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Life & Work with Kate Dedinsky

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Dedinsky.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have been making music my whole life in some way, shape, or form. When I was growing up, I would set up all the pots and pans on the floor throughout the house and build my own drum kits. Music has always been a reliable outlet for me throughout the different stages of my life. After graduating high school, I was still under the impression that I could never really do music as any type of career. I changed my mind in college multiple times— from graphic design, teaching, business, etc… finally I had a bit of a breakdown and ended up finding a 4-week crash course for audio engineering in Chillicothe, OH, called the Recording Workshop. 

I was in an all-girl punk band called the Hey Yoos around that time and thought it would be great to record our own music while also pursuing a career in audio engineering. My life changed for the better after that. I became more confident in my ability to make music. I met some of my best friends and my life partner Adam while attending the Recording Workshop. 

After the Workshop, I worked multiple jobs and bought the gear needed to start making music from home. A year later, Adam moved to Cleveland from Virginia, and we started our two-piece band, “the Baker’s Basement.” 

It has been a piecework journey: playing well over a 100 shows a year, writing and recording custom songs as gifts for special occasions, breaking into the world of sync licensing, and video editing for hire on occasion. What keeps me going is the ability to be creative – I am grateful for this odd journey. 

Honey Tree Beats is my solo music project, and I recently released a single called “Summer’s On Its Way.” I was on a bit of a hiatus at the start of the pandemic but it has been so therapeutic to get back to making music under that name. I love making music with my partner in our duo but it is very empowering to make my own music as well. I am excited to share another single later on this summer called “Everybody Needs Help.” It feels like a song for the times. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Being an artist often involves facing wave after wave of emotion, and the road is still bumpy at times. Some days I feel great about my path, but other days are riddled with anxiety and self-doubt. The mental struggles still linger quite a bit, but I feel blessed for the ability to work through those emotions through creative action. 

It is also tricky figuring out a way to make a living through creativity. For a while, I had another job doing corporate videos at an office and did my music on the side. There were many sleepless nights during that time. Often, we would have late-night gigs, getting home around 2 am while having to be back at the office at 8 am. 

I also did some touring in the early days with the Baker’s Basement. Touring is not the vacation travel that people sometimes think it is. There is a lot of uncertainty about how to promote and where you are sleeping each night— and there’s the overall exhaustion of hopping from place to place. 

The day-to-day challenges of this type of artistry often involve certain physical and logistical challenges: breaking down all the equipment, packing the car full, unpacking and setting up at an event, breaking it all down, repacking, and moving it back into the house where it needs to be set up and ready for practice or recording or whatever the next day calls for. We’ve learned that having a minimal amount of furniture is practical for what we do, given how much audio stuff is constantly being shuffled in and out and around the house. 

With an often-busy show schedule, I have sacrificed many moments with friends and family in order to make this lifestyle work. When it comes to performance, weekends are typically when we are most active. It’s taken some time, and I am glad to have found a better balance now, but there are still plenty of personal/family events that I, unfortunately, can’t make because of show commitments, studio work, video work, or more involved projects. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a creator! I create and record music and edit videos in a small studio set up at my home. Much of this work is for the Baker’s Basement, but I really enjoy composing beats and singing as a solo artist as well. It is so fun to piece together sonic elements into a composition, and it still blows my mind what you are capable of doing from a home studio these days. 

As far as video work, I am particularly proud of a full-length film I edited for The Depaysement (a Japanese punk band). All of the other video projects I have worked on were no longer than 20 mins, so it was quite the undertaking. One of my favorites with the Baker’s Basement was a video we made at the start of the pandemic called “At Least 100 Things to Do Inside a Quarantine” 

When I am not in the studio, I am usually performing, playing drums, and singing all over town in the Baker’s Basement. As silly as it sounds…I am known for a bucket. Adam and I spent many hours street-performing in Cleveland and a few other cities when we first started. I would play one paint bucket and sing while Adam played guitar and sang. As we grew, so did our kit. We now have a homemade drum kit built out of several paint buckets and other drum parts. I am proud of that kit and enjoy encouraging others to find unsuspecting ways to create music. Anyone can play music and sometimes all you need is a pair of sticks and $4.98 to spend at your local hardware store. 

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
To me, success is the ability to do… To create regularly and to enjoy the process rather than overthink it; creative types have the tendency to get lost in their thoughts at times, and that can get in the way of allowing time to create. Success has a lot to do with following through with creative works: finishing a song or whatnot and then putting myself out there to share the work with others. There is a level of humility that comes with creating art and I am proud every time I am able to get over these hurdles. Sharing with others happiness, sadness, and all types of emotion through music gives me such joy. Success is connecting with people. Giving them a moment to laugh, cry, forget, remember…FEEL and be present with whatever is happening in that very moment. To me, it’s the most beautiful thing I feel I can offer this world. 

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Image Credits

Adam Grindler
Klodt Photography
Frank J. Lanza
Mark Sowers

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Anagnostos

    August 4, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    What a great and inspiring interview. Every child should read this story. $4.98? I’ve heard Kate play the buckets and she’s my favorite drummer and singer Period. Love the.basement too! Adam is an amazing guitarist.

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