Meet Catalina: Nashville’s Soulful Songstress With A Chilean Spark
Nashville’s Chilean sweetheart, Catalina, is a unique artist that flew under the radar with her soulful charm. She began singing at a young age, riding off of the genre diversity her parents introduced her to–from Motown to jazz to classic rock. Having grown up in a family of avid music listeners, it felt only natural to the songstress to follow on this path of composition and performance.
Born and raised in Chile, Catalina made a choice in 2011 to stray from home and move to America in search of more musical opportunities. “It was exciting, but scary,” she shares, reflecting on her experiencing moving to Connecticut as a freshman in college. “I was very nervous the moment my mom and sister dropped me off at college, said their goodbyes, and were off in a plane back home.” Being a freshman in college can be a huge shift for anyone–starting over with new friends, becoming more independent, and having to readjust all at a young age–but for Catalina, it was a much more impressive adventure. “It was a true test of endurance, resilience, and character for me. And I passed.”
After spreading her wings and delving into the deeper parts of her music community, come graduation Catalina chose to migrate to where the music took her–to the heart of the American music scene. “…I had no nerves, just butterflies of excitement because I had done it once, so I could do it again. And I did.”
While settling into her new home in Nashville, TN, Catalina has been making her rounds in the music world with her multifaceted, self-made genre, sprinkling light and passion wherever she goes. Though she has always been a go-getter with her craft, changing her spot on the map had certainly shifted her in the right direction. “I’ve been working on my career for a while… but I had hit the ceiling when I was living up in Connecticut. Moving to Nashville set me free onto the next chapter.”
As any artist can relate, finding your niche in the industry is an ongoing journey itself. Catalina has quite a handful of influences as well, so it is only natural that her sound reflects bits and pieces of everything she’s experienced and resonated with–starting with some rock and jazz from her earliest years as a music appreciator, and picking apart other genres along the way–and implementing them into her own.
“It’s taken me years to really describe my style of music, and I still don’t think I have it down 100%… As a listener, I can’t stay constricted within one genre, which is why when I write I like to sprinkle a bit of RnB here, a pinch of rock there, add [a] handful of soul, so on and so forth.” Further, as if it would be a surprise coming from such a resilient woman herself, she’s drawn inspiration from some of the strongest female artists in our lifetime–Adele, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Natalia Lafourcade, and Jessica Hernandez to throw out a few names. Her mother, though, has been her ultimate driving force in her motivation to persist through her career.
Once a solo singer/songwriter, Catalina has now been working with a full band of musicians in Nashville, facilitating her progress in the industry and adding some spark to her live shows. “I have played and collaborated with both my guitarists and my bassist for years now, but always in different configurations since we never lived in the same place at the same time. Now, the [four] of us live in Nashville and it kicks ass playing with a band. The energy is so much different than playing solo.”
Jumping from solo musician to full band can be a big change for a lot of artists, shifting the writing process you’ve become accustomed to and juggling group dynamics in the studio. Catalina’s newest single, “Blood, Sweat, Tears” was the first instance where this collaboration was put to the test, as opposed to writing it single-handedly from start to finish. “[The song] started as [a] finger-picked guitar riff I had on the acoustic guitar. I then brought that into band practice with me where I worked on it with Jon, Evan and Justin. The backbone of the song came together pretty organically and fast, but it wasn’t until we hit the studio with J. Hall (producer) and Nikolas Blazina (engineer), that it truly took shape into its final form.” With a full length album on the horizon and plenty of tour opportunities to look forward to, we can certainly expect that Catalina and her musical army will being taking over.
Telling an honest tale of her journeys, Catalina’s latest release, “Blood, Sweat, Tears”, is a call to the universe that the artist is a force to be reckoned with. The vibrant guitar leads and exotic drum beats create such a lighthearted groove that has you twisting and swaying your head in sync from start to finish. The song is such a brilliant showcase of Catalina’s powerhouse vocals as well, as she transitions effortlessly from steep and soulful to soaring birdlike notes. Having began as a solo singer/songwriter with an impeccable presence, Catalina shows off her full band with new levels of instrumentation, only accentuating her notable style to a more robust sound.
No pressure, but we’re really excited to see what Catalina has in store for us this year. The world needs a little more soul, a little more culture, and a lot more love and positivity, and Catalina has just enough of all of that, for all of us.
“I’ve put myself out there for you and the universe, so as long as you find a piece of yourself within the lyrics or the sounds, mission accomplished for me. And if you come to a show, I do hope I can make you dance. Every song has a different meaning and message, but overall I just want the listeners to leave with open ears, open arms, and an open mind.”
You can watch the new music video for “Blood, Sweat, Tears” above, and stream the track here. Be sure to keep up with her on social media, too, for information on new music and upcoming shows!