Young, restless and on her way to the top
VAIL – At the age of 20, Katherine Schell juggles school and her musical career as best as she can. She is a philosophy and music major at Loyola University in Chicago and, on her time off, she tours around the country. This month, it is Colorado’s turn. During the next week, Schell will perform at venues in Aspen, Breckenridge, A-Basin and Vail. “My brother (and manager, Jeff Schell) thought it would be a good idea to come to the mountains during this time of the year because I can get a lot of exposure,” she said. “Plus, we both like to ski.”She started singing at the age of 6 in the church choir and taking vocal lessons at 15. It was also at 15 that her younger brother was diagnosed with leukemia – and her writing began.
“I wrote ‘Come to me’ and I have been writing ever since,” she said. “I write about a lot of different things. I find inspiration in random ideas that I have, and then translate them into realistic situations so that other people can relate to them.””Come to me” is featured in “Emptier Streets,” her first CD, which she recorded last summer. It will be released in a couple of months. Schell played the piano and wrote all the songs on the album. Her song “Rest assured” won the VH1 Songwriter of the Year Award. The young musician says school inspires her. “I think having an education is really important,” Schell said. “And I get to go to school in Chicago, which is a great city for music.”
Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan and Fiona Apple are her biggest musical influences these days, but she says she listens to all kinds of music. She is a big fan of the Chicago music scene and of a lot of the independent artists that perform regularly at local bars.Her long-term goal is to be able to see herself as an artist and to always be able to write. “Honestly, I don’t know where I want to be,” she said. “I see myself in Chicago trying to keep it going.”She also plans to keep donating her profits to “Special Days,” a nationwide camp that treats kids with cancer. “I want to keep inspiring other people,” she said. “Knowing that I am touching people’s lives is the most important thing to me.”
For more information, call Samana at 476-3433.Vail, Colorado