NASHVILLE SINCE 2013
Singer and songwriter Katlyn Lowe had long had her eye on Nashville. “I had been coming here for a few years for CMA Fest, doing a couple performances during the summer, and finally decided that I needed to be here and immerse myself in everything,” she says.
“In some ways it was better than my expectations, and in some ways crazier,” she says of finally taking the plunge five years ago.
For the Jacksonville, FL native, music has always been an outlet. “When I was younger, I couldn’t really express myself; I felt, like most kids do, that nobody understands you,” she says. “I had this closet that’s under the stairs – kind of like Harry Potter – and I remember the very first song I wrote, I was sitting there. I was like, you know what, I’m just gonna start writing.”
It almost immediately stuck. “When I’m at my lowest point, normally I will turn to writing,” she says. “That’s what will get me through every down point I’ve ever had.”
It was the first thing she focused on upon moving. “You can go to a writer’s round and someone that wrote a #1 hit is just in there, and they’re so down to earth,” she recalls. “Getting to learn from them … I wasn’t expecting to be surrounded by so many talented people and learning from so many veterans in the industry.”
She spent her first year focusing almost exclusively on the writing process, and soon earned recognition both as a writer and vocalist. “Growing up, I’d never really won anything,” she says. “I was always one of the finalists but never the person that won. When I moved up here, I started winning a couple smaller awards from an organization I was doing some stuff with, Nashville Universe, I won female vocalist of the year and song of the year with them. That caught me off guard, I wasn’t expecting to have something that awesome happen.”
With all the wins, however, came challenges as well. “After that, it was followed by two years of extreme reality checks,” she says. “Moving up here you have to be okay with hearing no, being told that you aren’t the best thing that’s ever happened.”
One such positive came through acting. She became a featured extra on the show Nashville, and was subsequently cast as a feature in music videos, including for Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party.” “Acting helps you so much in music, because in music, you have to be able to portray different emotions,” she says. “I think going through some acting stuff has helped with that, being able to tap into my emotions a little bit more.”
She’s honing those skills on her full length album, a combination of songs she’s written and songs she’s been pitched that clicked perfectly with who she is. “You end up with these 11 or 12 songs that are a straight up story of who you are,” she says of the process of making her album. “I knew who I was, but music wise and sound wise, putting this album together has definitely shaped that and shown me who I am. All my influences, everything that I’ve been through, it’s top to bottom a full story of me.”
Follow her @katlynloweofficial