2 Minutes With ... Katt Matt, Executive Producer at Found Objects
In her eight years in the music industry, Katt has honed her skills in everything from management to sync licensing. She's worked with artists like Keyshia Cole to Ester Dean, and has licensed music on behalf of The Rolling Stones and Sam Cooke for brands, films and TV shows.
Since joining Found Objects in 2021, Katt has produced music projects such as Seize the Awkward's "We Can Talk About It," the Ad Council's "Tear the Paper Ceiling" and CBS' "See Us" Pride campaign that was just nominated for a Sports Emmy.
We spent two minutes with Kat to learn more about her background, creative inspirations and some recent work she's admired.
Kat, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Las Vegas (yes they do raise people out there). I now live in Brooklyn, but had a six-year stint in L.A. where I went to music school and then worked in music management. The move to New York was entirely to break into music licensing.
Your earliest musical memory.
There was always music around when I was young. My mom was the choir director of the Filipino mass at our church growing up and I would accompany her to choir practices. Me and the other kids of the choir would sit in the corner and play with toys while they harmonized Tagalog songs. That's the first musical memory that comes to mind but, being the youngest of five I was listening to music with my older siblings as a way to bond. My brothers listened to '90s hip-hop and R&B and my sister introduced me to punk rock and '80s new wave. This all in addition to my parents' love of rock, folk and soul from the '60s and '70s.
Your favorite bands/musicians today.
That is the hardest question isn't it? That’s like asking a parent to say who their favorite child is! If we were to look at my Spotify top artists today it would be Omar Apollo, Sasami, Steve Lacy, Daniel Caesar, Mitski, and Ethel Cain. They all have albums I can listen to from start to finish without having to hit that skip button.
One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on, and why.
One of my favorite projects I worked on was for Seize the Awkward’s "We Can Talk About It" last year. It was with an amazing team at Droga5 who was working with Ad Council, the JED Foundation and AFSP targeting suicide prevention amongst teenagers. It’s a really beautiful piece, and as someone who is a first-generation American where we didn’t really talk about mental health growing up, it really resonated with me. I absolutely loved the music we produced for the campaign. It gave me the opportunity to collaborate with a vocalist that is also a dear friend. She was the friend who told me to rethink my path in nursing, and to pursue music. This was the first time I was able to bring her onto a project so the collaboration felt like a reminder that I am exactly where I need to be.
A recent project you're proud of, and why.
I was able to music supervise the recent "Get the Right Ride" campaign that Johannes Leonardo created for Uber. Being able to pitch and clear the rights to “It's All About the Benjamins” by Diddy felt like a huge win. For context, many 90s hip hop songs are notoriously difficult due to samples. It means more writers, which means more approvals and we all know working in advertising means everything is happening at a rapid pace. So while I absolutely adore 90s hip hop, it can be quite a headache to work with it in regards to clearing it for an ad. All that is to say, that track was the perfect pairing, and I’m proud to have been so involved in adding to the spot's comedic brilliance. Also, while not out yet, I am proud and excited for my first feature film that I’m music supervising.
One thing about how the music world is evolving that you're excited about.
I'm excited to see more and more female and non-binary musicians being recognized in the music world. Women and non-binary folks have been overshadowed by men in the music industry for so long. We still have a lot of progress to make but it’s exciting to see more and more of us headlining shows and producing records whether that be all female bands, live musicians, or more producers getting the recognition they finally deserve.
Someone else's work, in music or beyond, that you admired lately.
I admire Babyface. Given the longevity of his career, it is admirable to me that he is still making music with current artists and is still able to maintain his songwriting style. I love the way he writes for women and how he continues to highlight them in his music. He’s written so many hits that he could've retired 20 years ago—but no, he is still out here writing and it will be a sad, sad day when he puts down his writing pen. My favorite track on that record has to be the title track “Girls Night Out” featuring Doechii, a rapper and singer I've been excited about for awhile.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
The Rap Caviar Presents episode on Tyler, the Creator is very inspiring. When you have the prolific Pharell Williams co-signing on Tyler's brilliance you know he’s one to watch. Seeing his musical journey throughout the years was incredible. I'm excited to see what he does next!
An artist you admire outside the world of music
Nan Goldin is the first to come to mind. A dear friend told me I needed to watch the documentary All The Beauty and the Bloodshed, and I highly recommend it. I wasn't familiar with her work before but her photography covering queer culture in the early '80s is beautiful. Aside from her being a remarkable photographer her work in activism in the museum world is truly an inspiration.
Your favorite fictional character.
Lauren Olamina. She's the main character in the book Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, which is one of my favorites. Without giving away too much of the book, Lauren has an unmatched drive for knowledge that helps her overcome obstacles throughout the book. I always admire people who have a thirst for knowledge and have the ability to take in information and apply it to their life.
Someone worth following on social media.
Aminatou Sow. Her instagram stories are superb! If you’re looking for commentary on pop culture and the best Twitter and TikTok story dumps, she's definitely worth the follow.
Your main strength as a marketer/creative.
I think my main strength is utilizing my community around me. In a creative role, I look to my creative community for inspiration, insight and for collaboration. It takes a village to raise a creative idea so utilizing my fellow creatives would have to be my main strength. Knowing when to ask for help or audibly processing ideas with fellow creatives is key for me and my creative process.
Your biggest weakness.
Saying "no." If only there were two of me to be able to attend a show at Elsewhere and Brooklyn Steel on the same night. I’d rather not make the mad dash from venue to venue so working on "no" being used in my vocabulary more.
Something people would find surprising about you.
I’m a metal head. People who do not know me are surprised by that.
One thing that always makes you happy.
Singing karaoke with family.
One thing that always makes you sad.
All the anti-LGBTQ+ laws that are happening in America right now. It makes me sad seeing what is happening, especially all the anti-trans legislation being proposed when trans people are just minding their own business trying to exist. Even though it's bleak, the silver lining is seeing musicians fighting back like Yo La Tengo performing in drag, Lizzo and Hayely Kiyoko inviting drag queens on stage while in Tennessee.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music business.
I think I would probably be a historian, focusing on Filipino-American history. Not a lot of people know how much the Philippines and America are intertwined so I would’ve written a book on this if I wasn't in the music business.