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Sydney solo artist Katie Whyte has just released her debut EP Where The Ocean Starts. Katie spoke to Tomatrax about her latest release.

What inspired you to become a musician?

I started writing songs and playing in bands when I was a teenager. My curiosity in music only grew as I got older and I’ve felt very lucky. I’ve been able to continue pursuing this interest of mine. I’ve met such lovely people along the way and music has been a very special part of my life even just considering music from this one angle alone.

When did you write your first song?

I think when I was fifteen or so.

Was it hard to pick what made it onto the EP?

No the choice of songs was a easy process for us – I co-wrote this EP with a friend of mine Robert F. Cranny who has worked with Sarah Blasko, 78 Saab and Ben Salter. We have written together for a few years now and we felt that these songs, from the collection we have written together, seemed like an obvious choice for the EP as we consider them to be our strongest pieces yet.

Your songs mix thoughtful lyrics with interesting musical arrangements, when writing songs what comes first, the words or the music?

I think the melodies always come first when Rob and I work together. But nevertheless, these melodies only survive, or are selected for a song, if we feel we have appropriate lyrics to tie to the melody. So our order doesn’t necessarily take away from how much weight we give to lyrics when we write songs.

What was it like to work with Robert F Cranny?

I have really treasured the opportunity to work with Rob. I’ve been a big fan of his work for years, and we actually met because I insisted to buy him a drink after a show and to tell him exactly that. Funnily enough! I love his approach to song writing and arrangements and I’ve learnt a lot working with him.

Your bio talks about the songs hanging in the same sonic universe, was this an important thing to achieve with the collection of songs on the EP?

Yes this was important to us and something that we aimed for, but even so, I would like our next project to have a more consistent theme when it comes to arrangements. I feel the EP showcases varied arrangement styles, understandably a very natural approach to the first release of a project whilst we are experimenting and still refining our sound. But I thoroughly enjoyed writing these arrangements for the EP with Rob.

 What was it like to play at the Hong Kong Rock Club?

It was a fun experience! We are very grateful for Sam having us involved. And I’m curious to see the HKRC’s further clips – Sam endeavors to have every video shot in a unique location. Surely he’ll have to start getting quite creative with the choice of locations soon!

Do you ever listen to your own music?

Yes I do sometimes but in a different way I listen to other music. I listen to it in a very analytical way and consider what could be improved, and what works and what doesn’t work so well… yes in a very analytical way.

What other music do you listen to?

At the moment I’m listening to The Go-Betweens, PJ Harvey and Nancy Sinatra.

What do you have planned for 2013?

I’m looking forward to playing the Sydney circuit with our band Katie Whyte & The Pales. Also I’m looking forward to doing a lot of writing this year for me and Rob’s next release.

Listen to Katie’s EP below. Check out her website or her facebook page to find out more.

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