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21st September 2023

CATE: “I have a hard time writing songs about things that haven’t happened to me”

CATE sits down with The Mancunion to talk songwriting, living and touring with Maisie Peters, and Manchester
CATE: “I have a hard time writing songs about things that haven’t happened to me”
Credit: Caity Krone

It’s all happening for CATE. When arranging our Zoom call, I was told she had time to squeeze in a chat between writing in Nashville and going on tour in Australia. Hence, from the garden of her London home, she’s buoyant and excited about what’s going on in her life.

CATE moved to London three years ago from her native Abbotsford, Canada. “I moved here three years ago because I really wanted to do songwriting more, and there’s not as big of a scene in my hometown. I came here on a trip and just fell in love with it. I kind of thought I was gonna live here for six months but now I’m here for three years.”

It’s fair to say CATE is thriving with the move. Her career has taken off, as she has amassed millions of streams on Spotify and taken her live show around the world. She also supported her housemate Maisie Peters on her headline tour. “I just said she had separation anxiety and that’s why I went! […] Tour was basically like being in our apartment, but just doing our jobs too which is really nice.” Imagine going on tour with your housemates.

“We all have roles in the house, like ‘who’s the dad’ and ‘who’s the mom’. It’s funny, on tour that kind of got exaggerated. Maisie was like ‘Go to bed’ and ‘Brush your teeth’, and I was like ‘okay!’. It was really cute.”

CATE’s music channels emotion beautifully, and she has an enviable knack for storytelling and capturing lived experiences. It feels like being sat down with a close friend, both celebrating highs and venting frustrations, all of them honest. “I have a hard time writing songs about things that haven’t happened to me. I’ve tried doing the whole folklore thing, where Taylor Swift allegedly wrote songs about different movies and books or other people in her life. I definitely can do that, but I prefer to write songs about my own life. I love storytelling, and I feel like I got that from country music, and how much they love telling a well-executed story. I guess that’s how I fell in love with music.”

CATE will play Manchester Academy 3 on the 13th October. She previously played the Deaf Insitute last November. “I remember growing up, when I was 13, looking at pictures of The 1975 playing that venue. I thought [Manchester] was really cool,” she says with the emphasis on the word ‘cool’, coupled with a laugh. “It’s a whole new show. […] I’m playing a lot of unreleased songs and have a whole new intro, and a lot of surprises. And Elle Coves is opening up for me, that’s really amazing.”

After the UK Tour, the plan for CATE is to keep releasing singles. “I never got the chance to just put out singles, I was always doing a project, so I kind of just wanted to have fun this year and see what it was like experimenting with my music. […] I just wanted to put out songs to test what I can do, so I put out a lot of fun music this year.”

CATE’s discography is building, and so is her following. Catch her moving crowds in intimate spaces before you have to fight for tickets. 

CATE plays Manchester on October 12th. Tickets here.

Alex Cooper

Alex Cooper

Head Music Editor and Writer for the Mancunion. Once walked past Nick Cave in Zagreb. Enquiries: [email protected]

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