We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Coleman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kate, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
I think the most important things I’ve leaned from being a musician is be honest, be persistent and patient, be grateful, and keep going. Be honest with yourself, with your creations, with the people around you and with your audience. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not and always be honest with the people who are helping you make your music. Be persistent and patient because being an “overnight success” can sometimes take 20 years! Not everyone (cough, me) is great when they’re 16 years old. Sometimes it takes years to find your sound, your voice, and most importantly your confidence. Be grateful for everything, and, especially, everyone around you. Be grateful for the tough times because they make the good times great. Be grateful for the guy running sound at a bar where there’s only 1 person listening; it’s 1 guy doing a job to make you sound better and 1 person who doesn’t have to be there listening. Be grateful for the 5 plays you get on Spotify or YouTube because the worst case scenario is 1 person cared enough to listen to your song 5 times…. and that’s amazing! Every moment someone is taking their time to do something for you, be genuinely grateful because the truth is, no one HAS to do anything for you. Keep going. Don’t forget about the 13 year-old girl who finally got the courage to sing at her high school talent show and experienced that rush of adrenaline when her peers, teachers, and family cheered and applauded for her singing; you’re doing all this for her.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I’m a full-time musician and I have been since 2011 but my first love was dance. I danced from 2-years-old all the way through college. Up until I was 20-21, that’s what I dedicated my life to and thought I was going to do the rest of my life. But along came all these opportunities to play music and then I met Corey and I was hooked. My main struggle was finding ME inside of music. I knew how to do that with dance but when it came to music, I faked it. I had a good enough voice, I was O.K. at guitar, and Corey became my confidence- because music was for him what dance was for me. I think for years I used that as a crutch and didn’t bother to learn what I needed from music. What was going to make music rewarding for me? Inevitably you end up unhappy, unsatisfied, bitter and resentful when you’re doing something you don’t see yourself in. I wanted to quit… Instead I took a stab at making my own music. I wrote all the lyrics, I made all the decisions on the arrangements and I made a dance concert to accompany it’s release. The album is called “PAST” and the dance concert was called “Tremors of my PAST” and both took place in 2018. I finally found my voice. I found me inside music. By making this album, I was free to make it as emotional and chaotic as I wanted. I didn’t have to consider anything or anyone else. I think my emotion while singing mixed with my pure love of singing is what sets me apart and making this album helped me see that. After that, me, Corey and the my best music friends Highbeams started Run Katie Run; a roots-rock, genre-bending 5 piece band. We had all worked together making “PAST” and it felt so right that I asked if we could keep doing it! For the longest time I thought I was weak. I thought I wasn’t cut out for this. I was so filled with self-doubt (which still makes an appearance once in a while) that I just wanted to quit. But I can’t. I don’t really have an answer as to why but I just can’t. But if I had to guess, I think my need and want to connect with people through music is my strength and that’s what keeps me doing it; no matter how hard it gets. I saw this quote once and it really rang true for me.. “If it’s your calling, it will keep calling.”
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.
My gut reaction was “I’d get some Red Hare, Sweetwater, and Terrapin beer and just hang out at my house!” Wow, this question just made me realize how boring I am HAHAHA! Okay, okay. I would want to take them to Centennial Olympic Park and The Aquarium. I would definitely have to take them to my favorite music spots which would have to be Red Clay Music Foundry, The Earl, Eddie’s Attic, Variety Playhouse Park Tavern and Terminal West (yes, we would go to all of them!). I’d want to take them for a walk on the Beltline; especially the part with all the murals. I’d want to show them the Krog Street tunnel with all the graffiti and artwork. I live in Marietta which has some incredible food like JJ’s Pizzeria, Lemon Grass, Tassa’s Roti, The Manna House, Frankie’s Italian, and of course the Marietta Diner. However my favorite spot for burgers is Vortex Burger. OOooOOoO and I’d want to take them to Edgewood (particularly Joystick Gamebar) and Little Five Points and go bar hopping. Shoot, I just want to go do all these things now! And I’m starving hahaha
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a few actually… First I’d have to say my parents. My Mom always encouraged me to be a performer and found every chance she could for me to sing and play. To this day, she’s the first person I want to call with even the smallest bit of good news because I know she’s genuinely excited for me all the time; it’s something I’m more and more grateful for every day. My Dad is/was a musician himself. He filled our house with great music (Steely Dan, The Eagles, Jackson Brown, Atlanta Rhythm Section) and he’s the one who encouraged me to pick up a guitar and write songs. I still have the first hand-written chord charts he made for me of “More Than Words” by Extreme and “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. He taught me excellence and to never settle for ‘good enough.’ Second, I would have to say my college dance professors, particularly my advisor Joy Guarino. She and they taught me that being a dancer (or any art form for that matter) CAN be a career and not just a hobby. If you want it bad enough and you’re willing to get really good at creative-problem-solving, you can absolutely have a successful life making art. And last has to be my husband, Corey Coleman. Corey taught me how to be a musician: how to be scrappy, how to write interesting chord progressions and melodies, and how to let the music drive everything else. I wouldn’t be half of the writer, the guitar player. or singer I am today without him pushing me to reach my maximum potential. He deserves the spotlight far more often than he gets it.
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0fujAH4VeB5HhWvVa7d6MQ#login
Jordana Dale (IG: @jordanadale)- 1st/main photo and the group press photo of us walking on a rooftop