MORE Indie Invaders / POSTED BY: KINGSOFAR

Look out for Cat Rian, the Country Pop artist, and her latest single “Read The Room.” With lyrics urging to “Read The Room, It’s the least you can do,” Cat Rain fuses pop country with indie pop, offering a straightforward yet irresistibly catchy slow-burning track.

The track could easily fit on Spotify’s Country Roads Vibes or Pop Perfection playlists. Cat Rian hails from Las Vegas and spent her formative years singing and performing on the Las Vegas strip. She served as the lead singer of resident bands at the Delano Hotel and the MGM Signature.

In 2015, she partnered with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, directing proceeds from her song “You Are Strong” to the cause. She took the lead in the “Anti-Bullying School Tour,” where she not only performed but also helped school children, teaching them the lyrics of “You Are Strong” while discussing topics like self-love and empathy. In 2017, Cat became the youngest artist invited to sing an original song at the Las Vegas Composer’s Showcase at The Smith Center. While at Stanford University, Cat Rain served as the lead singer of “The House Band,” releasing a self-titled EP in 2022. Recently graduating from Berklee College of Music, her music blends vocals with trap/country beats inspired by Morgan Wallen and delicate and honest lyricism.

Can you share more about the inspiration behind your latest single. “ReadThe Room,” and how the blending of pop country with indie pop reflects your
musical style?

There is this saying that goes something along the lines of: the ones you don’t want to come back, always do. This song addresses that in a kind of funny way I think, like you almost wish this person could just read the vibes so you don’t have to tell them you aren’t interested anymore after everything they’ve done. But on a deeper level, it’s also about learning what you deserve in love and seeing loves lost as lessons learned – that point is the driving force behind the bridge. Sonically, the blending of genres is really inspired by my childhood. I grew up in a very musical household, and every day was something different. My parents both love all kinds of music, from Country to Reggae to EDM and everything in between. Because of that, making music that blends different genres feels really authentic to who I am. I recently graduated from Berklee College of Music, and my master’s thesis was creating music that blended a country pop writing style with hip-hop beats, so that’s the wave I’m on right now.

Having performed on the Las Vegas strip and served as the lead singer of resident bands, how has your upbringing in Las Vegas influenced your music and stage presence?

Performing in Las Vegas had the biggest effect on my stage presence and how I perform. I’ve come to think of stage presence as a way of coping with mishaps, because one of the beauties of live performance is that there are always things that don’t go as planned. Performing in Vegas, there was always that rowdy person in the crowd or a technical difficulty or something of that nature, and I learned to enjoy those parts of performing. Acknowledging those type of things in the mic to the audience is such a cool way to connect with the audience, too. It emphasizes the fact that you are all experiencing this one-of-a-kind, lived experience together. I’m at the point now where I love when something goes wrong at a show – it gives me something to talk about! For example, at one of my most recent shows in NYC, I had a cough attack mid show and could barely sing. I turned it into a joke with my audience and made it a drinking game (the venue was a bar), so whenever I coughed the audience and I both had to take a drink. It was a super fun show.

Your involvement with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the “Anti-Bullying School Tour” demonstrates your commitment to social causes. How do you see music playing a role in raising awareness about such important issues?

I truly think music is a form of therapy. I remember when I first heard “Enchanted” by Taylor Swift – I was a young girl and had a million crushes, and at that point a crush felt like the GRANDEST thing. Taylor took these big emotions, made them even bigger, and made me feel understood. I felt that way again as an adult when I heard her song “Mirrorball.” Feeling seen and heard and understood is such a powerful thing, and that’s how I want my music to help people feel. I think just talking about issues like bullying and the feelings those situations can bring up is so important. It lets people know they are not alone in their experiences. So, memorializing complex, normal feelings in songs is really important to me.

Being the youngest artist invited to sing at the Las Vegas Composer’s Showcase is a significant achievement. Can you share your experience and the impact it had on your musical journey?

Thank you! I’m not sure if I’m still the youngest person ever asked – there are some insanely talented kids in Vegas, some I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring in the past, so I hope not! That performance was actually the first time I ever performed an original song live with a full band, so that was a super significant moment for me. I fell in love with performing music that way – I was 100% convinced that I would never perform a cover or sing with only tracks again (my seventeen-year-old self would be shocked to hear that’s not exactly how things work). But, that experience gave me a new dream, which is always an exciting thing to find. One of my biggest goals now is to be a touring artist. Performing your own songs with a band – sharing your emotions with other people who then put their interpretation of those emotions into one collective experience – there is nothing like the feeling that brings. Its intoxicating.

From your time at Stanford University to graduating from Berklee College of Music, how has your education influenced your approach to music, and what can listeners expect from the blend of vocals, trap/country beats, and lyricism in your self-titled EP released in 2022?

Honestly, I feel like my pursuit of education just shows how chronic of an overthinker I am. I really love learning environments because it gives you something targeted to channel overthinking onto. My education really made me pair my overthinking with analysis – now, I try to pinpoint why I’m feeling a certain way. That’s really what my songs are. They encapsulate a feeling I have, and the lyrics are my attempt at reasoning why I felt that way. I have a song coming out this summer that started from an uncomfortable feeling I had with someone in the car. They were driving and turned the music up, and my thoughts went wild. Did they turn the music up because they didn’t want to talk to me? Why won’t they talk to me? This simple action was a catalyst for this oddly complex emotional thought process, so I made it a song. I realize that may sound a little ridiculous, but sometimes life is just ridiculous. The song that came out of it is kind of ridiculous too – that’s why I like it. The self-titled 2022 EP wasn’t actually part of my solo artist project, that was my college band. BUT, the songs I am releasing right now are part of my debut collection that will be finalized this summer. All of these songs go together, but I am releasing them as singles as a sort of social experiment. From these songs, listeners can expect to be surprised. I don’t want to say “expect the unexpected,” but, yeah. Expect that. I like to make my lyrics oddly specific and have a sense of humor, so it can be surprising when a specific thing that may or may not have happened to you evokes emotion. But I think they do – lyrics can be specific, and that specificity may not apply to everyone – but the emotions it brings about is almost palpable. Complex emotions are a universal experience. Sonically, these songs each infuse elements of country, trap, hip-hop and other genres in different ways. So I think that’ll be surprising for people to hear as well. It’s a really fun yet emotional experience, so I’m really excited for my listeners to join in on this experience with me .

 

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