We had the good fortune of connecting with Cate Downey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cate, how do you think about risk?
Working in the music industry, there is no “traditional path” to success, everyone’s journey is different! For me, taking risks is a huge part of how I’ve gotten to where I am. I took the risk of attending a brand new music program in Norway rather than having a traditional education. It was a huge leap of faith and I am so glad I took the jump. At school one of the biggest lessons I learned was to take the risk to create something out of the box rather than trying to replicate something that’s already been created. There is so much music in the world and the only way to stand out is to do something different!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a singer-songwriter from Denver, Colorado. I’ve been writing songs for over 6 years and have been lucky enough to be able to collaborate with so many other incredibly talented musicians from all over the world! One of my biggest achievements thus far is being accepted by and attending the Lillehammer Institute of Music Production and Industries, a music program founded by Grammy award-winning production duo, Stargate. Here, I was able to further develop my craft as a songwriting major and get to write for and with so many incredible artists! While I spend most of my time writing songs for other artists, I also release my own music influenced by the likes of Maggie Rogers, Julia Michaels, Lennon Stella, and more. My latest single “Too Close” is out now and can be found on all streaming platforms!
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned throughout my journey is how to be resilient and practice patience. Dreams don’t come true overnight! Especially not in creative fields. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of “nos” before that one “yes” and it takes a lot of time. But overall I’ve found it to be incredibly rewarding and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. 🙂
One of the best things about working in music is the community it brings. I have made so many lifelong friends and collaborators through music that have continued to encourage me to reach my goals. In an industry as demanding and fast pace as music, one of the most important things I’ve found in work and life is to surround myself with people who encourage and uplift me to be my best self.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being from Colorado is something I’m very proud of and there are lots of amazing places I would want to show off! Here’s just a few of them. For main attractions, some of my favorites spots to show off are the Denver Art Museum, the 16th Street Mall, Milk Market, and of course Casa Bonita!
For Restaurants, I would take my guests to Snooze, Cattivella, Esters
And for nightlife, some venues I would show off are The bluebird, The Filmore, and of course Red Rocks!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many incredible local organizations that have helped me get to where I am today. One that has been the most impactful for me is the LYNX National Arts and Media Camp at CU Denver. This summer camp is designed to fully immerse high schoolers in the inner workings of the music industry. Here, students take classes in the Music Business, Songwriting, and Music production as well as get to further develop their craft as musicians through mentorship through CU Denver staff and students. For me and many other attendees, LYNX was the first place I was able to learn about the music industry and meet people my age with similar career interests. I highly recommend this program to any high schooler who is considering pursuing a career in music!
Ane Finstad, Ella Downey