Our latest exclusive interview is with Cincinnati based pop singer-songwriter Katie Bates, who just released her new EP, “Filter”, and follows her first self-title debut EP, “Katie Bates”. “Filter” contains elements of electro-pop, alternative, and RnB, and it was a pleasure to connect with Katie and discuss it, specifically her creative process for the EP’s song development, the producers she works with, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with Katie, be sure to stream and share the “Filter” EP, and connect with her on social media.
Congratulations on the release of your new EP "Filter". I'm sure it's a relief that it is finally out. What are you most proud of with this EP?
Thank you! Yeah I am excited for everyone to hear it! I am most proud of how much I grew and developed as a person and artist since my first EP and all the singles that followed since then. I was at a weird stage in my life when I recorded my first EP, I didn't know exactly how I wanted it to sound so I went with what I knew best and that was live instrumentation. I play bass, guitar, and drums in my mom’s Christian Rock group and when we recorded albums it was always live instrumentation. Filter is complete opposite. There’s still some bits of bass, guitar, and drums and then there's a lot of beats and loops and I think making beats and loops is my new favorite thing to do.
Describe your creative process for us when it came to the development of the songs.
I had all the lyrics written. I love writing. I'm constantly in the Notes app on my phone jotting down different lines or words. I had an idea of how I wanted each song to sound so I would record a voice memo then take it to my producer and we wrote from there. Tejai Moore, my co-writer on a few songs, he came to me with a couple songs he had written and we used a few of those. One of the songs on the album, Pretty Toned Filter, I had lyrics written and I sent them to Tejai with a voice memo of how I wanted it to sound. At first it was a slow song, very mellow. I tweaked the lyrics about 5 times and then Tejai sent me a rough draft of the refrain and I loved it so we based it around that.
Following up on the last questions, where were the EP's songs recorded and who are the producers you worked with?
I recorded it at Blacklite Productions in Cincinnati, OH. The producer there was Tony "2Tone" Burkhart. A couple of the songs were written in Atlanta by Tejai Moore, Curtis Harold Echols Jr., and Jahmori Dejon Simmons.
Were their songs that you recorded that you decided not to include on the EP? If so, why were they not selected?
There was just one. It just didn't feel like the right fit for the EP so I decided to leave it off.
How is "Filter" different than your debut self titled EP "Katie Bates", from a thematic and sonic standpoint?
Filter takes on a completely different lyrical theme than my first EP. It takes on a more mature image as a pop artist opposed to the country/teen pop of my self titled EP. Filter also contains influences of electro-pop, alternative, and RnB. For my self titled EP, my producer on that, Kent Wells, he is Dolly Parton's producer, he brought in about 5 people and they recorded the instrumentation together. They recorded the entire EP in an hour and a half which was so cool to watch and listen to these professionals just knock out each song in 1 or 2 takes. Filter was completely different. We would create the beat first and then move on with the vocals. So it was two very different ways of recording.