AT five-foot-six, armed with her beloved guitar and a head full of dreams, Gunnedah’s Katrina Burgoyne is preparing to pack her bags for Nashville, the songwriting capital of the world.
The songstress has booked a plane ticket for September 7, and applied for a three-year entertainment visa with finances raised through a GoFundMe campaign she launched in March.
Katrina moved back to Gunnedah at the end of last year after a three-month stint in Nashville.
In 90 days, she wrote more than 50 songs, played a headline show at the prestigious Bluebird Cafe, and built an extensive network.
“It was like for the first time in my life, everything happened effortlessly,” she said.
“It’s the first time that I’ve found a market for my music.”
Despite the smaller market for country music in Australia, for a number of years Katrina was sitting pretty with three top 10 country singles, an ARIA charting album and two Golden Guitar nominations, however, her success then took a backseat to mental illness.
“In 2011, I was diagnosed with depression and this kind of made a lot of sense because as strange as it is, I remember through a lot of my life music was the one thing that I could always turn to, music was the thing that I never felt alone,” she said.
“[I]t was one thing that I would get praised for. To get that praise and that validation was a big motivator for me but the reality was that I needed that praise because I didn’t believe in myself.
“I didn’t realise how much mental illness impacted my life until my life all came toppling down. And it was like that, it was like a domino effect through from 2011 through to 2013, and they should have been my strongest years, that should have been when I was making a new album to back up my last album, and the success of my debut album.
“I was so afraid to put myself out there and fail, but I look at it all, and I needed to be cracked open. I needed to understand psychologically what was going on.”
The song bird said her dream of moving to Nashville emerged after her diagnosis, but it wasn’t until she came off the reality television show, The Bachelor, in 2014, that she decided it was time to start planning.
Katrina said she went off her medication and “fell in love with songwriting again”.
“I just really believe that for me it’s so fated. It’s like I’m meant to be there and I keep getting called for it. I keep getting called back there,” she said.
“I’m very ambitious and I’m very hungry. The more that I get a taste of something, if it’s who I am, I want more.”
“I love connecting with people through my music or through my writing...and I really believe in my heart after being in Nashville for that time...that I have the ability to write a hit,” Katrina said.
The musician said her goal is to secure a publishing contract within the first year.
“Most artists out there get discovered through publishing,” she said.
“It’s a back-way door to get a label.”
Katrina said that despite the possibility of difficulties ahead, she was no longer afraid to go it alone.
“My story is basically, I kicked depression’s butt and I sort of feel like once you break down all the barriers of everything that we hate about ourselves, everything that we question, everything that we don’t value within ourselves, once you can break down that, it’s like there are no walls any more. You’re free to be whatever you want,” she said.
“I’m a bit fearless now. I really feel like I can’t fail.”
To follow Katrina’s journey, visit www.katrinaburgoyne.com