Kat Auburn

A Look Into the Life of Kat Auburn
by Xiola Schneiderman
June 2021

Milwaukee's Kat Auburn

Milwaukee's Kat Auburn

Kat Auburn is an upcoming artist in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area that is not only artistically talented in music, but in speed painting as well. During her years in grade school, she describes herself as a band geek, and later on in her 20’s dabbled in karaoke. It wasn’t until 2016 when Kat finally emerged in the music world and started making her original songs. This started when she found the love of playing the ukulele, which then led to learning the piano and writing music. It was important to Kat to start playing events whenever possible, so she focused on booking gigs at various coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and farmer’s markets to get acquainted with other Milwaukee musicians.

For Kat, it’s more about the journey rather than the destination. “Something I love about my journey as a singer are the happy accidents and serendipitous opportunities that found me along the way.” One of Kat’s big breaks in her music journey was when she accepted an offer to work with Saint Kate the Arts Hotel as a summer-long gig back in 2019. It was unexpected that day as she had just stopped in looking for directions while being lost in the middle of downtown Milwaukee. Kat discovered that she loved the stage so much from this opportunity that it gave her the final push to quit her day job to start fully pursuing music and art.

After years of performing live at local gigs and starting to write her own music, Kat decided it was time to finally pull the trigger and release an album that hit close to home. Her debut album, Soul Composed, started coming alive in January of 2020. Kat worked with Oconomowoc producer, Matt Spransy, to professionally record the tracks and officially launch her music into the world. She raves about the experience and having the opportunity to work with Matt. This project is close to Kat’s heart since the tracks are so personal. Specifically, “Dear Momma” because it was written based on the perspective of childhood Kat since her mother was sick and couldn’t be there for her the way she needed. The emotions and personal story in this song makes it Kat’s personal favorite from the album, and it actually resulted in her and her mother growing closer. Kat hopes that the song resonates with others who grew up with an absent parent.

It wasn’t easy for Kat to take a step into the music industry, and one of the most challenging parts of emerging in the scene was feeling the weight of comparison to other musicians. “It’s important to share what you make because there is no one who sees the world and expresses themselves in the exact same way as you. And even though not everybody will love what you create, there will be many who will.” With these words of wisdom, Kat feels she can express herself fully, and also shares this advice with her high school art students.

Her wise words don’t end there. Kat also shares that her key to success is rest and balance to maintain longevity of happiness and joy. She utilizes this motto with her own life as she has the task of balancing her personal life along with her full job of being a high school art teacher. Oh, and don’t forget her music career in the mix. With this busy schedule, Kat has learned to accept that not every opportunity has to be taken so there can be room to relax and reset to stay balanced. Since school is out, Kat is taking time for herself and truly finding a pace that can work with her busy lifestyle.

Although this summer may be restful for Kat, this doesn’t mean we won’t see anything new from her. With plans of performing at Summerfest, and dropping an official music video for her song “Dear Momma,” she has plenty to keep her busy while she finds the rest and balance she needs to keep producing. We can also expect to see new collaborations with other artists in the future. As she’s mainly been a solo artist so far, she’s looking forward to creating beautiful collaborations with other local musicians.

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Kat Auburn
CD: Soul Composed