northern-most tip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is an unlikely place to
breed the warmth of soul music, but for R&B singer Katie
Marie. It turns out to be just that.
According to a local music critic, "Katie's sound takes its genesis from music
born long before she was, but she makes it her own. Katie sings with
soulfulness, even a melancholy that 20-somethings are not suppose to have".
From the time she was young, Katie had a passion for music and expressed this
passion by constantly singing around the house to the music of such artists as
Natalie Cole, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston. After encouragement from her
vocal coach at the end of her senior year in high school, Katie became involved
in an opera called Caveleria Rusticana. This was a production put on by the Pine
Mountain Music Festival. Katie began college the following summer at Central
Michigan University, but the thought of a musical career never left her mind. At
the age of 19, Katie decided to test her vocal ability and recorded a 3 song
demo CD. Not long after the demo was recorded, Katie's Dad passed the CD off to
a local producer/musician/songwriter who has played for Melissa Etheridge,
Public Enemy, and Lucinda Williams, and who's songs have been recorded by the
likes of Jackson Brown. He listened to the demo and saw enough potential that he
decided to set up a meeting with Katie. They met at a local coffee shop in
November 2003 and decided to record a song Bernie had composed with friend
Michael Anderson. Michael had also written a song called "Maybe it was Memphis",
which became a number one hit for country star Pam Tillis. One song led to
another, and over the summer of 2004, the majority of an album was recorded. In
November 2004, the album "Reach for Me", a collection of original pop R&B songs
was released. Bernie Larson was the producer and primary writer for the CD. The
record included songs co-written by Katie herself, and current Paul McCartney
band member Brian Ray, who also wrote the Smokey Robinson #1 song, "One
Heartbeat at a Time."
The first song on the CD, which the album was named after (Reach For Me)
received a great amount of support and airplay in many parts of Michigan. For
the majority of the summer of 2005 after her fourth year in college, Katie
rehearsed songs from her album along with a few cover songs and performed with a
band at a local coffee shop. A week later Katie performed at the Marquette, MI
seafood festival, where she found out that the song "Reach For Me" had become
the second most requested song of the year on the Marquette radio station 107.7
Katie returned to college for a fifth year in the fall of 2005. While she was
away at school, Katie's dad contacted current CBS recording artist PJ Olsson in
hopes that PJ would meet with Katie to discuss her musical ambitions. In 2007
Olsson was nominated for a best surround sound record grammy and received a Mix
Magazine award for best surround sound record. In March of 2006 Katie and PJ met
and decided to work on writing and recording a few songs over the summer.
After graduating from Central Michigan University with a double major in
health/fitness and dietetics, Katie returned home for the summer excited to work
with PJ and fulfill her ambitions of writing and recording more original songs.
Katie and PJ began what was supposed to be a few songs and eventually turned
those "few songs" into an entire ten-song second album. The songs on this album
demonstrate a mixture of musical versatility. They exhibit a combination of
today's soulful R&B and pop feel while at the same time incorporating harmonies
and instrumentation that is representative of the 1970s. "I think music will
always be a part of my life." Katie says, "I would love to stay as involved as
possible and hopefully more opportunities will turn up in the future."
Katie graduated from Central Michigan in 2006 and completed her dietetic
internship in New York City in June 2007, which was her final educational step
in the process of becoming a registered dietitian. She was employed for a number
of years as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes
Educator before making the decision to complete a Master's
Degree in Healthcare Administration. Katie currently works in
healthcare and lives in Memphis, TN, with her husband Brad.