Kat McDowell

Born in Tokyo and raised in New Zealand, Kat has always loved music. While she draws inspiration from artists including Foo Fighters, No Doubt, and Jason Mraz, Kat's sound is definitely her own. She mixes acoustic guitar-led melodies with emotionally transparent lyrics that are delivered in a blend of Japanese and English.
 
After university Kat returned to Japan, where initial attempts at going professional were met with frustration—her mixed heritage made it difficult for the conservative music industry to market her. However, she finally got a break and was able to sign on with Avex. Her partnership with them yielded several mini-albums, her first full album, and a limited vinyl edition of Nagoriyuki, which went to #1 on Japan’s Vinyl Charts and sold out in two days.
 
Outside of the studio, Kat has been recognized for her performances in high-profile TV ads. Additionally, she has also performed over 1000 live shows, both throughout Japan and internationally. Some touring highlights included Raul Midon’s Japan tour in 2006 and 2008, and playing at the Summer Sonic Festival in 2006 and 2007. Kat also played at Australia’s One Movement Festival in 2009, opened for Switchfoot in Japan in 2010 and played at the Artist Power Bank festival in Japan 2012.
 
After the release of her first album, she went on a 40-day musical journey that took her around the world. One particularly moving experience occurred in Nicaragua, where she got to play for children who live and work in a garbage dump. Reflecting on her experiences she said, “I met so many incredible people in my travels. I became friends with those who are very wealthy and those who live in extreme poverty. But,  one thing everyone has in common is a need to love and be loved.” Her subsequent  album, You and me, explored some of the facets of those relationships.
 
In 2011, both New Zealand and Japan were profoundly changed by large-scale natural disasters. In the aftermath of 3/11, Kat regularly traveled to Northern Japan to play for the people of Tohoku. Then, after visiting Christchurch at the start of 2012, she felt she ought to capture some of the stories she’d been privileged to hear in her two home countries. Her newest mini-album, Hope in you, presents songs of empathy, encouragement, and redemption—and a couple just for fun…
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Stage Demonstrations