Kate Gillespie is turning heartbreak into storytelling with her new single, “On The Floor”. The Toronto indie-folk songstress wrote her new single in March of 2020 when the realities of the pandemic became vividly clear. The song exposed the flaws in her relationship and brought on a longing for better days. But this isn’t Gillespie’s first song about the intimate parts of her life. Her songwriting has been vulnerable and transparent ever since her 2016 debut “Hold on My Heart.” Moving to Nashville two years prior gave her the inspiration to create music that her listeners could relate to. Her debut EP Pink & Gold is evidence of just that, receiving over 800 thousand streams on Spotify to date.
What are some of your earliest memories as a songwriter? When did that spark ignite?
One of my earliest memories as a songwriter goes back to when I was 14 years old and caught mono, so I was staying at home with no voice for two weeks. I had been singing for years before that, but since I couldn’t practice any covers, I wound up passing the time by writing and playing the piano – two things that were new to me at the time. So, thanks to mono, I guess?
Has moving to Nashville changed or impacted your writing style? Or how you think about the process in general?
It certainly has – I originally moved to Nashville wanting to write nothing but country music, and although Nashville is the place to be for that genre, it is also a place for any genre you could think of. It was my classmates at my university that introduced me to folk and indie music, and pretty well all of my favourite artists today.
When you decided to write On The Floor, was it difficult to put this particular experience into words? Or did it just flow out of you?
It came together quite quickly because it compiled a lot of the thoughts I had been having non-stop for the couple weeks leading up to writing it. I wrote it all in one day, about a month into the pandemic, when it was starting to sink in that every day was going to look the same for a long time. Lots of spare time led to lots of spiraling thoughts, which then, quite easily, led to a song about said thoughts.
Did you have others in your life who were going through similar experiences? Was there anyone you were able to relate to as you wrote the song?
Well, my boyfriend at the time, who I was living with, I’m sure could relate to it, since it was an experience shared between the two of us. Going stir crazy and starting to wonder whether the problems we were having had always been there, or whether they were a result of the circumstances of the pandemic and spending 100% of our time together.
How was the recording process different for you during the pandemic? Did you need to adapt or find creative ways to create and mix the song?
Well, fortunately for me, the person I was living with is a producer and has a studio, so it made for a great quarantine project. A bit awkward, since it’s clearly about him, but a fun thing to create together regardless.
Are there plans for an EP to follow up on the single? What can you tell us about potential new music?
There are indeed! I’m very excited to be working on an EP that I plan to release this summer. Thematically, it’s different than what I’ve written before. They’re a collection of breakup songs, but they’re nice breakup songs this time, which is something I’ve never felt like writing before. Never thought I’d see the day but here we are!
As you grow your fanbase and reach new corners of the market, what do you want new listeners to know about you and your music?
That I’m not afraid to express vulnerability and touch on awkward subject matters, and I hope that can offer a new angle of relatability to my music. I mean hey, I’m making an album about my ex-boyfriend that is produced by my ex-boyfriend, so I’m more than prepared to get uncomfortably honest.
Rebecca here- a Niagara native now living and breathing music in Toronto. As a Ryerson journalism graduate and a self-proclaimed music junkie, I’ve been fortunate enough to write for brands like Andpop and Really Records, and now Canadian Beats. My tastes in music are all over the map- Stevie Wonder to Fall Out Boy; Miranda Lambert to One Direction – which is why I spend almost as much money on concerts as I do on rent. But I have no regrets. If you like my ramblings you can also find me on Twitter (RMattina5) & Instagram (rmattina93).