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"I am writing for me this time, I am not thinking will this work for radio? or will the US teen market love it? This time I have no questions... I find the purest form of expression is when I simply, write." admits singer/songwriter Kate Akhurst when asked about the writing process for her upcoming album.
When she is not writing for other artists, getting "top 10" chart billboard successes with the multiple albums she has been a co-writer on, or penning tunes for blockbuster films, Kate is sure to be creating her own music, tucked away in her studio in Sydney, Australia.
"Sometimes I need to step away from it all, and not listen to anything" she explains, "because it's in the silence that I can hear my own voice... and that's what songwriting is essentially about for me."
Always experimenting and wanting to open her mind to new possibilities, she found herself drawn to one person in particular who just "got it" she explains, "When I first met Vince Pizzinga it was one of those instantaneous things, we started writing, and never stopped."
Vince Pizzinga is an Australian songwriter/producer who was one of the principle people behind the record breaking success of Australian artist Delta Goodrem.
In 2007, Kate flew to Los Angeles to make her first album "Like Little Red Riding Hood" with him and they later formed the writing/production team "Fiction" who have had worldwide success with the songs they have written for artists such as Ashley Tisdale and The Oprah Winfrey Show singing sensation, Charice.
"I love writing pop songs, it's the best job in the world. And when you hear someone with a voice like Charice's sing your song, it's just something I can't explain..." she says. But it's not always about writing for other artists, Kate has always liked having the balance between writing "a good, solid, pop song" and writing songs "of expression".
When creating her first album in LA, Vince introduced Kate to Sandy Roberton who was so impressed by her he offered her a management contract with his prestigious company "Worlds End". Sandy then scored her a publishing deal with mega music publishers "Warner Chappell".
"Since I was working with Vince, signed with Sandy and Warner Chappell, I knew that I had to be based in LA... so I got on a plane and just did it, I moved to Hollywood." she says.
Almost immediately, many major labels started expressing serious interest in Kate. She was flown to New York to perform private showcases and as a result was offered several recording contracts. However, not completely satisfied that any of these deals would ultimately best serve her music, Kate took the courageous step of "taking the DIY approach" she explains, "we had already made the album, we had self funded everything... so why would I want to risk everything to somebody who wasn't taking any risk on me? It just didn't feel right..."
Soon after her decision, industry journal "Music Connection" featured an article about Kate and her decision to bypass the traditional path of the major labels, utilizing the plethora of new opportunities in the changing face of the modern music industry. "I just think that it is becoming the norm now" she explains, "all the artists I love like Imogen Heap, Robyn, Lykke Li.. they all have their own labels and basically did it themselves".
Kate is currently working on a new solo album in London and LA, using everything she has experienced in the past few years to draw inspiration from, and she is also co-producing the album. "I will be working with Vince, he has taught me so much, he really spent time teaching me about production and sounds... I am really loving this whole new side to the creative process."
One thing is for sure, she is definitely creating a path of her own, following her instinct and letting herself open up to the world of opportunity out there... "I am so excited to write in a new place, a new environment inspires me more than anything, so I can't wait to get to London."