Julie Kathryn

HOMETOWN: Lake Placid, N.Y.

INFLUENCES: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills & Nash

ALBUM: Black Trees, out now

WEBSITE: juliekathryn.com

Julie Kathryn studied classical piano, guitar and songwriting. But by the time she graduated high school she’d chosen an entirely different career path: social work. Kathryn received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Columbia University. But the pull of performing couldn’t be denied, and she pursued both passions—serving as a social worker by day, singer by night. “I wasn’t sure what path to take,” she admits. “I did advocacy work for the homeless, drug addicts and criminal defendants who didn’t have any money. After interviewing clients in the [noted New York jail] Tombs during the day, I’d go out at night and play gigs.” Kathryn wrote or co-wrote eight of the 11 tracks on her debut album, Black Trees. “Social work informed my music because it helped me get in touch with my emotions and be empathetic,” she says. “But when I stopped feeling spiritually connected to it, I realized I could serve a higher calling through music.”


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