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Rising Stars: Meet Catt McCreary

Today we’d like to introduce you to Catt McCreary. 

Catt, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I started performing and playing instruments very early in life. My mom started me in dance around the age of three and I began piano lessons when I was five years old. From that point on, I loved performing. I received a drum kit for Christmas when I was six, so I started drum kit and classical percussion lessons along with piano. When I was around 10, I taught myself guitar which my mom had laying around. Eventually, I started writing my own music. Although I loved to dance, I gravitated towards being a musical performer and incorporating the rhythm I learned through dance and drumming. 

In middle school, around the time I started writing my own music, my mom and I decided to move to Atlanta from Athens, GA, where I had lived since a year old. I had gotten involved at Atlanta’s School of Rock and transferred to the Lovett School, which had a great music department for both concert band and jazz. Between playing in alt-rock bands with friends, testing out my original music at Eddie’s Attic, and joining the Duke Ellington Jazz Band at Lovett, I was fully indulged in the music industry and loved every second of learning about it. 

Eventually, when deciding where to go for college, it became difficult to choose an avenue of music between jazz and writing my original pop music. Writing and performing my own music was what I felt the most passionate about, which is why I chose Belmont University in Nashville, TN; the national home of songwriters. Ultimately, I wanted to experience a city that is centered around songwriting so I could work to improve my songwriting and artistry. 

Fast forward to today – I have graduated from Belmont and feel that my time in Music City combined with my roots in Atlanta has allowed me to incorporate my soul/jazz background, my love for Atlanta hip-hop, and my love for pop songwriting, to create my artistry as Catt McCreary. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
When my mom and I first decided that Atlanta was the move for me to fully pursue a career in the music industry. We loaded up, dogs and all, drove from Athens every Monday morning at 5 am, eating breakfast in the car, and off to class. Before we were able to move, we would stay in a hotel for the week and drive back to Athens on Friday afternoons, just so I could attend Lovett, School of Rock, and play shows in Atlanta during the week. There was no easy way of moving from Athens, due to various obstacles. Yet, my mom made the sacrifices, financially, physically, and emotionally, to help me do this for my passion. 

There are a lot of struggles in the entertainment industry but I would say, to date, this is the biggest thing either of us has ever conquered. Without making this move and my mom uprooting her life to help me pursue my career, I would not be the artist or person I am today. I found my identity as a songwriter, performer, singer, and person when I moved to Atlanta. For these very reasons, I have stayed in the entertainment industry, developed my brand as it is today, and continuously worked hard to keep improving my craft. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a pop artist and songwriter. As an independent artist, I song write, record, produce, release, and perform all of my music, as well as handle the business aspects of my career. I feel that my influences from jazz and hip-hop in Atlanta, combined with my experiences in both pop and alt-rock have helped me to create a unique sound with my music. I’m most proud and grateful that fusing together my backgrounds from various genres has allowed me to create music from a distinct perspective, while constantly striving to include all of the influences I dearly love. 

It’s been a dream to look back at my acoustic, songwriter shows in 8th grade and my alt-rock bands playing Buckhead Theatre in high school, and see how learning about the industry and finding my brand has blossomed into the performing pop artist I am today. In addition to specializing as an artist, I am fortunate to collaborate with some amazing people, which has afforded me the opportunities to write music for other artists and TV/movies/commercials/etc. I feel that my time in Nashville’s songwriting/publishing scene and Atlanta’s film industry has allowed me to learn and work in those various areas. 

What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is that I used to take storage bins, some of my mom’s notepads, pens, glasses, and one of her blazers, and sit in our front yard playing the role of a “businesswoman.” I would flip the storage bin over like my desk and treat the yard like my office. I’ve always thought it was funny that this was fun to me. Organizing my calendar, acting like I’m running a business and taking calls, selling a product to clients, etc. Even though I didn’t know it on the surface, I had a passion for both creativity and how it connects to entrepreneurship. 

My mom and my grandma, along with a long line of women in my family, are/were entrepreneurs. They are and were innovative, ambitious, strong, and possess(ed) the mentality to never take no for an answer but rather “it’s not that you can’t, it’s just figuring out how to do it.” So, it’s funny to me that, as a kid, I not only looked up to these women, but my favorite activity was to be a businesswoman just like them. It almost makes too much sense how my life has led me to where I am today, a young and “still learning” entrepreneur within the music industry. 

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