Heartbroken and Milking It is out now!
Last month, American Idol alumni Catie Turner unveiled her hotly anticipated sophomore EP, Heartbroken and Milking It. We caught up with the singer to chat about the release, her experiences on American Idol, One Direction and so much more!
Could you tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey, and your background in music?
I think the beginning of my musical journey is a unique one, but only because of how unremarkable it was. I come from a long line of non-musicians, so I wasn’t raised around it at all. One day, I was watching an America’s Got Talent audition, where the girl singing was around my age - and I thought, “I wanna do that!” So, I went up to my mom, sang her Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, and she didn’t hate it; the whole singing thing sort of stuck and now I’m here.
How do you think your experience on American Idol shape your view and approach to navigating the music industry?
It taught me that the music industry can - and mostly - be ruthless. It was the ultimate music bootcamp: 6 am call times, waiting until you’re needed, reading hate comments, filming, ending at 12 am, repeat. I think it showed me how bad I actually wanted it; cause even with all of the not fun stuff I was exposed to, I still love what I do - I’d argue even more now!
Congratulations on the release of your new EP Heartbroken and Milking It! Could you unpack the themes and concepts present on the release, and the importance of documenting them within this collection of songs?
Thank you so much! The theme of the album is, well, Heartbreak in relationships. I wrote the majority of the songs after my first heartbreak, and songwriting was an outlet for me to get these burdensome feelings out of me (also, my friends and my mother were definitely getting tired hearing about it). For me, the importance was that I get to look back on what I thought was unsurvivable and the end of my world, and I get to see it a bit more objectively now; like re-reading a middle school diary.
Were there any parts that you found particularly difficult when creating the EP, being so personal and showcasing your own life and thoughts to the world?
The hardest part about creating is not the actual creating itself, but the fear of the people - or person - you’re writing about are going to know it’s about them. And honestly, these feelings are still a daily occurrence. “Are they gonna be mad?”, “what if they hate me?”, “Am i a terrible person?”.
Funeral is such an achingly beautiful track, that showcases your skill not only as a vocalist but also a superb songwriter. You have a knack for creating relatable lyricism and ideas, with Funeral particularly striking a cord. What do you hope listeners take away from the EP?
Thank you so, so much! That means so much to me; it feels incredible knowing people can relate to what I’m singing - but also kind of sad, because I am writing a lot of sad music, so I’m sorry we all got hurt! I guess what I hope listeners take away the most is that they aren’t “crazy”, you know? Sometimes our heads can convince us we are the only ones feeling these feelings, and that we’re alone in the world - but we aren’t. So, I hope they find a sense of comfort in my music.
How did you arrive at the overall sonic exploration and sounds present on the release?
Honestly, music is like cooking to me - as in, honestly, I feel like I do know what I’m doing while simultaneously not having a clue. You throw a bunch of things in a pot, and pray that it works.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording this collection of songs?
My creative process mostly always starts with a feeling. Whether it’s extreme happiness, sadness, anger - I just need a feeling that makes my brain feel heavy and the only release is to get it out on paper - though now a days, I’m trying to practice healthier methods of songwriting because admittedly it would burn me out pretty quickly. But after I’d get these feelings out and get a song, I sorted through which ones I liked the best and, bada-bing bada-boom, an EP was born!
Throughout the EP’s rollout, we’ve seen some great visuals (images and videos). How important are the visuals to you when it comes to portraying the stories and themes present on the songs?
Visuals are so important! But honestly, separating myself from the visuals is the tricky part; we are our harshest critic, and sometimes when making visuals, little insecurities can creep in and makes it hard to remember what I’m doing the visuals for: to enhance the music and not a modeling portfolio.
If Heartbroken and Milking It was a piece of visual art that already exists, like a painting, photograph, sculpture etc. Which artwork do you think would sum it up?
This is such an amazing question - but one of the hardest I think I’ve ever been asked! I never was the art type; I think, since coming from a non-musician family, who also cannot draw, I would be asking the universe for too many miracles: being a singer AND an artist! You got me stumped here.
How did the EP evolve and change as you were creating it, and were there any tracks left on the cutting room floor that you think might have a life in the future?
I knew I wanted an EP, but I didn’t know when that would be, so for awhile I wrote songs and that was that. The EP started taking shape when we laid all the music out and picked from a big pile of music. So many tracks on the cutting room floor that I think have a future - so stay tuned!
If you had to pick one song off the EP to play to someone who had never heard your music to make them an instant fan, which song would it be and why?
Probably Therapy, just because I think it’s a bop!
With everything that’s been happening in the world touring has changed, what are your 2021 touring plans, and is there a chance we’ll see you performing in Australia when you are able to do so?
Sadly, I don’t see myself touring in 2021 as of right now, due to the Delta Variant that is causing cases to spike worldwide. I guess we’ll see! But when I am able to do so, and it’s safe for everyone else to do so, I would love to go to Australia! Just keep me away from the Huntsman spiders, please.
Harry Styles, Maggie Rogers, Joni Mitchell
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Don’t laugh, but Take Me Home by One Direction was the first album I remember being MIND-BLOWN about.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Sad girl energy
Best song of 2021 so far?
Happier Than Ever - Billie Eilish
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
A song you would love to cover on tour?
See You Again - Miley Cyrus
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Being So Normal - Peach Pit
First concert you went to?
Best concert you have been to?
First album you ever bought?
Hannah Montana 2 / Meet Miley Cyrus
Would you rather be a Spice Girl or a Backstreet Boy?
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
Toronto, opening for Justin Jesso. Best time EVER!
Guilty music pleasure?
KPOP, but without the guilt!
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
Harry! We can dream….
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Hey, stop overthinking! Also, you are doing enough. Double also: stop comparing yourself.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
My American Idol audition. I knew I dreamed of being a musician when I was younger, but the whole American Idol experience made it seem achievable.
Listen to Heartbroken and Milking It below!