Photo by Josh Williams

by Liz Tarnof

Kathryn Dean is a new artist that is ready to take the world by storm. She has a passion for alternative sounding music, with big ballad’s and sweet ukuleles strewn throughout her songs. One of her singles, “You Wish She Was Me” is catchy, light hearted and bubbly sounding. She took the time out of her busy schedule to sit down with me Sunset Sessions at the Hilton Oceanfront Resort and Spa to talk about her burgeoning musical career and what makes her, well…her.

Liz Tarnof: Tell me about some of your musical influences.

Kathryn Dean: I kind of have two sides….I have the more ballad type [side], like my song “For Us We’d Do Anything” and for that you know, Adele has always been my idol. And then for the kind of more pop rock-ish side, Maroon Five [is an influence.] I’m actually doing a cover of their song.

L: Really! Love them. What genres of music do you like?

K: I’m all over the place in terms of that. I’m a lover slash student of music. I like alternative, indie. I love studying the kind of formulas of pop music and the kind of poetry that are in lyrics like Mumford Sons for example.

L: When did you first start singing?

K: I’m pretty sure I first started singing to annoy my brother…to be that annoying little sister. Yeah, I remember when I was three years old, Santa brought me a karaoke machine and I had the crazy white blond hair, a thing of its own, in my little footsie pajamas singing “Hot Stuff” and “I’m not that innocent” on my karaoke machine which creeped my dad out because he was like “You are innocent! You’re only three!” [Laughs]

L: Is your family musical then?

K: No they’re not…we’re always joking like “Where did it come from?”

L: How funny. So tell me, what song of yours is your favorite?

K: It would really depend on the mood I would say. If I’m going from the pop side, it would be “You Wish She Was Me.”

L: Your voice is very powerful and it’s nice to hear that. How or what do you attribute to your talent?

K: I’ve always tried to have a strong work ethic. It comes from the idea that someone is out there that wants exactly what you want and has the exact same talent that you do. So it’s like, are you gonna let them beat you? No, you gotta work harder so that they can’t beat you and it seems effortless.

L: It’s super competitive. It’s hard. So how did you hear about Sunset Sessions?

K: My manager Dave. This is his 9th time [at Sunset Sessions]. He’s come with many different artists and I’ve heard so many great things about Sunset Sessions and Michele Clark so I was eager to be a part of it.

L: The devil’s advocate question…where do you see yourself in 5 years?

K: I mean ideally it would be onstage at the Grammy’s… [laughs], but onstage touring, still writing songs, recording them, and doing what I love to do.

L: Obviously you want to further your musical career…do you see yourself doing a world tour one day?

K: I think I’m up for whatever. I’m kind of happy to see where the path takes me. For touring and all that, I’m ready to go.

L: Do your write your own music or is it co-written?

K: So I write all my songs, and “Right Where I Belong” I co-wrote with my manager Dave. I also wrote a song where I had no instruments and I was hitting a sharpie against the side of a bathtub and I sent it to this produce that I work with, Matt Pavolaitis, and I was like “Oh what can we do with this? I want it to be swampy!”  It ended up producing kind of like a female black keys sort of sound.

L: Do you have an actual live band?

K: Yes, my band, my amazing band, they will come and record all of the instrumentals, because I found that taking the song from a creation and taking it to the stage, it just evolves into something so much greater. I’ve found that who better knows my songs then the guys who play it.

L: When was your first time performing in front of a live audience?

K: I’ve always done little coffee house performance by myself, but with a professional band, about a couple weeks ago at Molly Malones.

L: How did you feel? Excited? Nervous?

K: Umm, mostly excited. My brother has this quote which he always tells me which is “If you’re nervous, you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.” Like if you’re nervous, you have something to gain from it. Nerves are just misplaced excitement.

L: That’s true, that’s a good way of looking at it.

K: It’s funny to me, the one place where I’m at, the stage, where [it’s] the one place people are watching me and judging me…I don’t feel judged…I feel like I can be me.

L: Is there any last words or anything you would like your fans or future fans to know about yourself?

Photo by Josh Williams
Photo by Josh Williams

K: Yeah! I think what I see a lot of times in music is these polar opposites, like super indie poetic kind of music that a lot of people don’t understand and then you have the “I’m drunk in a club and someone can take me home” kind of music. Young girls shouldn’t feel like they’re trapped in that. And that’s how I kind of try to make my music. Writing music is very cathartic for me and I hope it’s just as therapeutic for my listeners.

For all the information you could ever want on Kathryn Dean, visit her at:




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