We had the good fortune of connecting with Catt McCreary and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Catt, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I started performing and playing instruments very early in life. Like most kids, I tried different sports, arts classes, musical theater, and almost anything you could think of, but rhythm and music are the things that resonated with me. My mom started me in dance around the age of three and I began piano lessons when I was five-years-old. From that point on, I loved performing. I received a drum kit for Christmas when I was six, so I started drum kit and classical percussion lessons along with piano. When I was around 10 I taught myself to play a guitar which my mom had laying around. Although I loved to dance, I gravitated towards being a musical performer and incorporating the rhythm I learned through dance and drumming.
In middle school, around the time I started writing my own music, my mom and I decided to move to Atlanta from Athens, GA, where we moved when I was a year old. I had already become involved at Atlanta’s School of Rock and transferred to the Lovett School, which had a great music department for both concert band and jazz. Between playing in alt rock bands with friends, testing out my original music at Eddie’s Attic, and joining the Duke Ellington Jazz Band at Lovett, I was fully indulged in the music industry and loved every second of learning about it. From there, I went to college in Nashville, TN, and felt that my time there naturally melded with my roots in Atlanta and allowed me to incorporate my soul/jazz background, my love for Atlanta hip-hop, and my love for pop into my songwriting.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
There are a lot of struggles in the entertainment industry, especially starting at a young age and truly learning the industry inside and out. I would say the toughest thing, next to learning it all as a kid, was living through the financial struggles my mom endured to get to where I am today. Although I have learned from these obstacles, they have helped me grow as a songwriter, performer, singer, and business woman. By making difficult changes, like moving to Atlanta or going to college for Music Business in “Music City,” I have been able to stay the course in the entertainment industry, developed my brand as it is today, and continuously worked hard to keep improving my craft. Plus, I still absolutely love my career; being an artist is who I am to my core.
I am a pop artist and songwriter. As an independent artist, I write music, record, produce, release, and perform all of my music, as well as handle the business aspects of my career. I feel that my influences from jazz and hip-hop in Atlanta, combined with my experiences in both pop and alt rock have helped me to create a unique sound with my music. I’m most proud and grateful that fusing together my backgrounds from various genres has allowed me to create music from a distinct perspective, while constantly striving to include all of the influences I dearly love. It’s been a dream to look back at my acoustic, songwriter shows in 8th grade and my alt rock bands playing Buckhead Theater in high school, and feel grateful that I have been able to develop and continue to grow into the performing pop artist I am today. I get most excited about becoming better for my listeners and fans because they matter to me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would start our first day at West Egg for a nice late breakfast. Then, I’d make sure to hit up Krog Street, Little Five, and Ponce, which are places I frequented back in the day. After that, I’d make sure we grab a chili cheese dog, onion rings, and chocolate shake from the Varsity. Or, if they’re vegetarian/vegan, we’d try to get in at Slutty Vegan because yummmmmm! After lunch, I’d make sure to take them to check out the Botanical Gardens. By night time, we would for sure get dinner at Tuk Tuk in Buckhead and then head over to the ferris wheel for some fun views of downtown and maybe see a show at the Tabernacle (aka my favorite venue ever). Over the course of several days, I would make sure to take them to my other go-to restaurants like Arden’s Garden, Antico, Buttermilk Kitchen, The Optimist, Greater Good BBQ, Sublime donuts, and Canoe.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom is really the person who deserves the recognition and dedication for all I have been able to do in my career to this day. As I mentioned, she listened to me from an early age and made sure to provide little-me with music lessons, opportunities to compete musically, and time to perform live. Despite her being a single mother and not being “obligated” to spend on those things, she always did it to encourage my musical interests. When we needed to move to Atlanta to fully pursue a career in the music industry and she made it happen. We loaded up all of our pets, drove from Athens every Monday morning at 5am, eating breakfast in the car, and off to class. There was no easy way of transitioning to a new city at the time without huge sacrifices, again, my mom made it happen and otherwise, I would not be the artist or person I am today. A few other special people whose support of me over the years holding deep appreciation in my heart are Peggy Randolph (the most amazing piano teacher), Todd Mueller for making drums fun for a six year old, Stutz Wimmer for allowing me four beautiful years with the Ellington Ensemble at The Lovett School, Matt Arnett who encouraged me and always made me feel I better than I was at 13 compared to the adult performers, Todd Tidwell a studio engineer in Nashville that has a heart of gold, and my grandmother who was a rock through all of the challenges.