Set to release her debut album in September, Irish singer-songwriter Katie Gallagher, aka KTG, combines delicate folk-inspired vocals with sunny, uplifting pop-tinged melodies. Sure to captivate the ears with her feel-good offerings, she stands out as a definite one to watch.
We caught up with Katie to find out more…
Hi KTG , welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate the time! My name is Katie Gallagher, but I perform under KTG. I am a 22 year old singer-songwriter from Longford, Ireland. I have been writing since I was very young and always used songwriting as a music therapy of sorts. I have been performing professionally for four years, touring all of Ireland and some dates in the UK. I am also a newly qualified music teacher, so my life literally revolves around music performance and creation.
How did you initially start creating music?
I was never good at sports – it was actually embarrassing how bad I was, so my family always encouraged me to find another outlet, and from the age of five I played the piano and the guitar from the age of ten. I used to be obsessed with journaling and having diaries but found them really unproductive, but when I started the shift to songwriting I saw that it was a really good way to deal with the experiences I was going through, good and bad. It was also really good for reminding myself of different experiences. For example, every time I play one of my songs ‘Get Your Story Straight’, even though it is about a negative experience, infidelity, I get this rush of self confidence.
Your new album Searching For Magpies is out in September – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the album?
I am so excited to release Searching For Magpies! The whole album was recorded by David Virgin, Rohan Healy and Al Quiff from Beardfire Studios, the label I am also signed to. The album relates to the old wives’ tale about magpies: one for sorrow, two for joy etc. Each line in the rhyme relates to one song on the album. I wanted to use the magpie theme because I am personally obsessed with magpies, and always try to find a pair of them! But also there are four songs that are linked together in a separate saga in the album: ‘Strawberries’ – the first part of the relationship and the saga, ‘Get Your Story Straight’ – things are going wrong and you need to walk away, ‘Don’t Tell My Mother’ – this song is all about second chances and going back with a naive idea that things will get better, ‘Lost Boy’ – abandon ship and realise you cannot possibly fix the situation. Other themes include love, escapism and anxiety.
You’ve been compared to the likes of KT Tunstall and Wallis Bird, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Well, first off it is an honour to be even in the same sentence as these musicians – I hope I live up to this comparison! Being a music teacher I have to be educated in lots of different genres and styles, and I think that has come through in my music. I adore One Republic, they are a huge inspiration of mine. Also Lewis Capaldi, Taylor Swift, Gabrielle Aplin, George Ezra, but also The Black Keys, Paramore, Dolly Parton, Stormzy, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj. My Spotify profile looks like five different people run it when really I try to find influences from all artists!
How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
The Irish music scene on a whole is booming with opportunity to see gigs, but also be a part of one. The Midlands, where I am from, have a host of festivals, gigs and give so many opportunities to young musicians to perform their music. I love to go to listen to live music, in all capacities; whether it be an intimate gig, or a stadium concert, the live performance is so important to me. It’s all well and good to listen to the music in your car or at a party, but nothing beats the live experience!
And what can fans expect from your live shows?
They can expect to sing along, jump, dance and leave without any voice! I really live for the high energy gigs and try to make sure that I give an experience that I want to have at a gig. There is nothing better than saying “will you sing with me?” and the crowd respond and scream your lyrics back to you!
As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
There are so many I could recommend: Dean Maywood, Grainne Fahy, Maria McCormack, Aidan Laird. There is also Evans Junior who is killing the rap game at the moment!
And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I would say that it is difficult to stand out from the crowd, but the music industry is very welcoming – you just have to be prepared to work hard. No musician can come into this industry and expect the fame and fortune to just fall into your lap. And, as long as the industry will have me, I will be working as hard as I can!
Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for KTG?
I have my next single, ‘Strawberries’, out on the 26th July, and the final summer single ‘Never Go Home’ out on 23rd August. The album is out on the 26th September, and with that I have a nationwide tour, and we are currently trying to have some gigs abroad, but that will all be announced very soon. And, with any luck, this writer’s block of mine will go away and I can get back to write more songs!
Huge thanks to Katie for answering our questions!
Searching For Magpies, the upcoming album from KTG, is out 26th September via Beardfire Music.