Kate Monaghan is a singer/songwriter/musician from Royal Oak. She is often accompanied by her close friend Weston Bradshaw when performing in concert. We hope you enjoy our up close interview with Kate Monaghan.
How long have you been a singer/musician?
I’ve been singing since I was a little kid and always wanted to be a musician. I started pursuing it more intentionally in 2011.
What made you decide to get in to music?
My life had gone through a few big transitions that felt out of my control.. I decided life is short – do the things that both excite you and scare you! Music was something I kept coming back to and so when the opportunity presented itself to make a record, I jumped at it.
What would you say your musical style is?
Answering this question is always hard for me – I should have a better answer. I guess a blend of singer/songwriter and pop.
Where do you draw inspiration from when writing your songs?
Primarily from my own life or the lives of people with whom I’m close. I tend to write as an outlet and it typically happens because I’m feeling something strongly – joy, uncertainty, fear, love, etc.
It probably changes depending on my mood but today I’d say “You Belong”. It is the track on the new album that blends the two styles (singer/songwriter and pop/synth). There are a ton of layers in the soundscape and when I wrote it on the piano, I had a very clear vision set in my head. It was the first time I had written a song knowing how I wanted it produced out. I was very lucky to work with two talented friends, Mike Mulliniks and Brad Kelly, to realize the vision. They were patient and creative in terms of our approach.
What musicians have you looked up to the most over the years?
I grew up listening to a lot of artists from the 60s and 70s – the Beatles, James Taylor, Carole King, Simon & Garfunkel, etc so I’m sure that shaped my early musical memories. In my teen years I listened to a lot of Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Jonatha Brooke, Over the Rhine and Fiona Apple. In the more recent decade I started paying attention the songwriting skills of Ryan Adams, Coldplay, Imogen Heap, Bon Iver, The Civil Wars and Brooke Fraser. I also love traditional pop music – Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift. I could literally talk for hours about artists I love and how they’ve influenced me. Music is my favorite subject.
You recently released your second album. How do you feel you have progressed as a musician since the first album?
I wrote the first album as a response to what was happening in my life and I recorded it on a whim. The second album was more deliberate – even in
the writing process. I had around 20 songs finished and another 10-15 started before choosing the 10 that wound up on Possibilities. The first album was tracked essentially live whereas the second album was built one track at a time over a two-year period. When we made the first album, I really had no idea what I was doing. I had just written some songs and I wanted to record them. The second time around, I wrote with a purpose and I started
making notes and how I wanted them to sound. I had a better idea for the final product which helped me communicate that to the people who helped me finish the record.
What do you think will be the main differences that listeners will noticed between the first and second album?
The style of both albums is different so I think listeners will definitely notice that. The first album has more of a live feel to it versus the produced nature of the second album. On Possibilities we incorporated a much wider library of sounds and there is more complexity to it because we spent a lot more time on it. I’m proud of each record but for very different reasons.
Where do you see yourself musically in 5 years? Are there any goals you have set for yourself?
I really don’t know. I’m at a point in life where I’m not particularly tied down. It’s a bit scary for me – I like some semblance of plans – but I’m trying to embrace the freedom. My goal is to keep making music if the muse keeps showing up.
Do you have any final thoughts you would like to give to any aspiring musicians?
It’s an exciting time to make music. You can carve your own path and interface with radio stations, music supervisors, magazines, blogs and press directly. You can use free apps and software to build songs on a laptop or an iPad. If it’s something you want to do, do it. There’s no downside to chasing a dream.
To find out more about Kate Monaghan, you can find her on the web at
You can purchase her albums her