by Sarah A. Peterson-Camacho
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that music runs through Fresno native Katerina Aleksenko’s veins–the artist known as Kat taught herself to play the guitar at the age of 13, and has since mastered a variety of musical styles, from pop to blues to rap. And having performed all over the Central Valley, she has also mastered the art of making her childhood dreams come true.
KRL: How long have you been making and performing music?
Kat: I have been writing my own original songs since the age of 13, and I’ve been performing in public since I was 16.
KRL: What particular genre of music do you perform and play?
Kat: When I perform, I play anything from pop (i.e. Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Meghan Trainor) to blues (Nina Simone, Etta James, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix), and rap mashups (Eminem, The Weeknd, 2 Chainz) to the classics (the Beatles, Linda Ronstadt, Santana, Van Morrison, etc.)… and of course I throw in a few of my own originals.
KRL: Did you always want to be a musician?
Kat: Since I was little, I liked pretending I was a superstar. I would stand on my fireplace floor and pretend I was singing to an audience. Of course, growing older I became a bit discouraged by societal pressures that call for a “real job,” but I knew and still know that music is my love and passion. Being a full-time musician is what I strive to do for life.
KRL: Whose music did you listen to while growing up?
Kat: Growing up, I listened to Alabina, Blondie, ABBA, Alanis Morissette, Dido, Nickelback, the Black? Eyed Peas, Santana, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Sublime.
KRL: Who are your biggest musical influences?
KRL: What is your songwriting process?
Kat: My songwriting process can be very random. Sometimes I have to force myself to stay focused, work in my studio, and come up with something. And some days I wake up with lyrics or a melody in mind, and then I go into my studio and play around with it. One of my songs I came up with while I was washing the dishes, and I turned on the garbage disposal and came up with the chorus for my song “Disposable Hearts.” One day, I was driving and thinking, and in the midst of a conversation I was having with myself, I came up with the chorus to my song “What the Future Holds.”
KRL: Where have you played locally?
Kat: I’ve played in several venues in and around the Central Valley, including The Tree of Life, The Revue, Starving Artist Bistro, 356 Tavern, Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen, and Fulton 55. I’ve also performed at Cornerstone Coffee Company, Fresno Soap Company, the K-Jewel Gallery, the Tower Theatre, The Wakehouse in Reedley, and the Cellar Door in Visalia.
KRL: What inspires you the most? What is the best part of making and performing music?
Kat: I love when I see artists, musicians, or any kind of performer who can spill their guts out to the crowd, who can pull in an audience so that everybody listening can FEEL their story. I love to be able to write a song that can so effortlessly touch someone else’s emotions and spirit, make them smile, and make them cry. Being able to be so vulnerable on stage and letting people in through tears, laughter, pain, or love. Sharing yourself with everyone, unconditionally, is a priceless gift, and that to me is the best part about making and performing music.
KRL: Any upcoming performances or events you’d like our readers to know about?
Kat: All of my performance dates can be found on my website www.KatTheArtist.com . You can also find more about me and follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud as KatTheMusician. I will also launched a Kickstarter on March 20 to help promote and raise funds for recording the rest of my first album I will call Kat’s Tracks.
Check out more local band & musician profiles in KRL’s music section.