Kathleen Smith is a singer-songwriter/producer whose music has been heard on radio, TV and film. She is also a music supervisor for Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and the popular podcast & Netflix show – Song Exploder. In this episode, Kathleen discusses her new record ‘Medicine’, which she wrote – and taught herself to produce – in an old barn in New Mexico. She unpacks her early artist years – from seeking validation from an extractive industry to finding sovereignty – and the significance of deep spiritual practice on that journey. The dance between being a visionary and present reality, and the importance of listening to our hearts – the interface between source and the horizontal plane of human existence.
Listen in as they discuss:
- [00:03:30] Kathleen shares her excitement for her new record “Medicine” and compares the more stripped down sound and process to her previous record “Love Superstar” – which involved recording at the famous Sunset Sound studio in Los Angeles with a Grammy award winning engineer.
- [00:07:00] Kathleen’s initial fears and uncertainties around audio engineering and producing her own record.
- [00:11:03] The internal, heartfelt nature of her process and the importance of not abdicating power in her music production.
- [00:15:06] Kathleen reflects on her early years as an artist, expressing both her desire for validation from the music industry as well as her critical perspective of the industry and not wanting to be a part of it, acknowledging these conflicting parts of herself.
- [00:17:02] The way the music industry is extractive, dominating, and primarily concerned with profit rather than supporting artists.
- [00:18:46] Kathleen shares that seeking validation from the industry has diminished over time, particularly through her work with Chela in the previous year.
- [00:20:00] The significance of deep spiritual practice for staying in her sovereignty, including prayer, connecting with the goddess, engaging with feminist texts and connecting with sisterhood.
- [00:21:00] Chela shares her own experiences of shifting her relationship with her work and art as she enters her forties.
- [00:22:40]The experience of envisioning the future and how it can be both exciting and challenging when the reality takes time to manifest.
- [00:23:34] The evolution of our consciousness that can only happen with time and the invitation to go through life, death, rebirth cycles that can be excruciating but necessary for growth.
- [00:26:10] The transformative nature of reaching late 30’s, early 40’s for women. How challenging patterns and behaviors become increasingly intolerable at this stage, prompting individuals to either confront them or engage in avoidance strategies.
- [00:29:28] Kathleen expresses how she used to perceive life as something external, always just out of reach. However, she has since realized that the messy and imperfect present moment is what life truly is.
- [00:34:22] How Kathleen tends to see things about a decade ahead, particularly in relation to her art and expression, describing it almost as if the spirit drops crumbs to guide her.
- [00:37:59] How our hearts are the interface between the vertical alignment with source and the horizontal plane of human existence.
- [00:40:26] How following one’s heart may not be easy but she encourages individuals to be a bridge between heaven and earth and to bring down the magic of their soul and share it in the world.
- [00:43:10] Kathleen plays the song “I can see for miles” from her new record.
- [00:49:31] Kathleen’s two current leadership edges – one that doesn’t scare her which involves orienting towards service and the second involves trust in her personal leadership and vision, especially when the financial investment feels scary.
- [00:52:02] All the spaces and places you can find Kathleen’s work.
More from Kathleen
Kathleen’s album MEDICINE will be released 10.10.23 digitally worldwide. There will also be a very special limited edition vinyl that folks can pre-order, and there will be some album release celebrations in a few select cities. Sign up for Kathleen’s mailing list for updates on all of this here.
The ‘Freak Flag’ podcast with Kathleen Smith is available on all podcast platforms. Check it out on Apple Podcasts here.
– FOLLOWING YOUR HEART (AND ALSO CRITICAL THINKING) MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE! Ya know, just a thing I care about and try to share about a lot 😉
Kathleen Smith is a singer, songwriter and producer whose music has been seen and heard on the radio, in TV and film, and by audiences around the US when she comes through on tour. She is also a music supervisor for TV shows and films on Netflix, Hulu, and Showtime, as well as the popular music podcast (and Netflix TV show) Song Exploder.
For her most recent record, Medicine, out later this year, Kathleen moved from Los Angeles to the woods of New Mexico to write and record in an old barn, teaching herself to engineer, and producing, playing and singing nearly the entire record all by herself.
Her whole ethos is to create work from her heart, in the hopes that it might help people connect to their own hearts and inspire them to make their own art.
She lives in Santa Fe, NM with her husband, Shawn, and her white piano, Princess, and she occasionally interviews “cool fuckin’ people doing cool fuckin’ shit” for her own podcast, Freak Flag.
Find Kathleen Here