Five Questions With Katie Ditschun

Canadian jazz-pop artist, Katie Ditschun is back with the release of her new single, “Here We Are”, from her debut album, Spare Skirt.

Recorded in Ottawa, and featuring some of Eastern Ontario’s best jazz musicians, the track and album feature Ditschun on vocals, piano, and ukulele — a nod to the singer/songwriter’s self-described style of quirky piano pop meets serious jazz notes and thematic, explorative story-based lyricism.

“My songs are about relationships — of love, and of those often confused for love,” she explains of the album’s overall notion. “I’m particularly interested in situations where people lack self-knowledge, or gain greater awareness about oneself, or one’s place in the world.

‘Here We Are’ speaks to the feeling that there’s some distance between what your life is and how you thought it would turn out, who you thought you’d become, or where you thought you’d be.” 

Check out the video below and find out more about Katie via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

I’d love to! My name is Katie Ditschun. I like chocolate, dogs, and polka dots. I’m a jazz-pop artist living in Alexandria, Ontario. I grew up in Brantford and started studying classical music so young that I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t able to read music. There was always music being played at home and musicals were favourites on family movie nights. In my twenties, I ventured to Berklee College of Music and began my journey into learning and loving jazz. Last year I released my debut album, Spare Skirt. I live and breathe music as a songwriter, performer, and private singing and piano teacher.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

I’m inspired by different songwriters and styles of music, so what I write today may sound very different from what I will write tomorrow. I do quite enjoy using more “jazz chords” because of the increased harmonic complexities they can provide, but I also challenge myself sometimes to really keep it simple. But that’s also me — mixing things that don’t obviously go together, like sad lyrics to an upbeat, happy melody, or a pop sound with some jazz or blues notes creating tension. Ultimately though, my goal is for my songs, my stories, to speak to the life experiences of others. No matter your age, life is complicated and hard, and I hope my listeners see themselves reflected in my work and find comfort knowing they’re not alone.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

Yes, I’m doing a solo show in Conestogo, Ontario at the beginning of April. I also perform frequently around eastern Ontario. I think of my shows as an opportunity for people to come together, relax, and enjoy music. In addition to my original songs, I sing a variety of covers, jazz standards, and numbers from musicals, so it’s quite a potpourri. I like to mix it up and show my love for various styles and songwriters. My performances are intimate. I use storytelling and banter to create a rapport with my audience.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

That’s a tough question! Apart from my new video for Here We Are, I’d tell people to listen to Firefly, the first track on my album, Spare Skirt. It’s got a fun groove with an eclectic combination of percussion instruments, a plucky double bass line, and some great imagery. Anyone who has ever suspected that they’ve missed out on something important in life can relate to it. People are always tapping and singing along to this one. 

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

In my teens, I spent a lot of time listening to Sarah McLachlan, The Barenaked Ladies, Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Alanis Morrisette, so when songs of theirs come on, I’m always singing along. I’m also a fan of Joni Mitchell, Michael Bublé, Serena Ryder, Matt Dusk, Sienna Dahlen, Little Miss Higgins, Holly McNarland, and many more…!

Connect with Katie Ditschun:

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