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Spotlight Interview with Cate Tomlinson

A fresh release from Cate Tomlinson is a brutally honest and straight forward single that takes an edgy pop feel and brings it into a slightly aggressive and boundless approach that allows the artist to get a few things off her chest.

"Hurt You" is a killer track that showcases a freedom in songwriting as Tomlinson lets it all out and shows no hesitation to letting the one who hurt her how she feels.

This is what makes great music. Just that blatant honesty and being able to say things in song that you can't really otherwise. For whatever reason, the artist spun that emotion into such a subtly alternative pop style that it quickly becomes incredibly addictive.

You find yourself wanting to know the whole story. And that is something that can grab you and not let go for a while.

Her vocals have just the right attitude and show touches of swagger and raw emotion as she proclaims, "I'm fucking mad at you".

The music has what sounds like live percussion and the song has loads of floaty backing vocals and it all has this cinematic tonality to it at times.

The way she describes the things that happened is perfect. It lets you picture it all and in real time it seems.

It's amazing where being hurt can take you. Hoe it can drive you.

We're sorry about what happened to Tomlinson but at the same time, we wouldn't have this single without it. So, props for taking that and spinning into something like this.

RAG: Okay so let's start with "Hurt You". This single has an emotional drive but still kept its pop sensibility. Where did this track come from?

I had this comically bad experience with a guy I liked—the song pretty much explains what happened in general and the bridge is like a step-by-step itinerary of the night. Since it was so specific I made sure I didn’t exaggerate anything in the rest of the song. I was upset and it felt like everyone knew, which made me feel kind of powerless, but the process of writing and releasing a song about it was gratifying and became the one positive thing I could hold on to after this situation. Everyone in both our friend groups know what it’s about, and until now I’ve never released anything with the intention of having the person it’s about hearing it, but I had a lot of fun with it.

RAG: I'm hearing some great styles on this song. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

I grew up on Taylor Swift, so I’d say her older music has had a big influence on me. Lately I’ve been taking a lot of inspiration from Lana Del Rey, Lenny Kravitz, and Mazzy Star. I’m starting to get into a more pop/rock sound and I’ve really been enjoying that.

RAG: So how did this all begin for you really? When did you fall in love with making music?

When I was in third grade, I got some of my friends together and made a band, and I would write songs for us. I stopped writing for some reason when I got to middle school, but during my freshman year of high school I got un-asked to a dance (I know) and started writing again. In high school, songwriting was more of a creative outlet for me, and I didn’t really see myself going for it as a career. During my senior year, I had what I like to call a fifth-life crisis; I had just turned 17 and kind of realized that I was never going to achieve what I truly wanted unless I put myself out there. I’ve always loved music and writing my own stuff, but it took going through that revelation for me to fully commit.

RAG: What's next for you as an artist?

I’m working on a new EP this fall, which I’m pumped about. I also have a couple shows coming up and am gonna be performing as much as I can around LA while I’m here.

RAG: What inspires you to write a song?

I’ve thought about this a lot and I would say the bad things that happen to me are where my best songs come from. I’ve written about having a crush or liking someone before, but the songs I’ve written that have had the most impact on my perspective and have resounded with other people the most have been about my more powerful emotions, like anger and feeling betrayed and getting screwed over. I’ve had more unsavory experiences with boys than good ones, so that’s what I draw from. But as long as I’m writing good songs about them, I’m okay with that. haha.

RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

Working out, cooking, and reading. And hanging out with my family and dogs. Lately I haven’t been in the mood to go out that much. I’m kind of burned out from the school year so I’ve been lying low a little bit.

RAG: Who are you listening to right now?

I’m really into Cocteau Twins and Ethel Cain right now.

RAG: Are you doing live performances?

Yes! I have a Breaking Sound show at Adults Only on July 13th, and I’m playing at Hotel Cafe with Jesse and Friends on August 3rd!

RAG: This single seems like a big undertaking. What kind of advice might you have for other up and coming artists out there?

Just be honest and honor your feelings about your experiences, cause there are probably more people than you think who have felt the same as you.

RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

I am so excited to play more live shows and thank you to anyone who listens to me.

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