HOMEGROWN TALENT ON THE RISE
“God don’t make nobodies. He gives us a choice we must make carefully; each person in this world has the chance to be somebody.” This line from Catherine Shepard Smith’s song “Nobodies” on her first album, Heart to Heart, is one she seems intent on living up to. Catherine is determined to be somebody in the music industry. She’s been singing since “about the fourth grade,” she says, and as a high school senior she has recently released her first album on iTunes. Recording an in-studio album is something many singers procrastinate in doing, if they ever do, but this seventeen year old has a plan for her career in country music, and she is not taking it slow.
Catherine has been singing in church for years, usually at her own church, St. Luke’s Episcopal, but she does get around town to other churches such as Avondale’s Beloved Community Church, and Church of the Pines where she’ll be performing on Easter Sunday.
What’s fascinating about this young singer is that she not only sings really well, she writes her own music too, with the help of her friend Sarah Mason. The aforementioned “Nobodies” was written after a sermon she heard Jeremiah Castille preach at Church of the Pines. “I like singing things with meaning,” she says, “and I REALLY love making people feel what I feel when I sing. That’s one of the biggest things for me.”
Her passion doesn’t stop here. Aside from singing and songwriting, Catherine loves to perform. Not someone who simply wants to be seen and heard on stage, she loves interacting with the crowd. “The best thing about performing is the crowd and how they relate back to me. That’s how you can judge a good performance,” Catherine whispers, in an attempt to preserve her singing voice.
She hopes to someday follow in the footsteps of country music stars like Jennifer Nettles and Martina McBride. “Country music is my thing,” the Birmingham native told me. After graduating from Mountain Brook High School this year, she plans to attend Belmont University in Nashville, TN, where she will study Music Business. Catherine’s undeniable determination along with her obvious talent should have critics counting down the days before we see her name on the charts.
It seems her godfather, our own publisher here at the Weekly, knew how to pick talent even in the cradle! Don’t take our word for it though. If you missed Catherine at our Open House Thursday night at the Avondale Bricks Gallery, go buy her album on iTunes today!