For anyone wondering what ever happened to Catie Turner, the Langhorne teen who landed a top seven spot last season on American Idol, never fear – she’s been living quite the fabulous “Hannah Montana” life.
Since October 2018, when the nationwide Idol tour concluded, the Neshaminy High School graduate has divided her time between her Bucks County home and Los Angeles, California, where she’s been in the studio writing and recording her debut EP The Sad Vegan, which is set for release on June 14. The Sad Vegan Tour will commence shortly after on June 23 at The Foundry at the Fillmore in Philadelphia.
“It feels good to finally have a body of work to show what I’ve been doing,” Turner told The Times. “You can say, ‘I’ve been in the studio, I’ve been working.’ But it’s like yeah, yeah. Now I have proof like, ‘Guys, I wasn’t kidding. This is actually what I’ve been doing.’”
“Savior,” the first single off The Sad Vegan, was unveiled on June 7 and, according to Turner, showcases a different side to her artistry than what viewers got to witness on Idol.
“I wanted to write something that you could dance to, but something that you could still relate to and go, ‘Oh, that’s a really clever lyric,’” Turner said. “A lot of people know me for my acoustic work, but I wanted to spice it up a little bit and show I can have fun and I’m not bound to one type of sound. I wrote ‘Savior’ as the antithesis to a lot of love songs where it’s like, ‘I’ll fix you’ and this one’s like, ‘I’m not gonna fix you. You have to fix yourself.’”
Aside from “Savior,” a Sad Vegan track she’s particularly proud of is “Home” – her first-ever love song penned for her boyfriend. Turner admitted her deep hatred of cheesy things, but she can’t seem to help it when thinking about her guy…even though he’s from South Jersey.
“I’m with a Jersey boy, it’s wild,” she said with a laugh. “But yeah, I wrote a really special love song for him and you know what? It kind of sucks being the musician in the relationship because I’ll never get a love song written about me but it’s fine. It’s OK. I can use this against him.”
So how did Turner’s significant other respond to the song?
“I refuse to show it to him. I refuse to be in the same room when he listens to it. I think he’d like it, but it’s so embarrassing for me still. I can’t believe I put it on the EP,” she said. “Don’t tell him about it. Maybe he won’t figure it out. But who else could I be in love with? It could be about Harry…”
By “Harry,” Turner is referring to Harry Styles, the former One Direction frontman who she (sort of) rubbed elbows with while in L.A.
“I did see him at the studio and it was the scariest moment of my life because I didn’t know what to say, so I just gave him a dirty look by accident because I was in such shock. He looked at me for five seconds and walked away. I botched the only opportunity that I had,” she said. “But I’m only kind of sad about it. He’s beautiful in the flesh.”
This awkward encounter, and Turner’s ability to laugh it off, is proof that she’s still the same light-hearted, smalltown, quirky girl with an innate passion for go-go boots. Her time in L.A. hasn’t changed her in the slightest and she (and her mother Catherine) intend to keep it that way.
“It’s still really easy to be myself and stay down-to-earth and everything, especially when you have a mom who won’t let you forget where you came from and who you are. I’m pretty sure my mom would kill me if I ever got a dose of attitude,” she said.
Further proof of Turner’s humbleness is the title of her EP.
“I can’t believe I got away with naming it,” she said. “When you’re naming a project, you want it to reflect who you are and I panicked.”
The Sad Vegan started off as a joking nod to the fact that Turner is, in fact, vegan. Other potential titles included “rational stuff” such as Smash the Tiara, a lyric from one of her songs. But Turner realized that “sad vegan” was the most spot-on description of her.
“Two nights ago, I wanted to try dairy for the first time in years just to see what it would taste like. I regretted it instantly,” she said. “I think my stomach ruptured.”
As Turner excitedly awaits the release of her EP, she’s looking back in disbelief on how far she’s come. In August, it will be two years since she and Catherine waited hours in a seemingly endless line, hoping an Idol producer would see something special and advance her to an audition in front of celebrity judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.
“It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. That is insane,” she said. “This is my life now, and I really owe it to not only American Idol, but the people of Langhorne for being so supportive and letting me do this as a job. I could very well be in college right now writing papers. Instead, I’m getting to live my dream.” ••
Keep up with Catie Turner at facebook.com/CatieTurnerSongs