Newcomer Katie Armiger's powerful vocals and skillful songwriting are clearly showcased on her debut self-titled album. At the ripe age of 16, Katie does not hold back and has an inspiring combination of determination and passion that shines through in her music. Her voice is beyond her years; strong, skilled and dramatic, while her writing is mature yet, sincere and optimistic.
Katie Armiger's journey truly began two years ago when she entered "Houston's Best Country Singer" contest sponsored by Radio 93Q Country. The contest, which was held over an eight week period, had over 150 boys and girls ages 9-17 in the Junior Division who were vying for the title. After several performances Katie rose to the top to grab the title of Houston's Best Country Singer in her division when she blew the crowd away with her rendition of Martina McBride's "Whatever You Say." Upon receiving the title Katie was handed a thousand dollar check and a chance to record a two-song demo. It was then that her family knew they had a star in their midst.
Several months later, Katie arrived in Nashville, where she began her work in the studio with veteran producer Mark Oliverius for her demo. Over the years Oliverius has worked with the likes of Trick Pony, Joe Diffie, Sammy Kershaw, and Lorrie Morgan, among others. Fascinated by the recording process and feeling at home in the studio, Katie delivered some of her best vocal work which is evident on songs such as "Still" and "Beautiful In Me."
"It was different from anything I had ever done," Katie recalls. "Being in the booth for the first time was a little intimidating and I didn't want anyone watching me but little did I know, they put me on the big monitor in the studio and everyone was watching," she laughs. "That's when I knew I was where I was supposed to be, creating music."
Having completed some of the demo tracks that now appear on her debut album it was obvious to all those around Katie that the project was special and should become something more. Thus the juggling act began. At the same time Katie was going to high school and maintaining an A average, she was listening to, writing, and rehearsing music. She was flying back and forth between Nashville and Houston to work with Oliverius, pursuing her dream, the completion of her first studio album.
"Mark has a way of putting me at ease and letting me find my way through a song," said Katie. "During the beginning stages of the album he would give me a sample of music and I would write the words. Then I would give him words and he would compose the song. We got into a groove that worked for both of us and I'm really pleased with the result."
"At such a young age Katie Armiger has a lot to say," said Oliverius. "She has a huge voice and a strength for songwriting that goes well beyond her years. I believe that she really does have what it takes to make it in this business a strong musical talent and a passion for what she does."
Katie says that she's always enjoyed writing, a skill which really began when she was 10 years old -- jotting down her thoughts and creating poetry. "I wish I could say that I keep a nice, neat organized song-writing journal, but then I'd be lying," said Katie. "But when an idea comes to me I just grab what's near. I wrote part of 'Insanity' on a paper plate, while part of "Hard Road" was written down on a gum wrapper." Both of which she wrote when she was just 14 years old.
Katie draws her inspiration from her everyday life. This has been the winning formula for many a seasoned songwriter but there is a twist. "Most of the time I write about experiences related to my life and all the drama that comes with being a teenager. But, sometimes things just hit me usually after I've read a book or seen a movie."
Katie's writing abilities are apparent on her debut self-titled album, penning 7 of the album's tracks, her subtle and sensitive interpretations fuel the depth of the 11-song recording. In the track "Let Him Go," Katie explores unrequited love. Whether an innocent schoolgirl crush or an unfulfilled love affair, the ballad takes the listener on a musical journey with powerful vocals and a catchy melody. "17 In Abilene," however, is the quintessential road trip song. "I think every teenager thinks about getting in their car and just taking off," says Katie. "I wrote this song with fellow music newcomer Ashlee Hewitt. We put our heads together and came up with this great young and carefree road trip song about the possibilities of an open road."