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Catterina

Interview takes place on April 3, 2024 at Avant Garden in Houston, TX


Houston singer-songwriter Catterina recalls stumbling upon some live jazz music at a coffee shop back in 2016 as if it were a scene from a movie. "I saw these two guys playing jazz on the trumpet and saxophone," she remembers, "and I was like 'that's it.'" 


"I decided I wanted to do that…and the [owner] just had a leap of faith and booked me to do an hour gig," she says. “Since then, I kinda just got the performance bug."


Catterina at Avant Garden in Houston, TX

As the now 27-year-old indie folk artist gets ready to kick off her fourth tour, she reflects on her most formative moments as a musician thus far.


"I don’t think I really came into my own identity until I put out my EP," she says, referring to her 2022 release, "Four Twenty One." "I think I just really had to go through something to have more grand thoughts and feelings."


For her, this meant going through both "a bummer breakup," as well as a six-month forced hotel stay due to the 2021 Texas freeze. "At the first one, we were all in one room: me and my parents, with two beds and a dog," she says. "I had no privacy, no space, no nothing."


Then, "We moved to a second hotel," she says, "and we were there for almost half a year. I literally sold my guitar to have some extra cash." 


Sometimes, though, it takes hitting rock bottom to realize you have so much more to say. "I had all of this free time all of the sudden, and I was like, I can’t really go home. I can’t really do anything. All of my possessions are in storage." 


Catterina at Avant Garden in Houston, TX

Thus, "Four Twenty One" was born: "I bought the [guitar] that I had been dreaming about, and it all started coming out." The EP was later named after the hotel room it was written in, a relic of that time in her life.


"Four Twenty One" is a vulnerable project filled with bittersweet chord progressions, soulful melodies, and more-than-honest lyrics. "I try to be as authentic as possible, which is really scary at times. I’ll write stuff down and be like, ‘Don’t say that,'" she laughs. "[But] just say it. What’s the worst that could happen? Besides a lot of people hear it?"


Although scary, Catterina has realized that with authenticity comes connection. I just wanna feel like I made an impact on someone and made them feel slightly seen and understood," she says. "Nothing tops a little kid coming up to you like...I love your music! I can relate to you."


Catterina can only hope for more heartwarming moments like that on her upcoming co-headline tour with Kate Stephenson, which will be kicking off on April 20th. "I’m really excited to be playing in all of these new venues in new cities," she says. "I’m also excited to be playing with my new band. It’s all women, and I’m so pumped."


"We’re all trying to build each other up… It’s already this feeling of ‘we’re together in this,’" she beams. "And they're from all over in Texas, so we're all coming together for it."


Catterina at Avant Garden in Houston, TX

As if we needed more things to be excited about, Catterina also hints at a new project that feels more like "herself" than ever. "People are evolving all the time, so I feel like I’m totally different than who I was when I put out that first one. I feel like it's become pretty evident in the new stuff that it’s a different era."


What can we expect in this new era? More story-based songs. Less produced. Oh, and "this time around, it's more about me." Forget that bummer breakup!


To see what more the future has in store for Catterina, follow her on Instagram @iamcatterina and be sure to catch her on tour. She will be performing April 21st at White Oak Music Hall, and tickets can be found at iamcatterina.com.


For booking information, contact joy@mobagency.com.


Photos and Story by Shelby Mathews




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