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Art & Life with Katie Ferrara

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Ferrara.

Katie, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My story as a singer/songwriter has been a challenging yet rewarding endeavor.

When I first started playing music I was fresh out of college and didn’t really understand how the industry worked. I wrote a handful of songs, recorded an EP and started booking myself gigs in Hollywood, only to be disappointed that I wasn’t making any money or fans. I would play to empty rooms with random acts on the bill and didn’t really see where this “big break” was supposed to come from. I didn’t really understand how to make money as an artist or do music full-time. Then I realized that if you are going to have any sort of success in this business you have to create it yourself.

You don’t just wake up one morning and have a manager, booking agent, record label, band, publicist, producer, and graphic designer all just sitting in front of you doing all the work for you. The reality is that you wake up and you have this dream in your head that you are slowly sewing together. After a few years you see that image coming to life. People see that you haven’t quit and want to help. They share your music, listen, they encourage, they offer to just play with you because they believe in you so much.

One day in 2014 I had this idea to start street performing and I drove to Santa Monica, picked up a permit and started playing on one of the designated street corners. I made $100 in 2 hours! I was so inspired to keep playing that I went back each week to busk on the promenade and also started setting up in downtown Burbank and local farmers markets. Soon after that, I won a street performing competition sponsored by Toyota that sent me to New Zealand with a band of musicians from several countries around the world. I put out an EP in 2016 called “Dream Catcher” and have toured to Austin Texas, the UK, and Italy on that album.

I will say that It wasn’t always easy to play in public-I’ve been rained on, my amp has died, my guitar case was once run over by a truck, and I ‘ve lost all my tips to the wind. I’ve had nights where I’ve walked away with 6 only dollars in my bucket. All this this busking however has empowered me over the years to take ownership over my music. I’ve bought better equipment and booked gigs at private events and hotels and recorded an album of original music. (Now I am recording my first full-length). I’ve been able to travel the world and not wait around for someone to open a door for me. Music is my full-time career because my fans have helped me so much. I’ve met so many people from busking that I’ve built a strong online community around my music. That’s really what every artist needs to be successful. They need to find their niche, never give up and keep putting art into the world. Don’t be afraid to try new things!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I write original music. My duty as a singer-songwriter is to voice what people feel but don’t have the courage to say themselves, and to help someone feel he or she is not alone.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
I would advise someone to develop valuable skills in their field so that they can not only be proficient in managing their own career but also build a network make money around the skills they have to offer. For example, if you are an artist, take up a new instrument and offer to play in a friend’s band, learn how to record music from home and offer to make demos for your friends, or perhaps take up photography or set up an open mic for people to play at. These are all valuable skills that will help with your own music but also help other people.

I would also advise people to see their artwork as an investment rather than a product with a shelf life. For example, if you play a gig or sell a CD, every time someone gives you money see that as an opportunity for growth. With money you can buy better equipment, which can lead to better paying gigs. You also don’t necessarily need the best equipment to get started. All that matters are consistency and drive because over time you will have to money to buy the things that you need.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
If people want to hear my songs they can go to my website at www.katieferrara.com to stay updated on my show schedule.

They can also support my Kickstarter Campaign this month for my next album at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/katieferraramusic/break-free-katie-ferraras-1st-full-length-album. They can also listen to me on SoundCloud at: https://soundcloud.com/katieferraramusic

Contact Info:


“Jumping Busker”- Joe Oppedisano
“Busking in Ferrara” – Fabio Furlotti
“Street Art” by George Shalloob

“Break Free Photo” by Myke Wilken


Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Bill Kaneko

    May 30, 2018 at 18:42

    Thank you very much for the nice write up about Katie. She is a kind and talented musician.

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