Catherine Michelle turns to music as an outlet for depression, releases EP

Trinady Joslin

Last semester, advertising junior Catherine Hickox, known by her stage name Catherine Michelle, released her first EP. She also went on her first tour, all while working two jobs and being a full-time student. This semester, she’s staying in Austin to grow her roots in the community by acting as her own manager and booking gigs in the area, or with organizations on campus.

The Daily Texan spoke with Michelle about her experience in the music industry and what’s next for her career.

DT: What’s your biggest inspiration in the songwriting process?

CM: I’ve always used songwriting as a very personal process. When something big happens in my life, the first thing I turn to to deal with it is songwriting. I started writing songs really young, and it started off as a more trivial thing, but it’s cool to see how I’ve grown. So that’s initially what inspired me and that’s what I carry into my songwriting today.

DT: How did you get involved in the music industry and songwriting process?

CM: I’ve been doing music as long as I can remember. I taught myself how to play guitar when I was 12, and that’s about the same time I started songwriting. When I came to college, I decided to pursue the artist thing full-on and make it at the forefront of my hobbies.

DT: If you could use one word to describe your music style, what would it be?

CM: I like to use the word “spunky.” I think that not only describes the kind of music I like to write, but also describes me as a person. When you think of someone who’s “spunky,” you think they’re fierce, they’re sarcastic, maybe they’re sassy. But they’re also strong and resilient and persistent. That’s how I strive to be, not only in my songwriting but also in my day-to-day life.

DT: What’s been your favorite show so far?

CM: My favorite show I’ve ever played was last October. I got selected to play at Silobration, which is the festival that Chip and Joanna Gaines hold at Magnolia Markets in Waco. I’m used to playing these tiny shows around Austin at farmers’ markets and venues like that, but this was a 40,000 person venue. It was so scary, but I held onto my confidence and played with everything I had and it went really well. But I didn’t get to meet Chip and Joanna Gaines. That’s probably my biggest regret of my music career so far.

DT: What’s next for you?

CM: Long term, I would really like to go on another larger-scale tour this summer and have a full-length album released by summer 2020 after I graduate.

DT: What advice would you give to students who want to be involved in the music industry?

CM: I would say “Go for it.” The best decision I’ve ever made was to pursue my dreams in their full capacity. When you’re 40 and you’re looking back at your life, you can either have regrets or you can say, “I did everything I wanted to do.” That’s what matters, and that’s how I hope to look back on my life one day. Just go for it.