Kate Callahan

Kate Callahan (Image courtesy of the artist / September 16, 2013)

Kate Callahan

Singer/multi-instrumentalist Kate Callahan takes songwriting to a level most musicians can't even fathom: she teaches it to others.

"I'm inspired by other creative people," Callahan said. "I need that to keep me writing and to keep me having fun. It's a big part of what drives me to write."

When she's not with her students at Wesleyan, Callahan is finishing up her own college degree, performing around the state or living and writing in her Hartford studio. "I do 100 percent of my writing there," she said. She's also working on songs for a follow-up to Two Doors, which was released last year.

"For me, as far as the energy to write, it takes a slower period in my life to get into a writing streak," Callahan said. "This summer has been slower... I feel like it's a good mix, a balance of feeling like I have to write in addition to eating and sleeping. But I'm aware that if I'm going to do another album, I have to produce things."

Callahan won this award between 2002 and 2004, back when it was called "Solo Performer." She was nominated last year, and although she didn't win, the event led to the birth of DAS Musicians, a collaboration with her fellow nominees in the category.

"I loved everything that occurred last year around the Music Awards," Callahan said. "I've been on the scene for 10 years, and then seeing everyone so organized was a beautiful thing... That blew my mind, and I feel really fortunate to be in Hartford at this time. We're all closer, all really stepping up in what we're producing and getting out there. There's so much live performance right now." —Michael Hamad