“right about me” by emerging Canadian pop artist Kenzie Cates covers the dark and painful subject of gaslighting. She expresses the all too familiar scene of an abuser blaming the victim for the abuse and getting in their head to convince them they are the problem and they deserve to be abused. Kenzie Cates masterfully expresses the confusion that results from this distorted state of not knowing what is real anymore due to this constant manipulation. We had the pleasure of interviewing Kenzie Cates, and here’s what she had to say:
Q: I love the beautiful harmony of “right about me”! Can you walk me through the production process for this song?
CATES: I travelled to Nashville for a writing trip and on my first day there I had a session with my producer/cowriter Will McBeath. Will is a unique combination of wildly talented and insanely kind. He really listens to and empathizes with the artists he works with. I talked to him about what I was going through in my life, and he wrote down pieces of what I was saying and then pitched a melody for one of the things I had said—”I can’t even trust myself now.” I was like, “yes, let’s roll with this.” We wrote the rest of the song that day and I still find it cathartic to listen to.
Q: What was your favorite aspect of the production process?
CATES: Writing with somebody I trust as much as I trust Will was great. I love leaving a session with a demo and listening to it in the car for the first time.
Q: What effect do you want your music to have on listeners?
CATES: I want to connect with them through music and realize they’re not alone.
Q: If you could change anything about the industry, what would you change?
CATES: I would make it so that music creators didn’t also have to be content creators to be taken seriously.
Q: Hmm. That’s an interesting one. When you aren’t creating music, what do you enjoy doing?
CATES: Socializing, being outside, doing harm reduction-related community projects. I love politics and thinking, learning and talking about class, collective bargaining, and working-class history.
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
CATES: I’m planning another writing trip to Nashville and/or LA to write more songs for an EP that will focus on the themes of relationships, abuse, control, and liberation
Interviewed by Zoey King
FOLLOW KENZIE CATES: