ECHO - Single

ECHO - Single

For many aspiring K-pop singers, winning the Korean reality competition show K-Pop Star 4 and landing a contract with YG Entertainment (the home of BLACKPINK and BIGBANG) would be a dream endgame. But for LA-based R&B singer KATIE, who achieved both benchmarks, the experiences opened her eyes to what she did and didn’t want in her career. “I just wanted to be more ‘me,’” she tells Apple Music. “I wanted to express myself without any filters or restrictions. I had to change my path.” She left YG, joined up with the creative collective AXIS, and fed her R&B jones. In 2019, KATIE released an EP (Log) featuring “Remember” with Ty Dolla $ign. In April 2020, KATIE put out the soul-baring stunner “ECHO.” She tells Apple Music about it, her K-pop past, and her musical rebirth. What’s the story behind “ECHO”? “It was produced by the same people who produced ‘Remember’ [production unit Kepler]. They are very fun and energetic; the vibe was good. The song is about a person who has a crush on someone but is hesitant and wanting that person to show their feelings. You echo it back to me, and I’ll echo it back to you. This song is lighthearted. I’m OK with that, because it was released in the middle of April 2020—the whole world was suffering and losing their loved ones. I just want to bring something a little light and happy so they can enjoy it during times of trouble and darkness.” Are you comfortable that people still associate you with K-pop? “It doesn’t hurt. I’d rather have people think of me as just an R&B singer, not even Korean or Korean American. If I do better in what I do, people will redefine me and think of me as who I am right now, instead of the person I was four years ago. I want them to see new sides of me. But it doesn’t hurt me for them to remember who I was.” What can fans expect next? “I really want to put something out that’s from my heart. What I feel from my brains, my thoughts, to express my inner self.”

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