Garrett Kato’s Savvy Seven

Garrett Kato 2

The West-Canadian who moved to Byron Bay as a 23 year old to pursue his music dream has come a long way since we last interviewed him. Garrett Kato has now completed national and international tours with Bernard Fanning, Jack Johnson and Kasey Chambers as well as supporting fellow Australians Pete Murray and Ziggy Alberts along the way. If this portfolio wasn’t strong enough Kato’s also recently notched up 10 million streams on 2017’s ‘Take It Slowly‘ and had breakout song, ‘Sweet Jane,‘ feature in the movie Bad Moms – setting him up as an artist with a serious catalogue and proving just how far he’s come.

Kato’s latest endeavour – EP ‘Distant Land‘ will be out on June 14th and has him embarking on a debut headlining international UK/EU tour! So here’s a flashback to 2015 when he was a burgeoning singer-songwriter about to tour with the one and only Pete Murray… read below!!!

1: The best live music venues in my area are…

I live in Byron Bay so there are so many it’s hard to choose. But off the top of my head I’d say Treehouse, Mokha Cafe, Beach Hotel and the Great Northern. I’m sure I’m missing some, but honestly the town is alive with music.

2. The music scene in my hometown is…

Great, all the musicians are ultra supportive and look out for one another. We often tour in groups and almost work like the mob at times.

3. My top business tip for new artists is…

Don’t budget yourself for just an album, because there are going to be double the expenses after the fact. So plan long term with your release and you’ll find it way more effective.

3a. So don’t do it yourself…

Nah, I’d say do it yourself until you can’t anymore. Then when someone takes over you will know if they are doing a good job.

4. In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is…

I think the death of record sales has obviously taken a huge toll on the industry. Streaming isn’t the greatest replacement, so musicians have to find other means to draw income, being live shows or in advertising. Although this has impacted the financial aspect of the music industry, in many ways it’s bringing out some really great acts due to the product of the environment.

5. When on the road, my favourite pitstops are…

I love Brunswick in Melbourne and Newtown in Sydney. I haven’t toured regional territories yet, but I’m sure with Pete Murray’s tour I will have lots to say. (Editor’s note – Garrett will be jumping on the road to open for 33 Pete Murray show dates around Australia in Oct/Nov/Dec)

6. My biggest career mistake has been…

My biggest mistake has been focusing too much on the business and not on the music. Today musicians are expected to achieve a lot on a shoe string budget. We work day and night booking tours and updating our social media outlets that we forget that without great music it’s all for nothing. So now my first priority is the music because that’s my job first and foremost.

7. My best general tip for emerging artists is…

Don’t rush your release even if it feels like you’re going to explode. Timing is very important when releasing music and it could be the difference between success and a flop.

Also don’t chase Triple J or Pitchfork trends… You’ll never catch up to the flavour of the month and most likely come across as false and uninspiring as an artist.
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