Interview: Kate Simko

As someone who also dabbles in film production, I am interested to hear your approach to film/narrative/documentary composition. How do you approach such a project? How does this approach compare with your approach to creating a more dancefloor oriented piece of music?
Hmmm I guess the biggest difference is when you make a piece of music for yourself you start from any creative inspiration point, and the song grows into it’s own story and world. With film music, I try to get into that world first, and have the music gel with the film. I love both.

Relocating to London, I see you have completed a degree in Composition for Screen from the Royal College of Music? How was this experience? How “academic” did you find the program, specifically related to musical theory? Do you consider yourself an academically minded person?
The experience was amazing. Honestly the RCM doesn’t mess around! I was the only one who had zero experience writing for orchestra going into the course. So I had to mainly self-teach myself how to write for all of the instruments as we went. Experimenting in the studio with the players and seeing what the instruments can do is what lead to the LEO. I fell in love with these instruments. It was a flexible course, no written work, just music composition. I think that was the end of my academic path, but it was great to have hardcore training like that.

Speaking of London, in coming from Chicago, how can you compare the two cities? What are some similarities and differences between the two?
Well both cities love music. Chicago is famous for blues, jazz, house music, post-rock, and Pitchfork. I grew up around music fanatics, and that’s how I ended up DJing on the radio and making my own music. Londoners also have an infectious love for music. I love hearing music and playing shows here.

2015 seems to be quite a busy year for you with the EP release, collaboration, touring and a new album w/ Tevo Howard. How do you control stress in your life? Do you have any specific time management skills you are willing to share?
That’s a good question. Maybe I should start yoga!

Finally, will you get a chance to chill out anytime soon? If so, what is a perfect “chill” day for Kate Simko?
Yes, I’m going to stay a couple extra days in Ibiza next week after our show at Heart. I’ll probably go to Jamie’s Paradise night, but then just relax by the beach the rest of the time. Good food and sunshine are a perfect chill day for me.

‘One Time Game’ is Available 28 August on Emerald City Music

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