Country Next: Catie Offerman
We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with Catie Offerman.
Photo Courtesy Catie Offerman
Catie Offerman has been pursuing music since age 11. After putting in several years of hard work, she’s finally seeing her dreams come true.
The country singer/songwriter and talented fiddle player grew up on a horse farm in New Braunfels, Texas. She got her start performing around the state of Texas in a Polka band before crossing over into the country genre.
After graduating from Berklee College of Music and a brief stint in Los Angeles, Offerman moved to Nashville, where she began collaborating with other musicians and songwriters.
“The first two years I was in Nashville, I pretty much spent them trying to figure out how to write better songs,” Offerman told Country Now. “That’s just what you do when you move to town. Then, at some point, I started to write with people who almost got me more than I got myself!”
“I started writing with this guy named Ryan Beaver,” she continued. “We did not write together much in the beginning. He just wanted to write with me a couple of times. But, I think somehow in that, we found something that was cool. I think we subconsciously realized that. Somehow just between that and a couple of writes, I had a bunch of songs, and I sang at 3rd and Lindsley. That is kind of ultimately how I got my publishing deal.”
In 2019, Offerman signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Group Publishing (UMPG), and was also featured in The Highwomen’s video for “Redesigning Women.” In early 2020, she signed a major record deal with Universal Music Group, which is also home to stars like Carrie Underwood, George Strait, Kacey Musgraves, and more.
Now, Offerman is ready to introduce herself to fans with the kind of music that she calls timeless and classic, yet modern. Although she hasn’t yet released her debut project under her new label home, she hopes that when fans hear it, they’ll be able to relate to her even more!
Offerman caught up with Country Now to talk about her musical background, her journey from Texas to Nashville, her new label deal, and more.
Read on to discover more about Catie Offerman in this exclusive Q&A below.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and how you got started in music?
I grew up in New Braunfels, Texas. We have lots of music down there. But, I do not have a musical family, and I did not grow up around musical parents. I wanted to start playing the piano because I saw a lady in church playing it. Then that led me to play polka music professionally because I wanted to play accordion and fiddle. New Braunfels is a German town, so it seemed natural for me to play polka music. Also, I was home-schooled, so playing polka music on the road was doable.
Coming from a polka background, how did you make the transition into country music?
The polka background was interesting because, I think, for me, it was an add-on to the music that I was listening to at the time. I grew up listening to a lot of old records. Anytime I stayed at my Grandfather’s house, we’d listen to Bob Wills, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, or Randy Travis – a lot of classics and Gospel music. So, I guess you could say I listened to simple country music without the fluff in it. Later in my musical journey, and before I moved to Nashville, I lived in Los Angeles. For me, it was interesting. When I came to Nashville, it was like I was going back to my roots and being like, ‘How can I write something that is not too complicated and connects to people?’ I do not think the polka background is what makes me relatable. I think, hopefully, that my love for music and all the different kinds of journeys and genres that I have listened to translates what I do and seems organic.
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
Yes, I do! 100%! Oh, gosh, I am trying to remember what I titled it. It was something like, ‘Leaving Texas, Heading to Nashville.’ Something like that. The lyrics were like, ‘I’ve got Texas in my rearview and Nashville in my sight.’ It’s like, ‘Man, that was the worst I have ever heard.’ My dad thinks he helped me write that song. It is funny! My dad thinks all the songs I wrote when I was 13-years-old are the hits!
Did your parents support your dream of becoming a country singer?
My parents are super supportive, thankfully. Growing up on a ranch, it was me, the animals, and them. I do not have any other siblings, so we have spent a lot of quality time together. Since day one, they do things that are opposite of music. But, they have been nothing but supportive. If I called them tomorrow and told them that I want to do something different, they would support me. When it comes to people that do not play music, naturally, I’m like, ‘Do you even know what I do?’ I do not think everybody gets what it means to sign a record deal. When I go to writing sessions, my mom is always like, ‘How is your writing lesson?’ I am like, ‘Mom. It is not a lesson. It is a writing session.’ But I think my parents are great!
You’ve written with some well-known songwriters. How have you grown as a songwriter since day one?
I think that I have been super fortunate over the last couple of years, especially since I got my deal. I was talking with a friend last week, and he was like, ‘This is crazy!’ We have known each other since I moved to town. He was like, ‘I feel like this is all happening so fast!’ I feel like that too. But also, I am like, ‘I have been working on this since I was 11-years-old.’ So I feel lucky getting into these rooms with these people. I feel super fortunate, and I think they are all such great people. They are just like anybody else. But, the cool thing for me is that I get to learn from them. I think that is where my mom is right. In a way, it is like a writing lesson.
You mentioned you used to live in California. Why did you choose to pursue your career in Nashville, instead of L.A.?
I think when I first came back to Nashville, because I had come here for an internship during college and used to come a bit to play little shows when I was living in L.A., kind of on the tail end of things, I wasn’t happy. I felt stagnant. Also, I had gotten comfortable out there, so I was finally like, ‘I am going to go back to Nashville at least for a couple of months.’ I knew it was not going to happen out in L.A. I came out here, and in my first week, I canceled my roundtrip ticket and was like, ‘I’m just not going back.’ I went back and got my car and my dog, at some point a little later, but I knew Nashville was the place where I had to be. And shortly after, I was like, this is the place I’m going to learn to write good songs. What I was writing out in L.A., they only sounded halfway decent because it had some crazy track behind it. Those weren’t the songs I wanted to write. So I knew I was not where I needed to be.
You recently announced you signed on with Universal Music Group. Congratulations! How does it feel to have reached that point in your career?
It took about a whole pandemic to get it, this one, but I’m excited! It feels good because you make music your entire life, and you’re like, ‘I hope somebody hears this one day or thinks this is not crazy.’ So, I am proud to be able to work with them. I am super honored.
Did you receive any other offers before this one?
Yeah, I had a few options. A few offers over the past couple of years, and, honestly, every single one of them was a great opportunity. For me, with Universal, it boiled down to, I love the music that they make, and some of their artists on their roster are some of my favorites! I am a huge George Strait fan, and I love Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church. There were just people there that I was like, ‘If I can be on a roster like that, that is all I could ever hope for.’ I love to make good music because I think if you can create good music, ultimately you’ll be happy.
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What can you tell us about your upcoming debut project?
Well, this pandemic feels like it has lasted a thousand years already. But, we have been writing and recording non-stop! I’m ready to put out a box set album. I’ve got so many songs. It’s been fun to see things come to life in what’s been such a weird time right now. It’s been a silver lining that I’ve had an extra bit of time to get these songs right. So, that is what we’ve been doing. We have songs, and we’re just narrowing them down. I don’t know what the rest of this year will look like with COVID-19 and everything, but we’re hoping for an early 2021 release.
How would you describe your sound to those who are just discovering you and waiting on your singles to come out?
I would say it’s timeless, it’s classic, but also it’s modern. I think it’s very genuine. You know, I think it’s a little George Strait meets Kacey Musgraves, a little bit of female-Midland. I can’t sing runs. I can’t scream. I’m never going to be singing a song about slashing tires because I can’t even sing that high. That’s not what works for me. Sometimes, I am envious of people that can do that. But, I want to sing honest songs and hopefully relate to people. That’s my main goal.
Is there anything that fans don’t know about you that you want them to know?
I think, for the most part, I want people to see me as real as possible. I grew up literally on a ranch with cows and goats, and those were like my best friends. I was never popular. I am just trying to figure this out too, and in my mind, I am still like a pudgy 12-year-old kid with braces. I am just doing all that I know how to do, and I hope that I can be somebody’s friend, and I hope they always see me as honest and genuine and relatable. I want to have a good time with them. I want to be somebody’s friend, and if my music and I can feel like that, then that would be special.
Fans can keep up with Catie Offerman on Instagram.
Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.