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Daily Inspiration: Meet Kate Grahn

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Grahn.

Hi Kate, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Even when I was in my mom’s stomach, I was musical. She once told me that she went to a fourth of July parade where the song “The Stars and Stripes Forever” was playing and I began kicking to the beat of the song. I grew up in a very musical household. There was always music playing whether it was show tunes or Shania Twain. I joined a rock band when I was 12 and fell in love with artists/bands such as Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Heart, and Grace Potter. The rock genre is something I definitely took with me during my own musical discovery. I studied popular music at USC’s Thornton School of Music and just graduated this past May. I learned how to really hone my craft and find my voice as an artist.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I wrote my latest single about my experience growing up with OCD and Tic disorder. I found that as difficult as it was to go through, it enforced my relationship with music even more than it already. Music was how I coped with intrusive thoughts. A lot of people don’t realize how challenging having OCD actually is. It’s not the stereotypical “quirk” everyone associates it with. Many people have different kinds of OCD. Mine was horribly intrusive thoughts and rituals that I had to resist every single day. Writing ‘Untangling’ gave me an outlet that I will never take for granted.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am an independent rock artist who writes about mental health, sexism, and people who have wronged me (lol). But honestly, it’s so important for me to write about what is going on in my life because not only is it incredibly cathartic, but I think people can connect with music that is coming from a genuine and passionate place.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I have learned that people need to stay home and wear a goddamn mask. I have also learned that there is so much pressure to be creative during this “down time.” Plus, musicians can’t tour and gig which makes it financially difficult for us. I took some much needed time off after graduating from USC but then I realized I wanted to get back to work and use this time efficiently for my career as well as my mental health. I have spent the last few months recording an EP that I plan to release in the beginning of 2021.

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Yising Kao

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