Stephanie Sokol for The Pit
You might not recognize artist Katie Herzig by name, but her music should be more familiar. The artist, whose alternative melodic-pop sound could be described as Sara Bareilles meets Ingrid Michaelson, has had songs appear in movies and television, in addition to her own personal tracks.
“My sound has evolved over time,” Herzig said. “This newer stuff is kind of like alternative, melodic pop. It used to be more acoustic, but it’s just gotten less and less on my last couple albums, particularly this one.”
Herzig has been making music for over a decade. Her music career started in high school, when she performed in choir, band and orchestra.
In college, she began writing her own songs, and formed a band. A few years later, she started her solo career and moved to Nashville. She has since produced six albums.
“I’m quite hands-on with the production of my music, so a lot of the time I am starting to record as I’m writing, like I’ll get a groove or bassline going that I like, and that really goes hand-in-hand with the recording,” Herzig said. “But I also have times when I just sit down and write a song.”
Her tracks are either very “happy-go-lucky” or more deep and symbolic, and Herzig explained why. Her more bubbly songs like “Best Day of Your Life,” which was featured in Ramona and Beezus, were mostly written for assignments, while other tracks, like “Free My Mind” are more to process her own thoughts.
With her first album produced in 2004, Herzig said social media has changed the way non-mainstream artists share their work, allowing musicians to reach more people.
“I think for artists in my position who aren’t huge mainstream artists, I think the social media and digital world as anyone having access to those things for free has definitely helped artists like me to grow, and for people to easily find my music, and for me to keep my fans informed. It’s definitely helped to connect me to new fans.”
“Walk Through Walls,” Herzig’s new album, will be released tomorrow. She said it’s “a natural extension of where to go from her last album.”
Moving away from an acoustic feel by bringing a more digital influence, the evolution of Herzig’s sound is more in the production aspect, still following the same path music-wise.
While she said she couldn’t pick a favorite track, Herzig said one of the songs she had fun producing from the new album was “Frequencies.” On her tour, which makes a stop in Ann Arbor May 28, she said it is one of her favorite tracks to perform live.
“My show’s a combination of being intimate and epic,” Herzig said. “It has the gamut of those things. I’ll be playing with a five piece band. So it’s a journey– it’s really fun.”
For artists starting out in the industry, Herzig said it’s important to pay attention to those around you, and be patient in the process.
“Surround yourself and only work with nice people who care about you before you care about other things,” Herzig said. “Also, allow yourself to grow, change and evolve, and that takes time. Very few artists I know have instant success– it’s a journey. And there’s a destination involved, it might never be fulfilled. But if the joy of making music is truly what they love, then that’s a good reason to do it.”
“Those are things that feel really great to me, on top of the fact that music just connects people. It’s cool to be a part of that.”