Updated: May 1, 2019
AMG had the opportunity to speak with Katelyn Tarver over the phone. Katelyn is a singer-songwriter who's already written a #1 hit in the UK and was on the TV show, Big Time Rush. We talk about her influences when she was younger, how red carpets are overrated, and what we can expect from her for the rest of 2018. If you want to hear the full interview then just listen above. .
AMG: Was there a song or album when you were younger that made you want to become a singer?
KT: I'm sure there were a bunch of different influences or things that I would just do that made me want to like sing like Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. Big voices that you would put on and dance around in your living room but I remember back vividly listening to Whitney Houston singing “I Will Always Love You” and singing along to it. You know I'm sure I didn't hit the note really. I felt like I did! I remember running to my mom doing laundry or something and being like “Listen! I hit the note! I can sing it!”. I just remember loving and kind of getting lost in those songs. I felt that’s when I felt in love with music and where it can take you.
AMG: How did you first get into acting? Was it because you moved to LA and you had to because everyone else there basically acts as well?
KT: (Laughs) Not far off from that. I actually always had this love of performing when I was younger in the form of singing. As I got into the industry more, people asked me if I wanted to try acting and I said “Yeah! That seems fun.” As I started auditioning and getting more familiar with it, I really enjoyed it. I got an agent early on thanks to American Juniors and my first real gig was was Big Time Rush and I did some commercial stuff before that. BTR was the first major thing I booked and it was a great experience. It was the best “first” kind of role you would want for where I was at, at the time.
AMG: I feel like you’ve been to red carpet events for almost half your life now.
KT: (Laughs) Don’t remind me.
AMG: Do you think they’re overrated?
KT: Yes. I feel like i’m not the right person to say that as a fact but I would say there’s definitely an element to all these events that feels exciting and gives off that vibe of “This is Hollywood. This is glamour. This is cool.” They’re not that fun most of the time (laughs). I feel like i’m saying the wrong thing but I say that only because there can only be such an idea that if you’re not a part of those events or this industry/glamour/Hollywood. It feels so cool and so exciting but most of the time, you’re going and looking around for someone you know to hang out with. It can be fun but it can also be not that exciting as you thought it would be.
AMG: Your music career started when you were on American Juniors. I think you were 13 around that time which is around middle school age so what type of music were you listening to back then?
KT: In middle school, I was a pop girl. I loved pop music, I loved the radio. I grew up in Georgia and my mom would put on Amy Grant and all these Gospel/Christian contemporary singers when I was young. I loved it but when I got to middle school, I realized my friends were listening to the radio and I never really listened to it. So when I finally turned on the radio and I started listening to Brittany, Christina, N’SYNC, and Backstreet Boys, I loved it like everyone else. That’s still a big influence on why I want to do pop. I remember watching all those artists and going to a N’SYNC concert and it was cool. It was one of my first arena shows so there’s that energy and there’s this magic. I almost get emotional when I go to arena shows (laughs). It’s just the coolest thing I can think of and I guess that’s why i’m trying to do what i’m doing. I definitely listened to pop music and my dad would also put on James Taylor, Carole King, and all these good singer-songwriters so I feel like I have alot of those influences on me as well.
AMG: You mentioned boy bands that influenced you around that time such as N’SYNC and Backstreet Boys. You actually have a connection with the Backstreet Boys, right?
KT: Yeah? I’m curious where this is going.
AMG: Didn’t Howie D used to manage you?
KT: (Laughs) Yeah, he did for a second! That’s so funny. I was working with this other manager at the time and Howie wanted to test the waters and see if managing artists was something he would like to do and develop them. We worked together for a little moment in time and it was a pretty weird, cool full circle moment.
AMG: So your brother, Drew Tarver, is a comedian.
AMG: Does he ever get jealous that you’ve opened up for Jeff Foxworthy?
KT: (Laughs). You’re really bring back some classic moments of my career that even i’ve almost forgotten about. That’s so funny. Maybe he does get jealous that i’ve done that? That was pretty cool. I’m from a small town in Georgia and Jeff Foxworthy came to town so they put me on before him. It’s so funny to think about now but yeah that was interesting. My brother now is a pretty successful in comedy and doing his thing so I don’t think he’s jealous of me. I did give him his start but now he’s spread his wings.
AMG: I heard the name of your fanbase is called the “Tarvernators”?
KT: I have seen that.
AMG: Is that not official?
KT: We can make it official. That’s fine with me. I haven’t given it a ton of thought but I have seen Tarvernators and if they like that, then that’s fine with me.
AMG: I guess it’s official now.
KT: (Laughs) I guess it is. SPREAD. THE. NEWS.
AMG: You’ve progressed so much from your first album, Wonderful Crazyand you’ve come a long way since then. Your latest project is called the Kool Aid EP. What can you tell me about that?
KT: That’ll be coming out later this summer and it’s just going to be new music. I’ve released a couple of songs that’ll be on it. I already released “LY4L” and “Never Fade” and the EP is called Kool Aid because there will be a song called “Kool Aid” on there.
AMG: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2018?
KT: We talked about the EP, i’ll be on the season of HBO’s Ballers, and i’ll be on tour in San Diego, Anaheim, Santa Barbara, LA, and San Francisco. The rest is tbd.
AMG: Anything left to say to the fans?
KT: Thanks for listening to my music and sharing it with your friends and that's really all I can ask for. So I appreciate it.
Catch Katelyn at the Soda Bar in San Diego on May 9th, 2018!
Written by: Christian Le