It’s not often a voice comes along that is both sultry and vulnerable, passionate and fierce. But when I first heard the intense voice of Kathleen Burgoon, belting from the small frame of a girl whose presence could only be described as Old Hollywood, I had no doubt as to why she is a regular performer at the Foundation Room at The House of Blues, Sunset Strip
“The perfect pitch and the body of a singer, built for singing.” The words of opera singer and vocal coach Mary Amorpsia, Kathleen’s mentor at AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy). Kathleen’s sound- a mix of R & B, soul, and blues- is rare for girl who only graduated high school in 2008. “I grew up in San Diego listening to a lot of music none of my friends listened to, The Temptations, Michael McDonald, Marvin Gaye. I played my Motown number one hits CD everyday, it did not leave my car in school. As a singer, I was trained classically since age twelve. Even as a child, I would get the neighborhood kids together and put on musicals, so my parents sent me, against my will thankfully, to the San Diego School of Creative Performing Arts. I got to explore every facet of the arts and the ones that stuck with I pursued at AMDA in an integrated conservatory studying acting, singing, and dance through their accelerated program.”
Burgoon began performing at local venues in Southern California and got her first break when she met Grammy nominated producer (for an album with POD) Steven Wetherbee. He produced her first album including the title track Far From Yesterday. “I have bookshelves filled with books of music I’ve written since I was a kid. The reason I think I am meant to be a songwriter is because it just comes to me all at once. I’ve never worried about material. If i feel passionate about something I record it on a hand-held recorder and then I find musical cords that work with it.”
Her next passion project was fueled by a personal loss. “I am a very open person. I tell everyone everything thats going on in my life personal or otherwise. If you are a creative person you have to be able to express anything, things that other people are afraid to say. I had just gone through a painful breakup when my next single Holding On came to me. I performed it at a show and someone saw me and introduced me to Christian Davis of Sly Doggie Records who presented me with my next opportunity to to professionally produce my music.”
“The most important thing to me right now is to keep building a fan base. Of course, I hope to accomplish getting air play and a major record deal but more importantly I want people to become interested in my music. Vocally, I think i have a different sound and I want people to follow my lyrics closely. Id like to have a following like Tori Amos whose fans are very dedicated. I see myself like a Fiona Apple, who influenced me growing up. She writes from a personal space and is really passionate and that comes through in her work which is what I aim to do.”
Both Far From Yesterday and Holding On are currently available online. Her next solo performance at the Foundation Room is set for August 25th, tickets are available online. In addition, Kathleen can be seen at the House of Blues as a part of the The Martini Jazz Show. “It’s a themed jazz night and our group does covers of jazz standards. It’s a lot of fun.” Burgoon is also currently starring in a stage production of Footloose playing Vi, the reverend’s wife, through the Stepping Stone Players theater company in Glendale.
“At some point, I’d love to do musical theater, acting, and singing professionally. But for now, my focus is my music because for me that’s what feels right. The funny thing is that both on stage and when I sing I am dramatic. But as a person, I am more light hearted. I have a really goofy crazy side I only let my close group of people see. I actually won class clown back in school.”
For now, Burgoon is working on a new album being produced independently that is set to release September 12th through her website as well a s through online vendors iTunes and Amazon. She is also set to her release her first music video of her single Far From Yesterday.
I, for one, am looking forward to getting to know this rising artist, goofy and dramatic.