Cat Stone is happiest when singing on stage, and her joy is written all over her face. But Cat Stone should be smiling ear to ear after 2022. This past year brought us “Take It In,” the debut single from Stone, which Spotify added to five editorial playlists. She followed that success with three more singles, two of which were also playlisted by Spotify. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Stone to talk about her, the music, and her plans to take it to the next level in 2023. Please keep reading to learn more about Cat Stone.
Cat Stone Found a Home in Nashville
Originally from North Carolina, Cat Stone spent her childhood moving around until making her home in Nashville. The singer/songwriter said, “I was a military brat, and my family moved eight times before I was fifteen. Then I attended boarding school during my last two years of high school. So, I’ve lived in Nashville longer than anywhere else.”
Growing up, Stone fell in love with music even though she excelled as an athlete and a math student. Stone said, “Music is the only thing I wanted to do. There was an “about me” page I completed in kindergarten, and I told my teacher I wanted to be a singer. She gently told me singing was not a job, so when I finished my sheet, it said I wanted to be a librarian. I was a good swimmer and competed at the state swim meet. I was a good soccer player too, but singing was the most important thing. Before my swim meets and soccer matches, I would sing the national anthem. Any chance I got, I was singing.
Cat Stone, the Songwriter
Cat Stone is a natural performer, but her songwriting is something she continually works to improve. The singer/songwriter said, “I was thirteen when I learned Taylor Swift wrote her songs. So I began writing too. But, before then, I didn’t know it was an option. I kept a notebook where I would write lyrics and rhymes. However, I focused on my singing during college. Then, from 2014 to 2019, I may have only written one song because I was performing on cruise ships.
Songwriting is a craft you must continue to work on to improve. I have noticed her improvement in the two years I’ve known Cat Stone. Stone said, “I don’t believe in doing anything halfway, and I strive for excellence in everything I do. In January 2019, I moved to Nashville. I spent my first year trying to get by and writing. Since moving to town, I started studying poetry to improve my songwriting. I also look to great songwriters like Taylor Swift, Kelsea Ballerini, and Caitlyn Smith to learn from them.”
What’s Behind the Success of Stone’s Debut Releases?
Cat Stone hit the ground running in 2022 with her debut single, “Take it In.” The song makes us nostalgic and reminds us to appreciate life’s special moments. The fun and cheeky “If I had a Wife,” is the follow up to “Take It In.” The song has over 150,000 streams on Spotify without being added to an editorial playlist.. “Who I Was (Montana Memories)” hits us in the feels, especially if you have ever had a loved one struggle with dementia. Stone ended 2022 with the release of “Home Alone” at the end of October, which was added to two playlists and hit a quarter of a million streams by the end of the year. So many independent artists need help to gain traction with their debut releases, but only some will get playlisted. So what is behind Stone’s success?
Cat explained the preparation and research behind her releases. The singer/songwriter said, “Many things go into my success. Even though it was my first year releasing music, it was not my first year writing and recording. It has been over a decade of trial and error to get what I wanted. Before releasing my first single, I consulted everyone I knew on the best way to release a song. I was advised to submit a song at least six weeks before the release date, get everyone I knew to pre-save it, and pitch it to Spotify editorials via Spotify for Artists. So, that’s what I did, and it worked. I am grateful to Spotify for taking a chance on my music. So much of my success has been from being playlisted on Spotify editorials, so I listen Ito the playlists and study them. It’s essential to stay on top of new music being released and learn what’s working in today’s market.”
Cat Stone Releases, “Dopamine Deprived”
On January 6th, Cat Stone released her latest single, “Dopamine Deprived.” Stone co-wrote the song with Luke Nagel, who also produced it. You might think the song was inspired by 2020, which Stone admits began her dopamine-deprived days. Stone said, “I was supposed to go to Malaysia to work as a resident singer at a resort in 2020, but news of the pandemic dropped a week before I was supposed to leave. I lost five jobs in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, so that year was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing to spend time with my grandparents, but it was a curse when you are used to performing every day.” So Cat took to Instagram, like so many artists did in 2020. But singing to a phone cannot replace the feeling of a live crowd.
Stone discussed what inspired the song. The singer/songwriter said, “The day Luke and I wrote the song, I was actually in the studio cutting a different song. But I wasn’t feeling it, so we decided to write something else. I had the idea “dopamine deprived” written in my notes from a show I did on tour in North Carolina. Some of my family came to my show, and my aunt leaped from the car, excitedly singing my name. At that moment, I looked at my cousin and said, ‘wow, I didn’t realize how dopamine-deprived I was,’ and I knew I was going to put that in a song. So during the recording session, I started free writing under the title “dopamine deprived,” and after ten minutes, I’d finished the first verse word for word. I showed it to Luke, and he was immediately on board. We finished writing it and laid down a track in three hours. The song came naturally to me because it’s exactly how I’ve felt since the pandemic started. It could truly be a transcript of a therapy session.”
For Those New to Cat Stone
Cat Stone’s music fits today’s market but is also relatable. As a fan, I love music that makes me think and feel something. Stone described her music, “I like to think of my style as ‘cozy country.’ When you listen, it’s like cuddling up in front of a fireplace with a coffee or a cocktail. The honesty in my lyrics can be comforting, but it can also provoke introspection. My goal is for you to feel something and know that my songs are there to support you.”
Cat Stone is not new to Undiscovered Nashville. We connected during the lockdown of 2020, and she was a guest on our nightly live-stream show on Instagram. Then, in December, she played a feature set at our Pre-famous show at Sonny’s Nashville. So, I have watched her growth as a songwriter and artist, and I am excited to see where 2023 takes her. Look for Cat Stone on the road this spring and fall, as well as more new music this year.
Cat Stone continues to impress with each new single. “Dopamine Deprived” may be her best song to date, which says a lot since I have thoroughly enjoyed all the music she has released. I appreciate her ability to write music that matters to people yet doesn’t dwell in a sad space. Instead, Stone has tackled serious topics but in a hopeful way. Chasing this dream is stressful, but keep going, Cat Stone, because you are on your way and don’t forget to take it in.
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