the car, and these songs are sort of like diaries that take us into a specific place.”
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