Katrina Stone is an interesting songwriter from Los Angeles with a decade-long career. She is using our service Soundreef In-Store. We had the pleasure of talking with her.
Hi Katrina, when did you start making music?
I started singing and playing music when I was about 12. I didn’t start writing my own and producing my own music until I was 18. A lot of musicians start much early than I did, but I’m a bit of a late bloomer.
What about your last album “Never Wanna Grow Up”?
I wrote Never Wanna Grow Up in 2014 with a couple of talented co-writers. Many of the songs on that record were written throughout 2013. I will write music song by song, then release a record when I have a group of songs I really love. I enjoy releasing music, but I don’t want to feel rushed or stressed by the process. I like to take my time and put songs together that convey a similar message.
I Looking back at when you started making music: is there anything that is now surprising you in terms of expectations? What has changed from the first steps to today?
I started making music with the perspective that I needed all these people around me to do everything I didn’t know how to do. I’d hire graphic artists and producers and instrumentalists and video editors. I was really surprised to learn how much I enjoyed doing those things myself! When I started out as a musician trying to make a living, I never imagined that I would have amassed all these other skills. Also, I have realized in the last few years that no one will ever care as deeply about my music as I do. If I want something to happen, I need to make it happen. People care a lot more about my music when they see how seriously I take it.
Composing. What are the elements you pay most attention to?
When I’m writing something new, I focus first on being authentic with the lyrics. I want to talk about something that people can relate to. I want to move people. Musically, I try to think about what I’ve been listening to lately and what trends I’m really liking. Something I’m continually learning about is never ignoring that nagging voice that tells you a part of the song is just ok. You have to dig in and work through those sections to create something that feels great all the way through. I also have a writing partner and co-producer named Benj Heard who I work with on some projects. We challenge each other and our collaborations tend to be pretty magical.
What about Los Angeles and USA’s music scene today?
Los Angeles is a really tough music scene. There are a lot of really incredible artists and writers here. There are also a lot of people who are “all talk”. You have to find a core group of people that you know you can count on. But this is where some amazing opportunities are! The music scene here and in the rest of the country seems to be split into two different mindsets. There are the people who stream music all day long, discover new artists, listen to massive amounts of music, and generally just consume music. There’s nothing wrong with that. Those people tend to be loyal to the song more than the artist. Then you have the people who want to experience the music live. They are loyal to the band, not just a song on a playlist. They crave the interaction, the performance. Both types of those music fans are important to an artist’s career. It’s really fun to see music discovery become more accessible than ever, while still having those fans that want you to play live in their city. It’s a great time to be a musician.
What was your experience with Soundreef’s In-Store royalty collection service like?
Soundreef has been such an incredible and surprising income stream for me. When I had signed up a few years ago, I thought it would just be a chance to get some exposure in Europe. I had no idea the plans Soundreef had for my music! I love seeing all the places that my music is playing. And Soundreef makes royalty collection so easy. They are completely transparent, which restores my faith a little bit in the music industry. They are one of the few companies I trust and recommend to my musician friends!
What is your approach to royalty collection and how has your relationship with PRO’s been throughout your career as a songwriter?
To be perfectly honest, I try to avoid using a PRO as much as I can. There is usually such a long waiting time to get paid for your work. I work with companies like Soundreef that collect on my behalf outside of the standard PROs. It seems like Soundreef and those other companies I work with understand the indie musician and their needs more than the larger PROs. Not to say they aren’t necessary, but it’s important as an indie artist to be affiliated with companies that believe in you and are looking out for your best interest. Soundreef is one of those companies.