Singer-songwriter Lindsay Katt disagrees that major record labels are necessary to make it in music, so she struck out on her own from the get-go.
“Initially when I started out, I kind of had it in my head the way originally things got going: You write songs, people like them, you can perform them and maybe somebody will finance a record,” the musician said. “I didn’t even know how that happened. I was just 18 years old writing songs in my kitchen.”
She grew up in the “middle of absolutely nowhere” in Montana on 40 acres of land, but has traded her green acres for New York City.
Katt has gone from a place where she and 999 or so other people formed relationships because they were the only people around to a place where she is one of many, many ants marching.
This is increased even more with the advent of the digital age.
“I found in an Internet world it’s amazing how many people and places you can reach without actually connecting to anyone face to face,” she said. “It’s very cool, but it’s kind of sad to me. I miss the face-to-face time.”
The Internet can be a great aid for musicians, as it makes their art accessible almost immediately to the masses wherever the masses may be.
She had some initial record-label offers, but became more educated, and once she soaked up this information she realized you don’t have to do things the normal or old way anymore.
“As an artist — if you are a writer and not just a singer — it behooves you to own all your own material because much of your income gets revenue on the back end of things. And when you sign a record contract, they own all of that and so it becomes very tricky,” she said.
Katt released her first album, “Picking Out Boxes,” in 2008 and this fall is releasing an EP that will lead into her full-length second recording next year.
“I made sure that that last record had everything in it that I wanted in it. I had 100 percent wrote and produced and financed it from the very beginning,” Katt said, adding that it represented her at age 18. “It costs a whole lot to finance a whole record.”
One way she has found to finance not only the upcoming EP but also the new album is through advertising and song placement. This is not because of label money being thrown at TV shows or advertising agencies for product placement, but more her own merit and foray into writing freelance advertising songs, too.
She was first widely heard on a closing scene of ABC’s “Castle,” and has gone on to be featured on other television shows on top of commercials for things such as the Target clothing brand Cherokee.
“It’s amazing. Now I have a resume that’s a laundry-list long of TV shows who have featured music of mine and that’s really been the key in all of this.”