Katelyn Benton Talks of Music and Much More!

Dark and twisted singer/songwriter KATELYN BENTON is just her, releasing material since her teen years, with much more in the works already, with her just wanting to share it with everyone! She talks about her tune's and more below!

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

This project was started with my good friend and producer Scott Nickoley. Scott is a film composer (South Park, Hell and Back, Tuca and Birdie among others) and I was honored that he felt connected to my music and wanted to create such dynamic soundscapes around it. I've played with many incredible musicians over the years, but at its core, my music is built on my original songs and featured piano. I've played piano since I was a toddler on the lap of my concert pianist grandmother, Courtney Benton, and I've always incorporated emotional and grand piano elements into my works.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

N/A - Katelyn Benton is just me. :)

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

I was born in Louisiana, spent a large part of my life in Colorado, and now reside in Los Angeles. The music scene in Louisiana is obviously quite rich with jazz and blues, and I do feel that pieces of this have carried into my music. Colorado had a robust music scene as well, and I began performing professionally when I was 11. I looked up to local singer/songwriter Nina Storey (who has since relocated to Los Angeles) and keyboardist and recording Engineer Jeremy Lawton (Big Head Todd and the Monsters). My mom helped me to get an affidavit to perform in 21+ venues with leading local musicians at the time, including the Subdudes, who like me, are originally out of Louisiana. Here in Los Angeles the music scene is extremely dense with incredible musicians from around the globe performing in every genre. Annabel Lee is a fantastic artist here in Los Angeles that I've been watching since she moved out here about 5 years ago. I am constantly inspired by my Los Angeles peers including other singer/songwriters like myself, but just as much so by film composers (Steve Mazzoro of James Bond, Dune, Wonder Woman and many others + Nicholai Baxter of Lala Land, Star is Born, Coda, among many others) who I've found myself fairly enmeshed with. There is always new music to be heard here, new bands to see play live, and I feel so much gratitude to be in a city that offers musicians so much opportunity for performance and collaboration. 

4. How would you describe your style?

My music is singer-songwriter with a dreamy and dark twist. My background is in classical piano, and I feel this comes through in my writing. I was influenced heavily by composers like Chopin and Debussy, with a musical quality that feels both modern and timeless. I also grew up watching Disney films and have certainly been inspired by the story-telling of lyrics. I've also been influenced by bluesy singer songwriters like Fiona Apple and piano-powered pop like Ben Folds.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

My first single came out when I was 13. "Turn this World Around" was inspired by the heartbreaking school shootings that were occuring close to home. I released my first full-length album, Sycamore Street when I was 15. Upon graduating from Berklee College of Music I released an EP, Once, which was recorded by musicians across the globe. "Impossible Love," which was co-written by John Magnie of The Subdudes, went on to win the Best Music Video awards at the 2009 JPF awards in Nashville. Since then I have been releasing the work I did with Scott Nickoley and Ryan Franks as singles. You can expect rich, cinematic arrangements showcasing outstanding musicianship with lyrics that are never an afterthought. 

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Always! In addition to having several more songs in the cannon ready to go, I'm always writing and recording for a variety of projects. I've also been recording solo piano pieces for the first time in my career, covering many of my favorite songs from childhood including "Under the Bridge" from Red Hot Chilli Peppers, "Creep" by Radiohead, and "Man Who Sold the World" by David Bowie. 

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

The pandemic has put a hold on my performing for quite some time, but my hope is that as venues begin to open up in Los Angeles I will be back on the stage and sharing my music with my music family, friends, and fans.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

At the heart of what I do is just the desire to share my music in case it touches someone the way it touched me when writing it. I think a lot of musicians have "world domination" on their mind when setting career goals, but my goal is to follow the heart of the music to wherever it takes me. I'd love to write for movies some day, to have songs featured in films like Lala Land and Star is Born.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

You can find my music on Spotify and any other major streaming platform. You can also find two of my music videos on YouTube: the award winning Impossible Love music video (made on a budget of $200 with some friends in the desert) and Fix (where we brought a grand piano into the Sequia National Forest).

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Not all music worth listening to fits into a genre box. Have an open mind and enjoy the qualities that you may not find on mainstream radio.

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