INTERVIEW: Five Minutes With … MissinCat
Catarina Barbier is MissinCat, the Italian-born songstress based in Berlin. Her forthcoming album Forces, includes the new track ‘Made Of Stone’ which has already racked up over 250 thousand plays on Spotify. Forces will be released on September 15th.
Since her debut album release in 2007 the singer has captured audiences with her warm sound and catchy, but artistically distinguished songs, leading to successful toursin Germany, the U.S, Australia, the U.K and Italy. She then went on to release two more albums, 2011’s Wow and 2015’s Wirewalker.
The new album features five tracks with collaborations by five different artists: Hundreds, Me & My Drummer, Robot Koch, La Boum Fatale and Federico Albanese. Every single track is an exciting collaboration and has its own unique story. Different worlds and musical styles collide and bring energy and life into the music.
We caught up with her for a quick chat about her songwriting, inspiration, and which genres of music make her tick.
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
I think my sound changed a lot during the years but my songwriting and my vocals may be what makes my music unique. I think my voice is very different and easy to recognise.
The sound of the EP (to me) is like a trip through different worlds, with a bit of electronic in it and dreamy guitars, nice melodies. It goes from colourful uplifting moments to melancholic and dark ones. From loud to very quiet.
What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
The Velvet Underground and Nico
XX, The XX
Elliott Smith, Either Or
Fiona Apple, When the pawn
Beach House, Bloom
What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?
Loving the new album of Feist, I´m a huge fan of hers.
Bonobo Migration, Interesting sound design with ethnic touch and feel good.
The last work of Berliner Moderat, love the sound!
Lately I´ve been also enjoyed a lot to listen to old goodies like Massive Attack mezzanine, oh such a good dark, deep, hypnotic record. Or some Portishead..
What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks?
I need to change my setting every now and then to get new ideas, in the last months I’ve been writing with a drum machine and a synthesiser and effects on my vocals. If I get stuck then I change my setting, grab an electric guitar or a bass and see what comes up, but at the moment synths and drum machine inspire me the most.
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
Hard to tell, I can remember a bunch of very good ones where I got off the stage really happy. I´m very demanding, the best one has yet to come.
And the worst?
I’ve forgotten about it fortunately.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
I’d be doing some other creative stuff, maybe.
What is your take on the following genres? Anyone of them you love / loathe?
I don’t listen much to classical music. I used to as a child once, in awhile – and then really loud, it would get me super excited and take me somewhere else, I loved the drama in it. And the changes of dynamic and tempo. So extreme!
Blues never really got me. I watched a documentary about Keith Richards where he described with tears of joy in his eyes his (and Jagger’s) love for blue’s and I remember thinking I’ve always found blues too repetitive, though I love repetition in music actually.I don’t know, maybe I will fall in love with blues when I’m older.
I love the old soul music! Billy Holiday, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Nina Simone. Modern soul only a few things: Eryka Badu, Fiona Apple, I’m not fond of modern soul queens. Not the mainstream stuff. I like Banks, she’s cool.
I loved Leonard Cohen , Dylan and all the italian folk of the 70´s , it gave me a lot of inspiration
Oh no please! When I was a teenager I was super alternative, I was listening to the most unknown punk music spotted in the corner record store. These 90´s songs, for me were evil mainstream. Still don’t like it. It’s come back, right?
What does the future hold for MissinCat?
Do you mean after Forces?
I have so many songs which I´ve written and partially produced already.
First of all I´ll be finishing my first Italian record. And start a new collaboration which has began while working on the EP Forces , and we want to make some more songs together.
Everything is very exciting!