You could say Kate Voegele is an overachiever. At 22 years old, the Cleveland, Ohio native has spent the better part of the last two years juggling life as a full-time singer-songwriter, part-time actress and a college student, rarely pausing to take a breath. “Multi-tasking has always been my thing,” she says. “For my first album, I somehow scheduled my classes around recording sessions, and still got a 4.0 grade point average. Then I took a break from school and went on the road, but halfway through, I got offered One Tree Hill completely unexpectedly. That was when life got ridiculous.”
Ridiculous in the sense that Voegele went from being a complete unknown to a TV star, and from a girl writing songs in her dorm room to a bonafide recording artist with legions of loyal fans, all in less than a year. Voegele is still pinching herself just to make sure it’s really happening. “Sometimes I look around and wonder what I’ve done to deserve all this,” she says with a laugh.
It was by virtue of her talent, vivacious personality and sheer determination that Voegele scored the tie-in of a lifetime: playing the spunky Mia on popular teen drama One Tree Hill, but performing her own music. Thanks to that confluence of events, her MySpace Records debut, Don’t Look Away, sold close to a quarter million copies, climbed to No. 4 on the iTunes chart and sent Voegele upstream to Interscope (which has a distribution partnership with MySpace). Now Voegele is seeing her musical wish list come true with A Fine Mess, her second serving of undeniable pop-rock charm, produced by Mike Elizondo (Maroon 5, Fiona Apple) and scheduled for release in May 2009.
Brimming with optimism, first time independence and the wisdom that comes from one too many broken hearts, A Fine Mess is the continuation of a road Voegele was destined to travel, and, like every milestone in her career thus far, she navigates it with gusto. “It’s easy to get caught up in trying to write hit songs when you’re working on a second record,” says Voegele. “But for me, it’s about remembering why I started expressing myself through music in the first place — how it came from a need to write and there was nothing mechanical about it. Those are the best songs, when I’m not thinking about it, which usually means that I write at really inconvenient times.”
In Voegele’s nomadic world, that means songs penned on airplanes and tour buses, cafés in Wilmington, North Carolina and hotel rooms in Los Angeles. “I got all this inspiration and a bunch of ideas from a year and a half on the road,” she explains. “I’ve traveled to so many different places and had all these unexpected adventures with great people — that’s where this body of work comes from.