Kate Cosentino is a Kansas City-based singer-songwriter. Her latest release is the Smart EP. Kate recently discussed her creative process. favorite songwriters and lyrical inspiration.
Did you come from a musical family? We’re your parents musical?
My immediate family isn’t very musical as in they don’t sing or play any instruments, however they really enjoy music in terms of daily listening and going to concerts. I have a couple of aunts who sing ,but other than that I am the musical “ugly duckling.”
How old were you when you wrote your first song?
I was probably in the 2nd or 3rd grade when I wrote my first song, so around 8 years old. Pretty sure it had to do with dancing and butterflies.
Who are some of your favorite songwriters and why?
Regina Spektor is probably my all time favorite songwriter because she is completely unafraid. She writes about the weirdest things and uses strange vocal techniques and instruments and totally owns it.
Sufjan Stevens. He writes very specific strange lyrics that transport you into the stories he’s singing about and it somehow feels very relatable. It’s unique and relatable all it once, which is really impressive to me.
TuNe-YaRds. Meryl of tune yards writes political and social messages into her songs in an amazing and creative way. She also uses a looper to come up with cool arrangements and harmonies, which I’ve been messing with lately too because of her.
What is your creative process when writing songs? Do you start with lyrics or melody first?
It all depends on the song. I typically have either one line or a subject matter the whole song stems from. Then I play guitar and sing around until I land on something that fits.
What inspires you lyrically?
Stories and puns inspire me lyrically. Any clever phrases or ideas make me immediately turn to pen and paper. However, hearing moving stories from others or my own life inspire me as well. Also, nerdy things like Batman and the periodic table because I can easily nerd out to music.
How often do you find yourself writing songs?
I try to play music every day. I usually goof around with song ideas all the time, but I probably sit down to write a song around once a month. I gather a bunch of ideas constantly though.
What was the first song written for the Smart EP?
The first song I wrote for the EP was “London.” I also made it the first track because it sounds like the beginning of an adventure to me.
What inspired “Moving More?”
My school was having a diversity assembly and they asked me to perform a song about diversity. I decided to write “Moving More” because of that opportunity, but I didn’t want to write the standard “love each other, we are one” song. So I focused on the diversity of people’s problems.
Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?
I live by the idea of making the world a better place everyday by affecting other people’s lives in a positive way. I also live by the idea that if it’s what you love, it’s what you should pursue.