Written by Harrison Gough
Kat Factor brings a unique blend of genres to the Santa Cruz music scene. Classically trained, yet keeping up with modern trends and influences, her music exists through the intersecting melodies of a network of collaborations—she is, in effect, a musician whose art is alive with the spirit of those close to her.
After splitting her time evenly between Atlanta and San Diego, Kat eventually moved to Santa Cruz in 2009. The first time she visited the area, she had fallen in love with the redwoods, and lived amongst them while studying at UCSC. Attending the university also taught her a great deal, not just about music, but about growing as a person. The life lessons she picked up along her educational journey have stuck with her ever since, and she continues to seek out new opportunities to learn as she develops her music in the Santa Cruz area. She also continues to give 100%, putting the most of herself into everything she does.
Although her ultimate goal is to open a clinic in the Philippines, Kat focuses on her music, and focuses on the act of creating as an exercise in freedom. While her classical training taught her structure, it was life that taught her to go her own way, and to find her own flow. When she transferred to UCSC, Kat had a daughter to care for and six years of community college under her belt. The experiences in education and parenting have stayed with her, and to this day Kat and her daughter are both passionate about music, as well as constantly finding opportunities to learn and to grow. When asked about her work in the arts, she summed it up clearly and concisely: “I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing right now, and it’s all working out.”
The music industry in Santa Cruz is a thriving one. Kat makes her own path by relying strongly on both herself and others, favoring face-to-face networking rather than having an agent: she is her own agent, and the agency to maintain her creative industry is her own as well. As a firm believer in the power of creative collaboration, Kat handles the networking herself, rather than relying on an intermediary to get her in touch with other artists. As a musician, Kat also manages her time and balances her music out with other activities that keep her learning by doing, and in touch with the world. She climbs, while taking her guitar along with her. She teaches as well, but makes sure teaching never takes up time she can be using to create music. With every aspect of life, she takes steps to learn and to create, and maintains balance all the while.
Through the challenges of surviving and thriving as a musician operating out of the Tannery, Kat has managed to foster her creativity and musical efforts, and has also managed to maintain a social network with like-minded artists and musicians. Importantly, in Santa Cruz, she has found freedom to express herself freely, and she has found herself able to not just make, but to live music: “Being able to live off of just doing what you love is such an awesome gift, and being in this town has allowed that.”
Don’t miss Kat and nine other musicians at Event Santa Cruz: Live on Dec 14th