Contemporary singer-songwriter Katie Ditschun’s new single lovingly affirms “That Is That.” (the period is part of the song title) when it comes to life, love and people’s need for each other.
“One morning, in the shower, I was singing songs from one of my favourite musicals and felt overcome by the powerful fact that everyone needs other people in their lives,” Katie recalled. “The power of love and human connection is unparalleled.
“People need people. That is that. People need people. That’s a fact,” she continued. “The juxtaposition in ‘That Is That.’ — with a firm period — is in the fact that it’s a simple song with simple words and statements, but it’s also a very complex and complete message.
“It’s whimsy with depth.”
“Whimsy with depth” is a wonderfully all-encompassing description of Katie’s music and purpose.
Born and raised in Brantford, ON, she spent time in Montreal following her jazz and contemporary vocal studies at Berklee College of Music before returning to her home province. She now calls Alexandria home. Though she was diagnosed at 18 months old with juvenile arthritis, beginning piano lessons at age four to keep her fingers moving, it was the onset of her mother’s terminal illness that gave Katie the push to pursue music full-time.
“My songs are about relationships — of love, and of those often confused for love,” she explained of her 2019 debut release, Spare Skirt, from which “That Is That” is derived. Recorded in Ottawa and featuring some of Eastern Ontario’s best jazz musicians, the track and album feature Katie on vocals, piano, and ukulele.
“I’m particularly interested in situations where people lack self-knowledge or gain greater awareness about oneself, or one’s place in the world.
“While first recording this song in-studio, my co-producer said he felt this song was completely me,” she added of “That Is That.” “I’m not sure I’ve ever received a nicer compliment…
“You’ll never regret loving, and I like to think that’s me: love hard. I try every day to be the person my dog thinks I am. I need people, and I remind myself that people need me too.”
Katie has embodied a form of this sentiment week after week since the onset of COVID-19, working at mindfully connecting with her community through complimentary virtual music lessons via Facebook Live. With a world reacting to increased isolation, she hopes her at-home music lessons in a live, “social” setting could offer respite for audience members navigating the world’s new circumstance.
“There’s something about being in the moment when the music is all there is…” said Katie, who is a classically trained musician with over 20 years experience in teaching. “For me, all life’s worries melt away, and I’m left only concerned about what phrase comes next and letting the notes float out.
“It’s my hope that my online music lessons can offer even just a bit of that for others in this challenging time.”
The lessons are available via Katie’s Facebook page.
“That Is That.” is available now.