Monday, March 14, 2016

INTERVIEW: Kate Vargas

 Kate Vargas is grabbing everyone's attention with her single "Call Back the Dogs." The simple blues riff is buttressed by Vargas' distinctive voice and casually graceful lyrics. Vargas was gracious enough to take a moment to reflect on her varied influences, all of which can be heard in the song.

What (or who) were some of your earliest influences?

I suppose whatever kept my interest or made me feel something was an  influence. The earliest “whats and whos” off the top of my head: playing in the dirt, the sun, coyote howls, hot air balloons, Roald Dahl, the stars, Annie Lennox’ “Walking on Broken Glass”, the smell of roasting chiles, tire swings, forts and, strangely enough, Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Whom do you model yourself after stylistically?

It’s a tough question. I don’t consciously model myself after anyone but, there’s no doubt, that my sound has been shaped by nearly everyone I’ve ever been drawn to. 

How do you prepare for a performance?

If possible, I get pretty quiet. I meditate, do yoga or workout. I do my best to keep myself balanced, so that I can be present for the gig and not have my mind elsewhere.

 If you could perform with anyone in the history of the world, what would be your dream concert lineup?

I feel like a broken record whenever I mention Nina Simone and Tom Waits, but there they are. They have both had a profound impact on me so, I would always choose those two.

In the history of the world?! Jeez. My dream lineup for this very moment would be, in order of birth date:

Hildegard von Bingen
Robert Johnson
Tito Puente
Bob Dylan
Otis Redding
Bonnie Raitt
The Triplets of Belleville (the actual animated sisters, in their later years)
Johnny Flynn

What is the most important thing you'd like people to take away from your music?
Just take something. What’s most important to me is that you take something, what you take is none of my business.

Kate Vargas -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, iTunes

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that "Call Back the Dogs" was Vargas' debut single, which it's not. I also changed the image at the artist's request.  

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