It’s okay to vent out the negative energy in music – Interview with Oli Katai
Oli Katai represents the young generation of musicians and song-writers here on Drooble. Trained both in piano and guitar he started writing his own music when he was just 12 years old and hasn’t stop ever since – be that tracks, classical music or film soundtracks his music is all over the place just like his creative process is intuitive and always varying. So, let’s introduce you to Oli in this interview.
Hello could you please present yourself and tell us how did you become a musician?
My name is Oli, if you haven’t yet met me on Drooble. I started my path as a musician in second grade or so when I first began learning the guitar and the piano. I first began writing my own music when I was about 12 years old, which was about six years ago. I started out by writing a lot about the things that went around me, drawing inspiration for lyrics from the hardships I had. I still do that a lot, but the more “musical” side of things like chord progressions and back tracks have definitely become more advanced as I learned more about music.
Introduce your current musical projects, what makes each one special for you?
My most recent published music project was titled Forever Heaven, which is a synonym for “Kingdom Come” in the Catholic denomination. It really was a way for me to explain the difficulties I had being raised in a traditional Catholic church, which by itself is okay of course, until hypocritical people try to force the concept of “needing to go to heaven” down your throat. I have also begun writing pieces for classical music on my own, since I have always been a fan of that, and I have also written up several pieces in the past few months for friends who made short films.
How do you find the inspiration to keep making music?
Sometimes I actually ask myself this question. So many times I have asked myself “What if I just stopped? I could just put down the guitar one day and never pick it back up. I could find a new career.” But the thing is that I’ve spent years on music. I’ve spent years to be good at what I love, and I still have a huge desire to have my music mean something to people. I can’t just throw out that dream.
How is your local music scene in your perspective? Do you feel like you belong there?
My local music scene right now is still in San Antonio. There is such a wide variety of local musicians here that you never know what you will see at a music fest. Country, rock, punk, metal, rap, and everything in between. Of course you get those jerks every once in a while who treat you awfully, but most of the musicians you meet down here are super friendly and supportive of everything.
What is your all-time favorite record and how did it change you as an artist?
Shinedown’s ‘Us and Them,’ hands down. It was one of the first albums I bought on vinyl when I was a kid. Shinedown’s music, especially in that album, taught me how it was okay to vent out all that negative energy into music, into something that people could relate to in their own ways.
What are your favorite software and hardware tools for music production?
I guess I’m a bit simple, I still use my Mixcraft 7 software to produce music, and it can especially sound good with my Teenage Engineering OP-1 synth. I have to thank Brandon Guerra for influencing me to decide on getting one. I also use my LTD-EC 1000 guitar.
What is your songwriting process like?
I’m literally all over the place. I simply cannot sit down and write a whole song beginning-to-end, like I know many musicians who can. If it’s a lyrical song, I usually write that and the backtrack separate. I usually have an idea in my head, like a certain feeling I have that I want to elaborate or a certain event. I start out by writing them in phrases in different days, using symbols and expressions to say exactly what I want before I put it all together and edit it. Same thing with the instrumentals, just kind of using my chord progressions and experimenting and editing until I like what I have.
Out of all the live shows you played, which one was the most memorable, and why?
Definitely Unplugged At The Grove in Austin. It was in June 2018, a lot of people had come out to see it, there were a lot of emotions, especially from me. It was very up-close and personal, yet a lot of people still fit in the venue. A lot of them told me afterwards how much my music meant to them.
What is your biggest musical goal?
Honestly, I think I’ve already met my biggest musical goal. Not to be cliché or anything, but I don’t care much about the hits or money as much. I’ve always wanted my music to actually mean something, and every time someone tells me their interpretation of one of my songs, or tells me that my music has helped them through something, it helps remind me I’ve been successful.
How has being on Drooble helped you as a musician?
Drooble is a really great social site for musicians. It is independently its own community that gives people their own chance to finally kick back and talk about their own music, their own experiences, and ask for advice without worrying about how many hits they have or how popular of a musician they are.