On the record ... with Kaitlin Sosnowski

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 10:32 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Doug Oleson - doleson@shawmedia.com)
Kaitlin Sosnowski, 14, is on her way as a singer-songwriter.

GENOA – Kaitlin Sosnowski may be only 14, but she’s already started on a  musical career.

Since August, the singer-songwriter, an eighth-grader at Genoa-Kingston Middle School, has performed at a variety of locales, including farmers markets, small festivals and open mic nights. She is scheduled to appear at Windy Acres Farm in Geneva this weekend, and at the Wonderful World of Christmas craft show in Genoa Nov. 11.

Kaitlin, who was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, is the daughter of Kevin and Kerri Sosnowski. Her mother is her manager. She has two brothers, Konnor, 12, and Kaden, 2.

Besides singing, Kaitlin plays trumpet and french horn and is on her school’s regular band, jazz band, honors band and in the chorus. She said she practices music four hours a day.

“She decided if she wanted to do anything with this, she has to work at it,” her mother said.

“I realized I really actually like to practice,” Kaitlin said, adding that she’s only written a few songs so far. “I meant to write more, but I just haven’t had time so far.”

Kaitlin, who paid for her own guitar and half of her equipment,  took a few minutes to talk with Midweek reporter Doug Oleson about music.

MidWeek: How long have you been singing?
Kaitlin Sosnowski: I’ve always liked to sing. I sing a lot. It can irritate my friends sometimes. ...Three years ago, I took voice lessons. I don’t now, though.

MW: How long have you been playing guitar?
KW: For five years.

MW: What came first, the guitar or the singing?
KW: The guitar. ...I was in music class and I remember my music teacher saying they had violin lessons at (Northern Illinois University), and I asked my mom if I could play the violin. She said we have a family friend who teaches guitar, “How about you take guitar lessons instead?” So I decided to try it and I really liked it.

MW: Acoustic guitar?
KW: Mostly the acoustic guitar. I have an electric guitar sitting around. I don’t play that so  much, but sometimes I do.

MW: What kind of songs do you write?
KW: Kind of folksy, pop, mix.

MW: How long have you been writing?
KW: Since August. I was inspired by Taylor Swift.

MW: You mother said you have a slight speech impediment.
KW: I think that may be because of my underbite. Anyway, I can’t pronounce things. I took speech class. It kind of made me  over-pronounce everything.

MW: Does it affect your singing?
KW: Sometimes. But sometimes you need to be not as harsh in your singing. And sometimes it actually helps out because you need to over-pronounce sometimes.

MW: How did you start performing?
KW: I played a song at a middle school chorus concert. It was kind of like a solo. I found I like singing in front of people, so my mom got these gigs for me.

MW: Do you have a set list?
KW: I do anything I like, basically. My favorite is Kina Grannis. She’s not very well known. She’s like a pop singer-songwriter. And then Taylor Swift. I really like the Beatles a lot, Led Zeppelin and classic rock. ...I also play my own song, “Pinch of the Ground.”

MW: Did you hear these groups from your parents?
KW: Yeah, I like all the songs my parents like, that I’ve listened to for a long time and I’m used to.

MW: Any other musical influences?
KW: Mr. Wally Mulso. He’s my (former) guitar teacher.

MW: What is it you like about playing in front of people?
KW: I can’t describe why I like it. I just like it. It’s fun and inspiring and it pumps me up to keep playing.

MW:  Does your mom tell in advance where you’re going or does she just take you somewhere?
KW: I usually find out like a week in advance, but sometimes I don’t remember it.

MW: You mother said you have a slight speech impediment.
KW: I think that may be because of my underbite. Anyway, I can’t pronounce things. I took speech class. It kind of made me  over-pronounce everything.

MW: Does it affect your singing?
KW: Sometimes. But sometimes you need to be not as harsh in your singing. And sometimes it actually helps out because you need to over-pronounce sometimes.

MW: What would you like to do when you grow up?
KW: I want to get into a music program at a college where I can play the trumpet and french horn. I want to learn more about songwriting, probably not a real famous (songwriter), but just jingles and stuff. And maybe I want to be a music teacher.

MW: Sounds like a pretty busy little girl.
KW: Yeah, it takes up all of study hall time, actually. Study hall is really boring for me. You have to sit still for that long, so I actually really like missing study hall.

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