By MARY NOBLES HANCOCK
While most high school students are still figuring out what they want to do with their lives, rising Mountain Brook High School senior Catherine Smith knows what she wants to do and is doing it already.
Smith has been singing ever since she was four in the choir at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and recently released her first album, Heart to Heart, available on iTunes.
Heart to Heart consists of five original songs. “It’s definitely country,” she said of her music, “but with its own little twist. It has a down-to-earth feel with a touch of pop.”
Smith has worked with Mason Music Studios to produce her album and collaborated with Sarah Mason on writing the songs.
“The ideas for my songs come mostly from personal experiences,” Smith said, “but they are also inspired by stories I have been told and events I have watched unfold.”
The album took a little over three months to complete, and now that it is out, she plans to send it to contacts in the music industry, while still writing and singing new songs.
Among her varied musical influences is country singer Leann Rimes. “[She] began her musical career when she was a young teenager and is my inspiration,” Smith said. “She is a strong woman whose music expresses her emotions and connects with her audience on a personal level.”
Smith also credits her mom for being her biggest supporter. “She constantly encourages me to write music and go after my dream,” commented Smith, “she has been right beside me every step of the way.”
Smith wasn’t the only high school student involved in the creation of her album; fellow rising senior Wesley Shaw was the photographer for the picture on the cover of her album. Shaw runs her own photography business, Wesley Shaw Photography, and has been taking pictures for over two years.
When Smith isn’t singing, she also enjoys running cross country, playing guitar and piano, teaching a Bible study and going to Lake Martin with her friends and family. While she is still unsure of where she wants to go to college, she plans to study music and hopes to become an accomplished music artist.
But for now Smith plans to continue to sing and write songs. “It’s the perfect escape,” she said. “Whenever I sing, the atmosphere around me fades away, and I can get lost in a song that has its own unique story. I like to make people feel the same things I do by painting a picture with music and lyrics.”