She should come with a disclaimer: "Caution: Completely uninhibited
sixteen-year-old -- anything can and will happen!" And it did. Needless to say,
this interview is a little... outside the box.
When Greg & I walked into the interview room, we were a couple of minutes late
(due to a previous interview). Katy immediately jumped up off the couch where
she was waiting and started (jokingly) throwing pillows and cushions at us! It
just got crazier from there...
Too much happened outside of what was said for the interview to make sense with
words alone. So, in an attempt to capture as many of the nuances of this
interview as possible, I've included a lot of contextual notes (in parentheses).
Bear with me...
R: Well, I hate to do this, but we have got to go over the whole teenage
thing. I know you're probably sick of it, but... K: (Starts throwing things in mock frustration.)
R: (Laughs.) I know at the chat we did, one of the things you said was,
"God doesn't put an age limit on a willing vessel," and I like that a lot. I
also like the fact that you seem to be more of a genuine artist, than... some
other folks we won't name, who seem more like they're being "handled."
K: Like they have no idea what they're doing until someone tells them
what to do?
K: (A cell phone starts to ring elsewhere in the room.) Is that mine?
(It's not.) Being a teenager... How old are you guys?
K: (The phone is still ringing.) Okay, well you know what it's like,
still. It's agony, and dramatic, and... (The phone rings again, and she turns
toward its location.) SHUTUP! (Instantly composed again:) It's full of things
where you're not supposed to open your mouth but we do anyway. We say
everything; we say all the wrong things at all the wrong times. Meaning we like,
say bad things, when we're really supposed to be saying right things. I don't
know... I'm just all about being myself. "Beeeeeee yourself!" And being a
teenager, and being an example as much as a teenager can be. Not having the
whole world on my shoulders, I understand that...
R: Yeah, don't you ever feel like there's a lot of pressure [just being
in this industry]? Because I know even adult artists sometimes feel... K: I have like, zits on my back! (Laughs hysterically.) That's sick, huh?
It's sick! (Laughs.)
R: (Trying to ignore her.) I mean, adults feel major pressure because if
you're a Christian artist, then you're not supposed to sin, and you're supposed
to be this big, shining light... K: You're supposed to live like this, you're supposed to wear that. Don't
paint your nails black!
R: Is it harder for you? You seem to take it more in stride, though. K: I don't take many things too seriously. Because I know that it's just
like people, and people can be stupid sometimes. What I take seriously is my
music, what I believe in, who I am, both who I am personally and who I am in
Christ, things like that. The rest of it... is a bunch of hype! I'm just me.
I'll come up and say "hi" when I'm in Nashville, or wherever I am doing concerts
and stuff. But I'll be coming home, you know, "Hey, what's up! I'm Katy Hudson!"
And they're like, "We don't care. We really don't."
R: I remember at the chat, you said it would be hard to get you out of
California for this week. K: Yeah, I can always come up here, but I live on the coast. It's five
minutes away. It's beautiful, dude. Santa Barbara is so beautiful. So, I don't
know... I just like the whole feeling of being able to be original and to be
creative all over again when I go home. Because I'm not around people who know
me [as an artist], and I'm not around musicians. And in Nashville, it's a 24/7
thing: every street corner, everywhere, you know somebody. And I like going, by
myself and just being alone and being quiet.
R: That's a good thing... K: Yeah! R: ...that you're able to "retreat."
K: Yeah, it's good for my creative sense. And just for life, being
normal, being a normal teenager, it's really good. I mean, it's not like the
fans are mobbing me now. Because I have no fans. (Laughs.)
R: (Laughs.) K: (Whiny voice:) I have no fans! R: That's not true. You had plenty of fans at that chat. K: (Overly sincere:) Oh, thank you. R: Of course, most of them were from California, but... K: Thank you. You're... mean.
R: (Laughs.) Well, you know. You threw a pillow at me. K: (Suddenly switching gears, she turns the tables and asks me a question
about when I worked at About.com.) How do you feel, having your face on the Web
R: I hate it. K: Just kind of, like this. (She does a hilarious impression of how my
old photo looked.)
R: (Laughs.) I hate it with a fiery passion. I've had like four photos on
there now, and every single one of them has looked so stupid.
R: What's something that you'd like people to know about yourself that no
one has ever asked you about? K: Umm... Okay, I think showers are a waste of time.
R: (Laughs.) K: I really do.
R: (Still laughing.) Like, does that include baths, or would you just
prefer nothing at all? K: Nothing at all!
R: That's not the kind of thing I'd be telling people. K: Okay, well don't tell them that. I just think, it's like you wake up,
and with a shower, it takes me like an hour to get ready. Without a shower,
fifteen minutes. So I'm just like, dude... can't do it.
R: (Greg & Robin are both hysterical.) K: I don't care if I'm playing in front of a million people tonight, I'm
not taking a shower. (Whispering:) I really did take a shower.
R: (Laughs.) Okay, let's move on.
K: (Laughs.)Who have you interviewed so far today?
R: We just got done talking to Kevin Max. K: Oh my gosh, how was that?
G: We were talking about you, actually. We told him we were going to see
R: Yeah, we told him you were a firecracker. K: What'd he say?
R: He said to say hi to you. K: You're so blowin' smoke, dude!
Really! We told him that's where we're going next, and he said to say hi to you. K: Really?
R: Yeah. K: (To the publicist in the room with us:) Hey Melissa, where's a Bible!
(Laughs.) Did he really?
I am totally serious. Yes, he really did. Absolutely. K: That is so cool. I absolutely love him. I love Kevin Max.
R: Okay, getting back to the questions... Tell us how you write songs. Do
you write the lyrics first, or the music first, or do you write them together?
K: I have no format. I am actually a free bird.
R: Are you a perfectionist? K: No. Well, sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I have to be so artistic,
that a regular word can't just be like "cat." It has to be like, "a female kitty
R: (Robin & Greg both laugh again.) K: (Laughs.) Something really exaggerated. I'm like, I just have to be
artsy-er than others. But that's iffy, sometimes. Basically, I don't like
writing sessions. I can get something out of it, but I don't know if it has any
heart to back it up, or any substance to back it up. I basically write what I
feel. I basically write when I feel. Whether that's on a jog -- because usually
when I go jogging, I take a notepad. 'Cause I'm listening to music and looking
around, and I'm just like, "Everything's so beautiful! Oh my gosh!" And I do
that, and... and I write music to Kevin Max. (Laughs.)
R: (Laughs.) You know he's married, don't you?
K: Yes, I do. He's beautiful, though. Isn't he beautiful?
R: I told him how old you are. K: Really?
R: Yeah. He asked. K: (Long pause as she tries to figure out if I'm being serious... Then
she laughs.) That is so wrong!
R: He did, I'm serious. K: That is so wrong!
R: So how long have you been performing music? I mean, I know it's been a
while, hasn't it? K: No.
R:Well, I know you didn't you start like a year ago... K: I am not one of those girls that says, "I learned to sing right when I
learned to talk. I started harmonizing when I was four and a half." I'm like,
"Right! See ya later! I was still on the bottle!" (Laughs.)
R: (Laughs.) K: Yeah, dude, I started when I was nine.
R: Really? K: Well... thirteen.
R: (We all burst out laughing.) K: I started... humming. (Laughs.)
R: I'm guessing it wasn't in the shower. K: (Ignoring me.) I picked up a Carman track. That's honest. "River of
Life" by Carman. That's all I ever grew up on, was Christian Music. Picked it
up, because my sister started singing, and I copied every little thing she did.
It was actually her tape, but I stole it. So I took it and I practiced it and I
performed it before she did. And my parents got me lessons, and then around
thirteen, I just got focused. That's why I am here today, because my parents...
R: (Greg & Robin both start laughing, and then she starts to laugh.) I'm
sorry. We're just never sure when to take you seriously. We keep waiting for the
punchline! K: But I really started getting serious when I was thirteen, and the
church gave me a guitar, and writing songs, because I was so fed up with
everyone being like, "Oh, I'm fifteen and I have something that I have to say."
And I'm like, "Really? Then write it! If you have something to say, you sure as
well can write it." And that's all I have to say. And goodnight!
R: I don't even know what question we're on anymore... (Laughs.) K: (Laughs.)
R: I think that ended in a different place than we started from. What do
you think about all this, this Gospel Music Week stuff? Is it good? Is it a
necessary evil? K: I love it. I really do. And I don't get people. Everyone's always
like, (whiny voice) "All the hype at GMA, man..."
R: That's what I hear. But I really haven't seen that much. K: Yeah, I don't know what the deal is, because everyone's all stressed
out, like "Oh, I have to talk to people." And for some reason, everyone is
someone they're not. And I am just completely blatant, like I don't really give
a flip. You know, if I don't like you, you're gonna know it. With the love of
Jesus Christ, you're gonna know it!
R: (Laughs.) I just remembered one other thing I wanted to ask you. How
long do you want to do this? Is this like, your life-long goal? Or do you
eventually want to move onto something else? K: I'm trying to live a day at a time. I mean, I have plans, but God
looks at our plans, and He laughs. I want to do this, this is what I want to do.
What I like to say, this is what I like to end with.
R: (We laugh again.) K: I'm serious! (Laughs. Then she grabs the tape recorder and speaks
right into it, very slowly.) If you are listening to this...
R: This is not going to be on the radio... K: (Laughs.) It's like so funny because everyone is signing these
fifteen, sixteen-year-olds. That's the market right now. And I'm just like,
"Yeah, you may have signed me to be a Christina Aguilera, but I'm doing this for
me and God. I'm basically doing this because it's my time now. I didn't do this
because you had some kind of idea that I would be somebody I'm not." That's the
deal. It's like my Joan of Arc. For Joan of Arc, it was her time to do that
then. It wasn't just because she wanted to show off, shake her pants, you know,
flap her feathers just because she was young. God had called her for that time.
And He's called me for this time, so I've just got to take a hold of that.