By: Bessie Sorge
Katie Armiger is one of those artists that embody a natural talent that has often gone unnoticed! Music critics have hailed her as the next Martina McBride and often have compared her to Sara Evans, which is a compliment that Katie has taken to heart. “It’s an amazing thing,” she shared on the comparisons she has received in her career thus far. “You can’t really get better than their voices.”
Growing up, Katie spent a lot of time with her family listening to classic country artists such as Linda Ronstadt and Patsy Cline. “I really, honestly always knew that singing and music was what I wanted to do,” she shared with us. “I started singing out in Texas when I was nine years old, and I did a contest when I was fourteen. That’s kind of what really got everything started.” Although her exposure to music as a child sparked an interest of becoming a singer, it wasn’t until her first trip to Nashville where Katie realized that country music is where her heart is!
In 2009, Country Music completely transitioned into a mainstream genre thanks to the help of several young performers like Taylor Swift, Kellie Pickler, Carrie Underwood and Gloriana. The awards these artists swiped up at the 2009 American Music Awards only proved this statement true, when Taylor Swift took home the coveted Artist of the Year award beating out the late Michael Jackson, while Gloriana took out Lady Gaga for their well-deserved Best New Artist. “I think that it is very youth driven, and its kind of very female oriented as well,” Katie shared her excitement on the comeback of country music at the AMA’s. “I think it’s great for country music because for a while we needed to really get out there and now the whole country music format is just shining.”
Last summer Katie became the first country music artist to headline a national mall tour throughout the United States. She traveled around from state-to-state in a large purple tour bus, which provided a lot of downtime. Katie often spent that downtime catching up on beauty sleep or logged onto her laptop computer to read messages she received from her fans through Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. Everyone on the tour bus brings their own computer because it helps sustain from boredom. “Nobody will let you borrow theirs,” Katie made note on the necessity of having her own computer with her on tour.
Another important item for the touring artist is having a bus that provides cable television. “I was on a bus full of all guys and I was pretty much the only girl on the bus,” Katie explained about her recent mall tour. “So, I would basically have to camp out in the room if I wanted the TV.”
Her current record includes a plethora of songs that could have been top charting singles, but sadly most of them went unheard. The goal going into the second album was to have an assorted sound throughout the record. “I wanted to make it fun and different,” Katie dished on her plans for the record. “If you listen to it, pretty much every single song is like a 360 degree turn from the other one.”
Although Katie is personally attached to each of the songs on the album, she did admit being partial to her last single “Gone.” “It was the first song that I ever wrote totally, completely by myself,” she gleamed. “We put it on the Believe album and I was so excited that we got to do that.”
The music video for “Gone” was shot at “The Rosary House” in Nashville and paid homage to the new life she had created for herself upon moving to Nashville. “It was actually kind of the story of my life,” Katie explained the meaning behind the song. “The video is about leaving Texas and moving to Nashville. I think you definitely see that when you watch it.”
Katie’s favorite scene from the video took place in the warehouse where she was wearing a gold dress. “If you watch the video, I am wearing a couple different (dresses), but the gold one was my absolute favorite,” she recalled. “I put it on and I looked down at the price tag and it was like $4,000 or $5,000 and I was just in shock. The whole time that I was doing that scene, I would not touch the dress. But it was a beautiful, beautiful dress.”
When an artist goes into a writing session one important ingredient to making the song work is having a personal connection with the other songwriter. “The best way I can describe it is when you sit down with that writer and you start bouncing ideas off of each other, you just kind of click and if you don’t click then you probably won’t write with them again,” Katie revealed about how she chooses the co-writers she works with.
“It’s almost like going on a date,” Katie explained. “You go ‘do I have chemistry or do I not’? If you do, then you normally write a really good song - and then that’s one of the co-writers that you know you can have on hand - and if not you just go ‘no, that was not a good blind date.’ (Laughter) It’s normally mutual so nobody has any hurt feelings.”
There were a few writing sessions where Katie became frustrated that she was unable to relay the song she had playing in her head to the other songwriter. “I knew the lyrics and I was trying to get across the melody that I wanted,” she explained. “I was like humming it and then I started singing it the way that I wanted and the other songwriter was kind of playing it distantly and I was like ‘no, it’s something a little bit different than that.’ And I couldn’t explain it – I kept singing it but I didn’t know the chords.” The frustration of not being able to get her idea across resulted in Katie picking up the guitar and learning how to play so she could relay exactly what was playing in her head. “The only way that you can do that is with an instrument because no matter – I’m a perfect example – how many times you sing a melody for someone, they are not going to be able to hear it the same way they can if you are playing it,” Katie added.
The chemistry she shares with good friend and former Nashville Star finalist Ashlee Hewitt shines through in the songs they collaborated on the “Believe” album. “She was actually one of the first people that I met in Nashville,” Katie revealed. “We’ve had different apartments, we’ve lived together and we’ve had songs on my album. She’s one of my best friends.” Ashlee began playing guitar for Katie a few years ago and they have written many songs together since the inception of their friendship. “Ashley and I were hanging out at the pool and she started playing guitar,” Katie explained the creation of the song Movin’ On. “We had been talking about writing a song about a relationship that should have grown into something special, yet the couple had moved on with other people.”
The track “Bleed” shows off Katie’s powerful and unrestricting vocal capability -- even when sliding into the falsetto notes -- which only exemplifies the comparison she has received to Martina McBride and Sara Evans!
This fall Katie is going back into the studio to begin production on her third album which will be released in 2010. “I love being in the studio,” Katie shared with enthusiasm. There isn't much detail available for the upcoming album since it is only in the beginning stages of development, but fans can certainly look forward to a change in Katie's music as this one will have a little bit of consistency from track to track. "This one I definitely have a theme," she revealed. "The theme is going to be about female empowerment."
Selecting the songs is one of the hardest parts of Katie’s album making process because she wants to make sure she picks out the right songs that she will enjoy singing ten years from now. To make sure she doesn’t get sick of singing the same songs over and over again, Katie likes to mix things up a bit in her live shows. “You’ve probably seen (this change) before going to different artists concerts, it’s different from their album version and you get there and you’re like ‘oh, my God, that’s that song and it sounds different’ because they are changing it up,” Katie confessed. “When you put a song on an album or you release a song (as a single), make sure that you really love it because, as you just said, you’re going to be singing it your whole life.”
When we asked about her current goals as a country music artist, Katie was quick to say that she would like to perform at the Grand Ole Opry next year. Once she has accomplished that goal Katie wants to perform at a country music awards show!
“All I can ask for when people listen to my music is that they are inspired and that they can relate to it,” she dished on what she wants listeners to take away from her music. “Every day that I get messages on MySpace and Facebook and people go ‘wow, I listen to your song and that totally happened to me because my boyfriend just broke up (with me).”
You can purchase Katie Armiger’s currently album “Believe” and her holiday single “All I Want for Christmas is You,” through Amazon.com, and be sure to visit her Official Website, MySpace and Twitter to get the latest information directly from Katie herself! Keep reading to find out more fun facts about Katie.
If you could follow a path that an established artist has already created, whose career would you choose to emulate?
Reba McEntire or Matrina McBride. They came from humble backgrounds and just started singing around where they lived, at fairs and festivals, and they have been singing for so many years now and they are still around. Every time their music comes on in the car, they still turn their radio up and they still articulate. That’s the kind of artist I want to be.
What television shows do you watch that you just can’t miss?
The shows now that I watch are pretty much all like reality TV things. I haven’t actually liked a sit down series in a while, but I’ve been watching the Rachel Zoe Project - I really like that. And I watch the Food Network’s The Iron Chef.
How do you pick out the outfits for your tour? Is that something you have already planned out or do you shop for the outfit the day of the show?
I love picking out my own clothes. For the tour that I went on this summer, I got half of the things before the tour. Buckle was one of my sponsors so they gave me a couple of different outfits. Along the way – (during) the mall tour, we were shopping in malls every day -- I picked the other half of the outfits.
What is your favorite Christmas song?
I’m going to go with “Silent Night.” I know that is very cliché, but (it’s) one of the most beautiful songs ever.
If you could do a duet with anyone, not just country music, who would you choose and what song would you sing?
I would probably say Martina McBride. She’s one of my idols. I would love to sing with her.
Which song would you sing?
Oh, I don’t know. I’d have to write one with her. Reba McEntire did one a few years back (called) “Does He Love You” and it was a duet she did with one of her band members and it would be so fun to do something like that.
Comment by heather on 2009-12-16 03:09:44
wow she just amazes me. i have the believe album and love every song on it. cannot wait to hear the new stuff katie! heather
Comment by Anonymous on 2009-12-15 12:22:21
Katie Armiger is amazing.
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