INTERVIEW: Katie Garibaldi

Hi Katie, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks so much! I’ve been great and really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I Am”?

“I Am” is off my upcoming EP, Rooted Clarity, and it’s a song I wrote about having faith. The lyrics are actually from God’s point of view speaking to me. I really think that our personal beliefs in ourselves can create our outer world. Having faith in knowing that all will be well, we are never truly alone, and we are deserving of wonderful things will create the opportunities for life to be in fact wonderful. That’s the underlining basis of the song.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

No matter how good of a support system you may have of positive people in your life, we all can feel alone sometimes, like maybe we don’t matter or we’re not good enough. I must have been feeling these emotions when I picked up my guitar because I remember sitting in my house in early morning and knew there was a song in me ready to come out. The sunlight was coming through the window and the warmth was comforting me. This song just poured out of me and it’s not at all specific to religion and can certainly be perceived as a love song to someone who relates to it in that way, but when I re-read the lyrics I realized it was from God’s perspective letting me know that even when it seems like no one is there, He is. He always was and still is. Also, almost immediately after I wrote this song, I kept hearing references to God as “the great I Am,” in books, on TV, etc., which I never even thought about when I was writing it. It was a very healing experience overall.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I just shot a music video in Nashville this weekend for my song, “Delightful,” which is also off Rooted Clarity. That will be coming out this summer. I would definitely love to create a video for “I Am” as well, or we may be releasing a live video of it from my Nashville EP release show.

The single comes off your new EP Rooted Clarity – what’s the story behind the title?

Rooted Clarity consists of five brand new songs, and I quickly realized while putting the songs together that they all had very similar themes of faith and self-discovery. I believe our true state of being is to love and be kind to each other and to be happy. Life can get stressful and hard, and things/people can harden our naturally gentle selves, but we still can choose love and happiness because that’s where our roots are. So these songs reminded me of that message. I think the clarity of this belief is rooted in all of us; we just have to remember it. Instead of complaining about the negativity in life, I really wanted these songs to be a kind of call to action for us to get back in touch with our loving state of being and be reminded to believe in ourselves, as well as have faith in who we truly are underneath any damage or baggage.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing of these songs happened gradually over the past couple years. Some songs are older than others, but I was saving them because I felt like they didn’t quite belong on my last album. “I Am” and “Delightful” are the newest of the songs. The making of this record kind of happened by accident. I was on tour in Nashville and an engineer approached me after I played at The Bluebird Café. He gave me his card for his home studio. I was back in Nashville a couple months later and had a day off so I went to the studio with my bassist in town (and co-producer of the EP), Kevin Blair. We recorded two of the songs just for fun, which was a great experience. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the songs but after listening to them, I started hearing string arrangements and got a lot of different production ideas. So I talked to Kevin about it and we organized some studio time back in Nashville and recorded the rest of the music over the course of two or three trips. We worked with a percussionist, keyboard player, and a trio of string players. I absolutely loved the whole recording process of this record. It was a blast producing with Kevin and coming up with the string parts with the musicians. The making of it really was a team effort and all very enjoyable because the parts translated so seamlessly from my head/heart to the outside world, which was just awesome to see come to life.

Does Bay Area plays a role in your music?

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and it’s such a beautiful place to be. I love having my home base here. San Francisco has a great music scene with a lot of talented artists. I definitely love my supporters here and it’s especially fun to play full band shows in the clubs. I just had my first sold-out headlining show at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco for my San Francisco EP release party. It’s very humbling and exciting to see that people are supportive of my music in my hometown.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I didn’t plan for these songs initially to all be reminiscent of the similar themes, but it turned out that way and I knew between some of the older ones and the newly written ones, they belonged on a collection together. I wrote the songs on my last album, Follow Your Heart, mostly around the time when I was engaged and newly married, so there were a lot of love/relationship themed songs. For Rooted Clarity, the songs all center around more soul searching and intrinsic themes. My lyrics are inspired by real life events and situations. The song always starts with me and my acoustic guitar, and then I’ll build the additional instruments from there depending on what sounds I’m hearing in my imagination while playing it on guitar and what ideas we come up with in the studio. I experimented with string arrangements on a few songs on Follow Your Heart and felt a huge connection with the instruments so I think the idea of working more with strings for this EP was a very natural and obvious decision for me from the start of the project!

Any plans to hit the road?

I’m on the road a lot and like to break up my touring into mini tours. For example, I was in Los Angeles last month for a week and came back home to play local shows. And I just got back from a two-week trip to Nashville and plan to pop in to Music City again in about a month before heading to New York in late June, where I’ll be for a few days and playing a NY EP release show at Rockwood Music Hall on June 29th. Mini tours of one-two weeks with blocks of coming home in between is the best way for me to balance my career and family/home life. I love getting inspired on the road and then coming home to write about it and plan my next trip. After New York, I’ll be gigging around California and will be back in Nashville in September as well.

What else is happening next in Katie Garibaldi’s world?

My new music video for “Delightful” will be coming out this summer, which I’m really excited about! We just shot it at local businesses all over Nashville and it’s going to be so fun to see it all come together. The director came up with an empowering story for the visual interpretation of the song and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to the message. Keep your eyes open for that. I’m really enjoying finally playing the new songs from Rooted Clarity live. Its official release date is June 3rd, where it will be available everywhere online and in stores. It’s currently available for pre-order on Bandcamp and iTunes. I also plan to release some exclusive live videos from my release shows in San Francisco, Nashville, and New York, and will most likely head back into the studio this Fall for some new projects coming up.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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