Interview: Kathryn Dean on new single 'Bad Girls Make The News'

Kathryn Dean is back in the music headlines with her latest single "Bad Girls Make The News." It's her first release of 2017 and it's an attention-grabbing pop track that will have fans buzzing before her EP of the same name arrives later this year. You can watch the newly released lyric video for the song by using the media player included with this article, and download the single on iTunes. AXS conducted an email interview with Dean to discuss what makes her one of the pop voices to listen to, and her extensive tour plans this fall.

AXS: Your current single is also the title track from your upcoming EP. What can you tell us about the record and how it's different from your last?

Kathryn Dean (KD): I think my new EP Bad Girls Make the News better represents my musical style and what I have to say than even [her previous EP] Hit the Lights did.  There is a really great range to this album in terms of message and mood content. The songs on my last album were written from ages 17 to 19. Now that I am 21, different subject matter appeals to me and my lyrical content and voice have matured. I think there is a song for just about everyone on this record. There are some songs that are more vulnerable, some that are very romantic, some that are more fun and upbeat, and some about taking power back. I really love the dynamic instrumentation of these songs and I was also able to have a lot of fun with harmonies and background vocals, both loves of mine.  My favorite tracks are always the most recent ones, but if I had to choose: "I Burn I Rise" and "Broken Home's Daughter" for their emotional impact (as I have been so happy and proud to see at our shows) and "Bad Girls Make The News" and "Come Get" for their badass sexiness.

AXS: Is there a different message you want to convey with Bad Girls Make The News?

KD: My primary source of inspiration when writing songs is strong emotion. Songwriting has always been a very cathartic process for me.  I feel so lucky to have found such an effective way to process the world around me. The world is not always easy to come to grips with and I am hoping that my music will have that same valuable impact on my listeners. I would obviously like my listeners to enjoy and connect with every song I write, but in terms of messages, one that is found throughout the EP is the idea of not letting someone else's actions define you. While it is easier said than done, try not to derive your sense of self-worth from someone else's opinion of you. At the end of the day, you've got to do you. Some of my songs say that more playfully and some more assertively!

AXS: You've got a lot of live shows planned, so what can we say about the tour and any other plans to promote the EP?

KD: Right now I am focusing on touring and sharing my new music live. We have the new EP to share with fans at those shows. We are also promoting "Bad Girls Make the News" on radio and through streaming services as well as a lyric video on YouTube. Finally, we are hoping to begin pitching some of my new songs for publishing on TV and in movies. I have played a lot of incredible venues over the last several years but there are so many more that I would love to play. My bucket list currently includes the Troubadour in Los Angeles, which I will actually get to play on Aug. 29. I am also excited to be performing at The Crocodile in Seattle, which has such a rich music culture and history as a city. That said, the crowd and its energy are truly what makes a venue great and so even the smallest club in the smallest city can be a great venue.

AXS: What would music fans find on Kathryn Dean's personal playlist?

KD: From a songwriting standpoint, I am inspired by the depth and poetry of Mumford & Sons' lyrics as well as the focus on storytelling in Carole King's songs. From a vocal standpoint, I am inspired by Stevie Nicks and fellow alto Tracy Chapman.  I have a very specific vocal warm up playlist that I run through before I need to sing either in the studio or live.  That includes everyone from Ed Sheeran to Sam Smith to Maroon 5 to harder rock based on the part of my voice that needs warming up. For fun, I love Fleetwood Mac, Mumford and Sons, and an odd eclectic mix of songs old and new.

AXS: What was the last great concert that you've been to? What made it stand out to you?

KD: A few years ago I saw Ed Sheeran and was blown away. It was just him, his guitar, and a looping station and he brought the crowd to its knees. When I watch people perform, I typically study them for technique since we share the same profession. With Ed, I was so captivated by his talent and the experience that all I could focus on was how he was clearly put on this Earth to perform. That is such a rare experience.

"Bad Girls Make The News" is now available on iTunes. Below are Kathryn Dean's upcoming tour dates with tickets available here:

Aug. 20 - Spokane, WA - The Bartlett
Aug. 21 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
Aug. 23 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
Aug. 25 - Berkeley, CA - Cornerstone
Aug. 26 - Petaluma, CA - McNear's Mystic Theatre
Aug. 29 - West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour
Aug. 31 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern
Sept. 1 - Las Vegas, NV - Santa Fe Station
Sept. 2 - Phoenix, AZ - MIM Musi Theater
Sept. 3 - Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
Sept. 6 - Oklahoma City, OK - Tower Theatre
Sept. 7 - Tulsa, OK - The Shrine
Sept. 8 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
Sept. 9 - Austin, TX - One World Theatre
Sept. 12 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn Birmingham
Sept. 13 - Chattanooga, TN - The Revelry Room
Sept. 14 - Athens, GA - The Foundry
Sept. 15 - Blue Ridge, GA - Firefly Music Festival
Sept. 17 - Tampa, FL - The Attic
Sept. 19 - Gainesville, FL - High Dive
Sept. 23 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Sept. 26 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
Sept. 27 - Richmond, VA - The Broadberry
Sept. 29 - Raleigh, NC - Stag's Head Music Hall

For more on Kathryn Dean, visit her official website.