Updated: Sep 8, 2019
Nick Jones talked with UP(st)ART member Anna Katori to hear about who inspires her and how she got into music!
Nick Jones: What’s your main art?
Anna Katori: I am a Pop/R&B singer and songwriter.
Why or how did you decide music is what you wanted to focus on?
It just kind of happened. I was always a super expressive kid and I always needed some kind of outlet for that. I did some theatre as a kid, then ended up on the pre-professional track to being a ballet dancer. Around age 15 I was injured and had to quit ballet, so I turned to musical theatre and writing, and over time it became clear that singing and making music was my passion and my gift. So, after graduating college I moved to LA to pursue it more seriously.
What do you want out of your art?
I'm still discovering the answer to this question more and more every day. I can't always explain why I want to sing and create, other than that it's just like an itch that I have to scratch as often as possible. But I know this: I want to connect with people. I want to use my instrument, my channel to bring beauty and healing to the world and to reach and empower people. My deepest desire is just to create and perform and share that with people and bring people joy and inspiration.
What do you want other people to get out of your art?
I want to make people feel good, I want to make people feel safe, loved, inspired, empowered.
Who are your main influences?
My biggest influence with singing is Ariana Grande, just because I discovered her at such a pivotal time in my life where I was shifting my focus away from my dance career and really being forced to discover the uncovered parts of myself and what my passion was. I've also just followed her journey for so long- her singing, who she is and what she's all about really resonates with me. But I have so many other influences including Madonna, Regina Spektor, Imogen Heap, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Lorde, Lady Gaga and Kehlani.
Favorite project from them and why?
From Ariana, I would say Sweetener because that album really catapulted her to superstardom and also changed the game of Pop in a way with its messages of healing and female empowerment. I am really inspired by her constant ability to take an extremely painful circumstance and grow from it and make beautiful art.
Where are you from?
Originally from Lexington, Kentucky.
Why did you leave your hometown?
I left first to go to school in upstate New York and then to move to Los Angeles to pursue music.
What’s your favorite thing about your hometown?
The people- my family, my friends, my arts community there.
Why did you decide to live at the Harvard UP(st)ART Creative housing location?
I decided to live at Harvard because I really like all the different creative spaces it offers between Harvard and Hobart. I also love the vibe, the people and the location- it's close to a lot of great neighborhoods for shops and restaurants.
Favorite amenity of UP(st)ART?
The recording studios!
Favorite moment you’ve had living with UP(st)ART?
So many. I'm kinda an UP(st)ART veteran, haha. But I would say some of the moments that stand out to me most are those spontaneous nights when people get together and just jam and more and more people start to join in and sing or play an instrument or even dance. It always evolves into something unexpected and interesting!
Interview by Nick Jones
Follow her on Instagram @annakatori
Follow UP(st)ART on Instagram @upstartcreative