Photo courtesy of Katie Trotta
I was seven when I wrote my first song, but it has taken years to become a songwriter.
It all started when I moved to Boston. I was twenty one years old and making the first big move of my life. From the sheltered suburbs of Indianapolis, IN, I headed to the East coast to attend Berklee College of Music to study songwriting. After nearly three years of studying, partying, and a lot of growing up in what I consider to be one of the greatest cities out there, I made my second big move.
This time I headed South to Austin, TX with a stellar education, long distance relationship, and big dreams in tow. Two years spent in the ‘live music capitol’ quickly proved to be two of the most trying years I had experienced to date. In the midst of working mundane day jobs and struggling with the trials of having two thousand miles between me and my boyfriend, I accidentally lost touch of what I wanted to do with my life. Songwriting stopped being a priority in my routine. There were days that I didn’t even sit down at the keyboard or pick up the guitar. Music is an integral part of who I am and in its absence, I became very unhappy and extremely frustrated.
Sometimes you have to get to a low point. You have to get to a place you didn’t expect to find yourself. Where you’ve let life take you in a direction far off your road map to finally wake up, look around, and ask yourself, “What the hell am I doing here?” I let that happen and from the moment when I finally woke up and realized I was not where I wanted to be, everything began to change.
No one else was going to make my musical dreams magically come true. It was up to me to get out of my funk and make things happen. I hopped online and did a search for local music groups and clubs to join. I found the Austin Songwriters Group and began attending their weekly ‘song doctor’ meetings. Through ASG, I had the opportunity to meet a publisher from Nashville, TN and started a long distance dialogue with him about my music. A few months later, I made a trip up to Nashville and it was clear that another move was around the corner.
In January I made my way to my new home in Nashville, TN; this time single, day job free, and full of renewed excitement for songwriting. I’m not saying that everything fell miraculously into place once I moved to Nashville, but for the first time I felt like I was in the right place at the right time. I wrote more songs in the first few months of living in Nashville than I did the entire time I was in Austin. I started playing out and meeting other writers. In May I met producers Eli Chastain and Jason Miller and we are now in preproduction for my next album ‘Twenty Something’ which is about just that…. being in your twenties and all the ups and downs of figuring out your footing along the way. ‘Twenty Something’, coming out this winter, opens with a song called ‘Boston’. That’s where it all began and it only felt right to begin the album that way.
This summer I turned twenty seven and I am happier and more excited about life and music than ever before. It’s only been six years since I left my hometown and set out on this journey that lead me across several state lines and through a whirlwind of experiences. One thing that I learned in those six years is that life moves incredibly fast.
So, don’t just sit around and wait for good things to happen to you. Get up and be proactive. It’s amazing what the world has to offer, especially in your twenties.
QLette extra: Click here for a teaser of Katie’s upcoming album. We can’t wait for the rest!