Interview: Katelyn Brown

by Ceylan Kumbarji
Interview: Katelyn Brown

Katelyn Brown is a graduate, writer, former pop singer, wife and most recently, a first-time mother. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She’s had an exciting few years, from getting married to having her daughter with husband Kane Brown; the couple are one of country music’s greatest love stories. Since they got married in 2018, it’s been a wonderful time for the duo as they’ve continued to tour the country together for Kane’s music and have even welcomed a beautiful little girl into the world.

One thing people may not know is that before Katelyn and Kane met, she was in the midst of launching her own career. She then realised that she wanted to try another side of music and found out more about music management side of things through a course at Berklee College Of Music. “I thought it’d be beneficial for both of us to really understand the industry,” she tells us. “It definitely made me more independent and confident. I learned everything from the legal side, to publishing, to songwriting.”

We caught up with Katelyn during the last few weeks of her pregnancy to find out what the journey has been like for her, how her music ambitions have changed, her biggest inspiration and the key piece of advice she is going to give to her little girl…

“I’ve been watching my body go through all these changes and it’s just amazing what the female body can do. We’re about to be young parents – it’s so fun and scary all at the same time. We’re young, have lots of energy and are travelling a lot. Now is the perfect time to start a family.” – Katelyn Brown

Taylor Magazine: What did you want to do as a career when you were growing up? Did you have a dream job?

Katelyn Brown: When I was three years old I was doing auditions and musicals and I was a nerdy theatre kid. I was so into Broadway; my mum and I used to take the train up to New York almost every weekend, either for an audition or to see a show. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to do it, but music has definitely always been my passion. I played sports but I never loved it as much as I did the arts.

Taylor Magazine: You studied at Berklee College of Music. Thinking back to when you first applied, what was it that inspired you to do a music management course and how was that an experience?

Katelyn Brown: I’d always just done the arts and performing side of music and I’d never done the business side. I was at a point where I wanted to learn the business side because I was working with so many people in the industry and I had to trust everything that they would tell me or the decisions they were going to make. I didn’t have the knowledge to argue or do my own thing, and I had to trust what the “experts” told me was right or wrong. Kane and I both met through music, and when we started dating and he was doing music as well, I thought it’d be beneficial for one of us to really understand the industry so that really inspired me. It definitely made me more independent and confident because I knew what was I talking about. I learned everything from the legal aspect, to publishing, to songwriting. I loved the creative side, but I really enjoyed learning the management side too.

Taylor Magazine: So, you were an artist before you met Kane. What kind of artist did you want to be?

Katelyn Brown: I love RnB and soul – I’m such an old soul! I was singing more pop songs with my manager, that was just the route that was most popular and what you’re supposed to do. I just liked to make music and my favourite part about being an artist was being in the studio. Performing really wasn’t my favourite part but it’s part of the job. It made me so nervous and I was extremely intimidated by it. I really loved the creative process, writing, working with other people and coming up with ideas.

Taylor Magazine: If you ventured into music again, do you think it would be more of a behind the scenes role than being an artist?

Katelyn Brown: Honestly, I don’t think I’ll go back to performing. If I get back into music, it’ll be working in the studio and writing. I’ll leave the performing part to Kane! Every now and then, it is cool to get up and perform so maybe once in a while but I think I’m more of a behind the scenes girl. Performing is a high, with all of the nerves and the adrenaline and then once you get off stage you’re like, “Oh my god that was amazing, I want to do it again!” But the anticipation, the days leading up to it, the rehearsal – it’s very stressful. I give all the performers out there so much credit because you have to have a certain personality and be a certain type of person to be able to handle that pressure.

Taylor Magazine: What did you find was the most challenging part of being a new artist?

Katelyn Brown: I wanted to put out music that I really felt and songs that I really connected to, which was RnB and soul. With the music industry, they want you to be mainstream and say, “Well that’s not going to play on the radio, so you need to do this type of song.” It’s hard because you want to be successful in your career and you want to advance, but at the same time you want to sing songs that represent you, what you’re comfortable with and what you love to sing. That was a big battle for me. 

Taylor Magazine: Absolutely, especially when you write your own songs too. What’s your songwriting process like?

Katelyn Brown: I’ve always been a writer, I’ve got four notebooks next to my bed right now! I buy notebooks constantly. One is more of a journal so I write down my day, others are more for projects and ideas. I’ve always been someone who needs to put it down on paper and it helps me understand my feelings; if I’m happy or upset about something, I write it down and it becomes so much more clear. When I was songwriting, I would write a song in about ten minutes. It came so naturally to me. All I’d need is one of my friends there and they’d start playing a melody on the guitar or piano, and words would just start coming out of me. It was so therapeutic. I would leave a writing session and feel like a weight was off my chest. I’ll definitely revisit songwriting in the future. I haven’t written full songs but I write down ideas and I write down words and phrases that pop in my head.

Taylor Magazine: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment so far in life?

Katelyn Brown: Definitely finishing my degree because I started it and when I got signed when I was 18, I dropped out of college and I was pursuing my music career. For me to go back to school, it was more that it was something I really wanted to accomplish and I’ll have forever. It was really hard to motivate myself and put myself back into school, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. 

Taylor Magazine: Exactly, and no matter where your career takes you, you’ll always have that behind you. Tell us about your journey with Kane with the baby. Let’s start at the beginning – how did you met?

Katelyn Brown: We met when I was living in Orlando, Florida and I was working on my music career. Kane was just starting out with his music career, and we met through a producer who we were both working with at the time. He was doing a show and I was in the studio in Miami working, and the producer was like, “Hey, I’m working with this other artist and you should come up here.” It was so early on, it was nothing like life is right now! The first tour he was on was with Florida Georgia Line. He had one bus and there were ten of us on it – all guys. Me and him shared a bunk, and if you’ve never been on a tour bus, then all you need to know is that they have tiny bunk beds! When we got in there, we were not moving for the night! We put our dog at the bottom of our bed and we did that for over a year. It’s so crazy to think back, but it was so much fun and we made it work. When you look back on how much has changed you think, “How did we ever do that?!” It made great memories and it was awesome for our relationship, coming from that to where we are today, it’s really cool to look back on.

Taylor Magazine: This is your first pregnancy; what’s the experience been like for you and how have you found it?

Katelyn Brown: It’s definitely an experience! It is my first one and just watching my body go through all these changes, it’s amazing what the female body can do. It’s so crazy! We’re about to be young parents which is so fun and scary all at the same time. I feel like my instincts will just all kick in and I’ll know exactly what to do. We both wanted to be younger parents, because we both had young parents. His mum was 18 when she had Kane and raised him as a single mum, and my mum had my older brother when she was 21. We have a really close relationship with our parents; my mum’s my best friend, so I want the same kind of bond with my daughter. We’re young, have lots of energy and are travelling a lot so right now is the perfect time to start a family. 

Taylor Magazine: How have you dealt with this new found fame? Kane has his own fan base and following, but so do you now. It’s probably not the most natural thing to be sharing your life with thousands of people but it must be rewarding too?

Katelyn Brown: Social media is a really cool thing, but it can be great and horrible at the same time. Because I was doing music before Kane and I met, people have stuck with us through our journey – they know who we are and how we’ve changed. We love social media because we get to connect with so many people and we love sharing our lives – it’s really fun for us, even though you get the occasional negatives that try to bring you down. Kane’s so humble and we’re super normal. When we leave the house, we just go to our usual stores and the same restaurants that we’ve always loved to go to. At the end of the day, it’s honestly a blessing. I love that we can reach so many people and hopefully have a positive impact on them. It’s like a whole other family!

Taylor Magazine: Definitely, it’s a great way to connect and share your lives. Obviously you both travel a lot too, what’s the hardest thing about being on the road?

Katelyn Brown: Right now, it’s being pregnant and going out on the road is hard. I need to sleep in one position, but when the bus is driving at night it bounces you around so it’s really hard for me to get comfortable. But I love being on the road. I love seeing new places and cultures in different cities!

Taylor Magazine: Do you guys have any plans to come to the UK?

Katelyn Brown: Yeah! We’re actually coming at the start of next year. We’re so excited!

“I think back to my relationship with Kane and how we didn’t think we could become any closer, and now we’re going to have this little girl that’s half of us. He’s so protective already and we’re naturally becoming parents. – Katelyn Brown

Taylor Magazine: What are the things that you’ve learned about yourself during the pregnancy? 

Katelyn Brown: I think everything that I do now, I don’t think about myself, I just always think about her needs and I’ve become very selfless. It’s all about her and I love it! Then I also think back to my relationship with Kane and how we didn’t think we could become any closer, I feel like now we have this little girl that’s half of me and half of him. He’s so protective already and we’re naturally becoming parents. Emotionally it’s a rollercoaster, one day you’re like, “Oh my god, am I going to be good at this?” but the next day I’m so excited.

Taylor Magazine: You’ve announced your daughter’s name, Kingsley Rose, which is so beautiful! Did you go back and forth with different names?

Katelyn Brown: At the beginning of my pregnancy I thought for sure I was having a boy and I loved the named Kingston. It felt really strong and powerful to me. Then when I found out I was having a girl, I thought, “Well, why can’t she have that too?’ So, instead of Kingston, we decided to make it Kingsley. My middle name is Rose after my grandmother, and I thought it sounded so powerful and strong. That’s all I want for her – to be independent and speak her mind. We’ve gotten a handful of comments on social media about naming our daughter Kingsley… But, in a time where equality is so important right now, who cares? I feel like that name is going to represent our daughter perfectly. 

Interview: Katelyn Brown
Photo Credit | @katelynbrown (Instagram)

Taylor Magazine: We’re all about self-care and being the best version of yourself – what are your favourite things to do to relax?

Katelyn Brown: Go get a massage. They’re my thing; any time we get off the road, the first person I call is my massage therapist. I love to take baths, I love candles and also organising! When we’re off the road, I’m all about being zen. 

Taylor Magazine: Who are you most inspired by? 

Katelyn Brown: Definitely my husband, for sure. I don’t know how he does it and he does it so gracefully. The coolest thing about him is who he is on stage and how people perceive him, he’s no different at home. If he has an interview or he has a show, he’s just the same. When I used to do music, everyone used to be like, “You have to dress up, what are you going to wear? You have to put heels on.” There’s such a different standard for women. With him, people are like, “Maybe you should wear a nice shirt and jeans,” and he says, “I’ll go in my sweatpants.” I just think, “You know what? I love you.” He is so cool. He isn’t trying to be anything else other than himself. He’s constantly on the road and doing shows, and he does it with so much grace and stays true to himself.

Taylor Magazine: Absolutely! It’s so great that you both inspire each other. Tell me something people don’t know about you? A fun fact or something really random!

Katelyn Brown: Something I have dealt with since I was a kid and a lot of people don’t know is that I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when I was 10. I have to eat really healthy and stick to a strict diet – I haven’t had red meat in over 10 years! I was really sick and always at the hospital as a kid. I’m very holistic, so I didn’t want to take all these different pills and medicines so I changed my diet and did a lot of research on how to lead a healthy lifestyle. If I want to feel good, I have to eat a certain way.

I’d love to get involved with a charity that helps with the condition and would love to help children and adults who are dealing with the same thing, because I know how hard it is. I honestly don’t know if anybody really knows about that other than my family. When I was going through it, I was bullied at school. I’d have to go to the nurses’ office twice a day and kids would be like, “What’s wrong with you?” I couldn’t go to sleepovers because of the medications I took that made me feel ill. I definitely felt like an outcast in school and I really feel for any child that has to go through that because it was a really difficult time for me. 

“I’ll tell my daughter to walk her own path. You don’t need to follow anyone else. There’s no right or wrong way to live your life. I really hope she is independent and confident in everything she does.” – Katelyn Brown

Taylor Magazine: Thank you for sharing that! It’s amazing that you want to take that experience and help other people. What advice would you give to your sixteen-year-old self, and your daughter too? 

Katelyn Brown: I would tell her to walk her own path. You don’t need to follow anyone else and there’s no right or wrong way to live your life. When I was growing up, I had all these people influencing me and telling me how I should look, or what music I should sing. I wish I had said, “I don’t care, I’m going to do me.” So, I really hope my daughter walks her own path and is independent and confident in everything she does. 

Taylor Magazine: What’s next for you?

Katelyn Brown: I’ll just be focusing on being a mum, which will be a big learning experience. In the next five years, I’d like to get into more of my own projects and get back into being creative. I have so many ideas!

Follow Katelyn on Instagram to keep up to date on all things The Browns!

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