You know those folks who just make your day better? Katrina Carlson is one of those people. The singer-songwriter is putting the positive back in music with her new record Sunshine State of Mind, continuing a successful career. Katrina visited BFTV recently to chat about the album and how she’s found happiness even through the most difficult of times.
The inspiration for her career came through adversity. When she first discovered music, her passion didn’t exactly fit in. “As a kid, there was no one musical in my family. It was a very business-oriented family,” she explained. “As the youngest of eleven kids, part of your life is just trying to differentiate yourself from your other ten siblings, and I had a built-in audience with such a large family. [Music] was something no one else in my family did.”
That feeling of standing out led Katrina to choose a “more academic and serious” career path at first. After graduating from Brown University, she moved to Washington, D.C. but found herself disillusioned by what she found there. And then tragedy struck – someone close to her passed away. The death, coupled with her feelings towards the political scene, led Katrina to re-evaluate her life. “At a young age I really understood how short life could be,” she said. “And that’s when I thought, ‘I only want to trade my time for something I love to do.’ So I just started pursuing my acting and my music full-time.”
Where others might have crumbled after such a personal loss, or at the very least needed some time away, Katrina came back stronger, and that perseverance is reflected in Sunshine State of Mind. She describes the record “all about your attitude and the way you perceive things. Everyone falls into a position where adversity is just a normal part of life.”
“There’s definitely substance on it and there’s depth,” she continued, “but it’s in general sort of a breezy uptempo and kind of cheerful thing to listen to. That was my intention, is just to put your mind in a place where you can be present and appreciate and be grateful and enjoy life.”
Katrina’s life has unfolded since she became a professional musician. She’s released multiple albums, heard her songs on popular TV shows like Lost and Dawson’s Creek, and opened for the likes of Kenny Loggins, Rick Springfield, Eddie Money and Chicago. “Give The World,” one of the songs from Sunshine State of Mind, appeared in a PSA for the Make Music LA campaign this June. On her second album. Katrina even performed a cover of the Howard Jones hit “No One Is To Blame” featuring Jones himself.
Perhaps her biggest accomplishment, though, is how much she contributes outside of simply making music. A mother of three who’s active in her community, she also brings her refreshing outlook on life and art directly to her fans through a variety of social media platforms. One of these is her Tumblr-based blog, where she not only shares snippets of her life, but also writes about her songs, how they came to be, and the thoughts that prompted them. Reading just a few of her blog entries makes it clear that Katrina isn’t just a successful working artist, but she’s also a remarkable person as well.
In fact, ask her what she wants to take away from this new album, and her answer isn’t about anything it can do for her, but what it can do for others. “The whole idea is just to be kind. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others,” she told us. “Having a positive outlook is so important in this day and age. I just think people need to be kind to themselves and kind to others, and to give. To give with love. One reason that I wanted to be an artist was to give back.” With this new disc, she’s certainly given a little bit of her inspiration to music lovers around the world.
Katrina’s album Sunshine State of Mind is available on iTunes here. You can also connect with her by visiting her official website (katrinacarlson.com) and following her on Twitter (@katrinacarlson).
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.