Singer/Songwriter Kat Scarborough ’22 Raises Questions about Relationships in First Single “Scared”

T. WEI /The Phillipian

Kat Scarborough ’22 writes the lyrics to her songs before she creates the beat and the melody. For her new single “Scared,” she wrote the lyrics and produced the music all by herself.

Violin and piano accompany a deep bass and a rolling beat on “Scared,” the first single released by Kat Scarborough ’22. Scarborough then joins in on vocals, digitally multiplied to sound like a chorus of voices, all singing the same lyrics with a soft timbre.

“[My song “Scared” is] really about me just finding my independence in a relationship and just realizing that I’m my own person. That’s important to me because there’s a good balance, when in a relationship, on being reliant on the other person and also knowing your boundaries, and knowing when you need to take a stand for yourself and your feelings,” said Scarborough.

Since arriving at Andover this fall, Scarborough has been member of Keynotes, the co-ed a cappella group on campus. She believes that her experiences at Andover have expanded her songwriting ability and made her a more confident performer.

“[Keynotes has helped me be] more comfortable to experiment more and push boundaries on what kind of music I like, which helps shape my music taste and what influences my writing. One time they gave me a solo for a “Courant” launch, and it was really scary because I don’t like singing in public solo, but I think doing that got me over my fear of singing in public,” said Scarborough.

Scarborough produced “Scared,” from the vocals to the beat, in a day and a half. She sees herself as both a songwriter as a singer, but considers writing lyrics to be her strongest talent. Scarborough’s favorite lyric in the song is “Despite what you think / You’re not the one that’s free.”

She said of the line, “It’s just very in-your-face. I can’t think of a better word than sassy.”

During the process of the song’s creation, Scarborough’s computer crashed, losing most of the work, but she persisted.

“The whole song got deleted halfway through and I restarted from the very beginning … I kept working because I had an idea and I was so excited about it. It was the first time I’ve been given the technology to improve it and keep it going, so I didn’t want to give up,” said Scarborough.

Scarborough is constantly coming up with new lyrics. According to Scarborough’s friend[a] Morgan Davis ’22, she recently came up with an entire song’s lyrics in her head while they were sitting in a garden.

“She’s just so capable and so amazing at getting her thoughts down into beautiful lyrics. It’s just been awesome watching her. I’ll be walking with her and she’ll be writing down a song, like, ‘Oh! I have an idea.’ Then she’ll write a whole song right there,'” said Davis.

According to Scarborough’s roommate and friend, Taylor Dunn ’22, Scarborough’s voice has a tone that is both gentle, yet also very meaningful.

“I would say that her voice is soft but also deep and attention grabbing. Out of the singers that I’ve heard, I feel like her voice tends to be more imploring you to listen and really think. She really feels the music, and I think that’s displayed in her singing,” said Dunn.

According to Scarborough, “Scared” received more feedback than she had expected from her Andover peers. Scarborough found that the best feedback was a piece of constructive criticism about the dynamics of her song.

“I’ve gotten so much support at Andover, which was not expected. A girl from my old school actually gave me negative feedback, which was the first negative feedback I got on the song. I thought that was really interesting because that means that she’s actually listening to it. She’s thoughtful and she’s critiquing it, and she’s analyzing it. That made me really excited that somebody cared enough to critique it,” said Scarborough.