By Stephanie Amy Collazo
During Fashion Week we caught up with singer-songwriter and One Tree Hill star Kate Voegele when she came to the Oakley store in SoHo to promote her new Signature Series Beckon sunglasses. Voegele turned the store into a mini art gallery featuring her own original pieces of artwork. The sunglasses themselves are oversized Oakley frames with hand-drawn graphics by Voegele retailing for $130.00. Along with their sunglasses purchase, buyers will be able to download Voegele’s new song, “Sunshine In My Sky,” off her latest album, Gravity Happens.
YRB: When did you get your start in music?
Kate: I started with music when I was about 15 years old. I always loved music; it’s been a huge part of my life. I started writing songs when I was 15 as a way to make sense of my world. I just picked up the guitar and wanted to learn, and when people started hearing the music I was getting really good responses, so I kept doing it and I haven’t really put the guitar down since.
YRB: What came first: your passion for music or acting?
Kate: Music, definitely. I have always been a musician and I kind of accidentally fell into acting, and I’m really glad I did. It was one of those things where I was signed, I had made a record and I was on the road just living the touring lifestyle, then I found out that there was an audition for a part on a TV show called One Tree Hill and I’d get to play my music. So I went out for the audition just totally for random and I got the part, and that’s kind of how I just fell into acting. Now that I’m in it, I would love to do more of it, but music is still my first love.
YRB: The sunglasses feature your own hand-drawn graphics, are the arts an interest of yours?
Kate: Art is a huge passion of mine. The paintings that they’ve hung up in the store that weren’t here prior are all paintings that I did that inspire my music and vice versa. I use the back lodge of my tour bus to paint. I literally just go back there and try to figure out what’s going on with my inspiration and my creativity using a paint brush when I get writer’s block. So it’s a big inspiration for me; it’s part of my process in writing.
YRB: What was it about the Oakley brand that made you want to collaborate with them?
Kate: What I love about Oakley is that it’s a great brand. There [are] so many things about it that are great – the aesthetic, the design and, obviously, it’s just classy. But what I really like is just the passion that they have for what they do, and I think they inspire people to be fearless and confident. I think that’s huge for me because that’s what I want my music to do at the end of the day, to be inspiring, and Oakley stands for all those things. The “Perform Beautifully” campaign for women is what really drew me to [Oakley] because it sends such a good message, and that’s such a big part of what you want in a partner.
YRB: You dropped your first full-length album in May, how has it been received by fans?
Kate: The album’s been going great. It’s called Gravity Happens, and it’s been so amazing – I’ve got the best fans on earth. This record is really a representation of how much I’ve grown over the past few years. It’s about growing up, it’s about life and how it throws you curve balls, it’s about how you get through it and you work really hard. It’s the most fun record I’ve ever made, but it’s also the most honest, the most vulnerable, so there’s a lot of dynamic to it.
YRB: What’s next?
Kate: Right now, I’m actually about to go on tour here in the U.S. In October we’ll be playing the Highline Ballroom here in New York. I’m going out with a band who are some friends of mine named Parachute, good dudes. It’s going to be really fun to hop on the road. That’s our next big project. Hopefully, we are going to put out a new video and a new song in October, so we may put out a couple more little EP things for the tour.
YRB: Will you be returning to One Tree Hill?
Kate: I hope so. They are in what they keep saying is their last season, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to go back for an episode or two before it’s over. I’ve been so busy in Europe and I had a tour with Natasha Bedingfield this summer, so we haven’t had a chance to actually go back and film an episode, but I would love to go back.