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Meet Katie Ludden

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

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Singing and music have always been big parts of my life and a source of great comfort through its various seasons. I grew up singing in groups and choirs, but after college, I was left in a place with no real outlet for it anymore. I also got married and became a mom of three in the years immediately following graduating, so my time was understandably taken by other very good things.

It was a little over a year and a half ago, once my babies were a little less baby, and I was getting a little more sleep each night that I felt that deep longing for music start to surface more and more. A close friend of mine was running a songwriter’s circle at a co-working space in Hollywood (shout out to Cortney Matz of Epiphany Space!), so I showed up one night with a voice-recorded melody of a song.

That night a group of musicians generously “jammed” with my song and I went home with a recording of MY song put to music! I was in a dream and suddenly awake all at once. Seeing my song come to life with instruments playing it sparked within me the motivation I had always lacked to finally pick up the guitar, build some callouses, and start writing music like I meant it. Every week I was back at songwriter’s circle with new progress, new songs, and new fire.

Four weeks after starting guitar I played my first open mic. My friends were so supportive and have been every step of the way. When I first moved to LA in 2014, I was completely intimidated, thinking I could never flourish in my music with so much talent to drown it out.

But as I continued to write and surround myself with authentic and kind musicians, I found just the opposite to be true. Their art fuels my art. Their passion fuels my passion. They are my catalysts. It’s not competitive. It’s life-giving. I would not have even begun without the help of LA artists, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

Has it been a smooth road?
When I started learning guitar, I was 29 with three young children and working. People, including myself, wondered how I could find the time or energy. Still, that fire was there, so I decided that since I didn’t get a ton of sleep already, what was one less hour each night. I made a commitment to get my hands on the guitar for an hour each night, most of the time while watching Netflix and catching up with my husband.

As the process went on and my fingers started to really hurt my husband, in true tough-love fashion, would remind me that they weren’t bleeding so I couldn’t stop! After the first couple of months, the time and the ache seemed just a part of normal life. The life that playing music was giving me was worth it.

Another difficult arena was actually writing the songs. I joke that song-writing has been my therapy over the past 18 months, but it really is true. I write a lot about past struggles and pain. To even “go” to those place in order to write them takes a lot of emotional work and space. I’ve had to face some things I had been avoiding dealing with for 15 years!

But that’s the beauty of music, it leads us in with grace so that we can feel those emotions, let the waves pass over us, and then leads us back out again. Now when I play those songs, I go there emotionally knowing that each time I touch into those tender places, I receive a little more healing. Each time someone connects with one of my songs it is a gift to know that we’ve all been in those hard places and yet we can come together for strength.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
For me, music is all about connection. With ourselves, with others, with meaning, with beauty. I bring a lot of emotion to my performances because that is where my songs are sourcing from. I’m not necessarily aiming for a successful formula in my music but more so an authentic experience.

Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years?  Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc?
The music industry is in such a shift right now. I am writing music and starting to share it in recorded and live ways, but my grasp on how the business side of it works is, honestly, at novice level. As long as in five years we are able to share and thrive in doing so I will be excited.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Tanya Earl Buer Photography

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