Earl, or Kate Earl to her friends, infuses jazz with pop for the contemporary ear. If you’re not ga-ga over La La Land but still in the mood for some jazz, this Alaskan-born lady is a good place to start. We caught up to talk about her new album, her love for Dolly Parton, and how she derives pleasure from getting half-naked in the jungle.
Disorder: What is your elevator pitch?
Earl: Inventor looking to patent a musician's gurney-inspired piece of equipment which would fit in the back of most touring vehicles called the “Roadie”. I shall not describe further for fear of my intellectual property being stolen. The “Roadie” would also come complete with a bike lock to chain up outside of venues…
D: What are you working on right now?
E: My first jazz-pop studio album with BMG Records.
D: What people, places or things inspire you?
E: Wild people; as in living-in-the-wild people inspire me because they have learned how to live off the land. The land where they live is also inspiring and the things they create inspire me. The function and form of all of these things are so instinctually human compared to the city life I’ve come to lead, where I find myself in a panic if my phone dies and love Uber. I think it’s important to remember and connect with what survival means in a more untouched place on the planet we live on.
D: What artists turn you on?
E: At this time every year, Chet Baker’s velvety voice and delivery of My Funny Valentine. It’s a masterful performance, effortless and so deep you can feel all the times his heart has been broken and pieced back together through the performance. A more recent artist would be Gallant [and] Weight in Gold – on-point writing and vibe. I want to work with that video director. That video looks how I feel music when I really get to sing my heart out.
D: What is your ultimate ambition? / Who do you want to be when you grow up?
E: The answer to both of these lies here: Career wise, to be my own version of Dolly Parton. Being both an artist who can step out as a headliner for the rest of my life or stay home and check the mailbox for royalties other artists have garnered singing songs that I’ve written. She has a reputation for taking good care of her entire family and does a great deal of charity. Family is the most important thing to me. I wish to become a proper matriarch boss lady beside a man I respect, trust and admire, to cherish in love with for the rest of my days. I can’t think of anything better than to be surrounded by love and spread it out into the world through music and blessings.
D: What got you started (the secret of your success)?
E: Billy Holiday, my piano and church choir growing up
D: What has been the biggest surprise/lesson along the way?
E: That I would be brave enough to start my own record label and end up on on the radio. (This is how I was discovered by BMG Records.)
D: Who was your first crush?
E: It must have been Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall. I daydreamed I was the little girl chasing him when he left, who he came back to marry and later died romantically in his arms.
D: What fictional character can you most relate to?
E: Cinderella; I slave over dishes but I also get to go to the ball. And I do believe in Prince Charming.
D: What/where do you like to eat or drink?
E: Most nights I make dinner for my son and we eat at the dining room table. But now and then I really enjoy eating a bowl-orientated comfort meal. A jacket potato, Mac n Cheese, Chilli, or something like that when it’s cold or rainy in front of a movie. Afterwards, I eat cookie dough ice cream out of the carton, because it makes me feel like a kid.
D: Where/when do you feel most yourself?
E: Doing ceremonies in tropical, jungle-orientated locations with my holistic girlfriends. Because wearing less clothing and connecting with my body and a group's laughter and joy and the earth are restorative, and help me remember my true nature and the bliss that is in a star or a raindrop.
D: What is your worst trait?
E: I wouldn’t say it’s my worst – but it’s got me in the most trouble: Assuming the best of people.
D: What do you like the least about yourself?
E: I’ve really worked on loving and accepting myself and appreciating the way I am.
D: What injustice do you hate the most?
E: Extreme poverty, which is the key issue to social injustice.
D: What would you most like to change in the world?
E: You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I wish the world could live as one.
D: What talent do you wish you had?
E: I wish I could be an actress in a musical like La La Land. Because I grew up watching Mary Poppins.
D: What do you appreciate most in your friends/coworkers?
E: Encouragement. Because being a working musician is an endurance game.