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Cat Burns: ‘I think vulnerability is my number one thing’

Mr. Nimbus | 07/31/2023

Cat Burns joins MNEK on Apple Music for an insightful discussion about her time touring with Sam Smith, her songwriting process, the importance of being authentic when it comes to songwriting, and why the likes of India Arie and Tracey Chapman will forever be her idols.

Cat Burns tells MNEK about touring with Sam Smith and singing in front of a like minded crowd amongst people in the LGBTQ+ community…

Absolutely. All of the shows in Europe and in the UK were just so warm and so welcoming. The fan base that have rided with them and stayed with them are just so lovely and so amazing. And all of the shows were just so nice. I think it was a really good fit. Because sometimes, you can support an artist and people are like, “But this doesn’t make any sense.” But I think with Sam and I, it just worked really well.

Cat Burns tells Apple Music about creating her viral hit ‘Go’…

When I first made it, I did not think anything of it. It helped me get a bit of a fan base because it got to about a million, two million streams, which I was really happy with, because prior to that none of my other music had gotten to that. And then yeah, I had put out my other song called Free, which is about coming out. And I think maybe that song opened their eyes to Go and it was already out by then. But then people just sort of grabbed it and ran with it and I just kind of had to catch up with them. Literally.

Cat Burns discusses with Apple Music the importance of vulnerability in her music…

Absolutely. I think vulnerability is my number one thing. All I ever want to be is honest. I think music is so lovely because it gives you that freedom to say and sing things that you might not feel comfortable to just say to your parent or to whoever the song may be about. And for me, being vulnerable and deciding to always be honest within my music, just I know helps people feel seen and heard. And I got so many messages, especially with Free, of people just saying they feel free when they listen to the music. And their general day-to-day life, they’re not able to come out and live their truth, but they can listen to the song and feel that freedom within it. Or they used the song to send to their family member, to tell them and to come out to them. And it was a bit of a softening cushion that the family member had to be like, “Oh, wow, I didn’t actually realize this was such a difficult thing for you to do.

Cat Burns tells Apple Music about why artists like India Arie and Tracy Chapman are her heroes…

I think when I was younger, I was going in to meet with labels and different pieces like that, they would always say Joan Armatrading and Tracy Chapman and India Arie. And I would always think, “But are you actually looking at us holistically and thinking about what that actually means, or are you just seeing a Black woman that plays guitar?” And it’s like, “Oh you’re kind of earthy so we’ll just put you all into that bracket.” And then I guess now I’m a few more years into my career, I do get and kind of accept those kind of comparisons. And I definitely think my hero was India Arie and Tracy Chapman as well. I think what they did, and just seeing two Black women being unapologetically themselves, writing from a vulnerable place, just having that freedom and space to do that and wearing what they wanted and their experiences in the industry. I know in India Arie always talks about how intense and hard it was, but I think definitely them too.

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Written by Mr. Nimbus

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