Kat Edwards wants to be heard

Interview by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

Young and hopeful.

At 19 years old, Kat Edwards is excited about how much time she’s got left to grow and evolve her career.

The Hobart-dwelling singer has already scored supporting gigs for artists including Julien Baker and Alex the Astronaut, and filled festival line-ups at Falls and Party in the Paddock.

Now, she’s releasing a new single – an emotional, empowering track called ‘Good Girl’ – and has plans to play BIGSOUND and tour the country with Melbourne artist Didirri before the year is out.

We caught up with Kat to chat getting your foot in the door, festival energy, and being a good girl.

Talk us through how you got into making music.

I got into music through my brother, really. I started playing the guitar with him, and he taught me a few chords. Then I took it up myself after that. I learnt online how to play certain songs online through YouTube and Google, and I’d always play covers. When I was 16 I started writing my own music and really got into the local music scene in Hobart. That’s when I met a lot of local musicians and I actually felt, “I really want to do this as a career”.

Hobart is a pretty unique part of Australia. Do you think living there has affected your work?

Definitely, in that, I feel really supported. There’s a lot of local people wanting to have a jam, and they tend to want you to get gigs so you can get your foot in the door. Also, the scenery of Hobart is just really inspiring to be around.

What’s different about ‘Good Girl’ compared to what we’ve heard from you before?

I think ‘Good Girl’ has a lot more confidence behind it, in the writing and in myself as a person. It shows a bit of fierceness which I don’t think people have heard from me before. In terms of sound, I’ve had higher production support so it’s also a lot more advanced.

Where does that confidence come from?

I think I get confident when I’m feeling some sort of strong emotion. Particularly for ‘Good Girl’, I was getting fed up with someone who wasn’t treating me right. And that frustration somehow gave me the confidence to say, “Hey, this is not right. I deserve better.” Obviously, you gain more confidence as you get older and grow as a person.

The phrase ‘good girl’ itself is arguably kind of loaded. What does it mean for you in the context of this song?

I feel as though, for women everywhere, we have been told to be good girls and do the right thing, and not to arc up about situations. For me in that song, it’s sort of like I’ve been so good to this person for so long and done the right thing and kept my mouth shut until now. And now I’m standing up and doing what’s right for me. It’s meant to be empowering in that way.

The accompanying video is really striking. What was your process for coming up with the concept?

I think we just wanted to do something that was visually beautiful, at least for this first song. We all sat down, my team and myself, and just wanted to do something where I come across as confident. I’m sort of embodying the song in a way.

You’ve already supported some incredible artists. How have these opportunities come up for you?

Firstly, they came up because of Triple J Unearthed. I didn’t have any management or a booking agent or anything at the start, and people would find my songs on Triple J Unearthed and reach out themselves. One of them was Jordie Lane, who was coming down to Hobart and asked if I wanted to support the show. Porch Sessions reached out themselves, too, when they were having Julien Baker play. And then through that, I was able to find management and a booking agent soon after.

You’ve got BIGSOUND coming up soon. How does a festival show compare to any other gig for you?

I definitely think there’s a lot more energy behind a festival show because you expect people to be there. When you’re supporting you don’t know whether you’ll be playing to a room full of five people. But at a festival it’s like okay, there’s probably gonna be at least ten people watching. It’s a bigger stage, better sound. It’s just all those little things that get you excited to play.

Who are you most psyched to be sharing the lineup with?

Ooh, I’m excited to see Stellie. She’s going to be awesome.

What’s next for you?

We’re gonna record a new song the day after my birthday, and that’ll be out right before or after BIGSOUND. Then just trying to get into the industry and doing more of this kind of stuff. I mean, this is my first interview really, so that’s exciting. Just dealing with building blocks for the rest of the year, getting songs out and being heard.

Good Girl is out now.

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