Ever since her sixth-place finish on American Idol in 2018, Langhorne’s Catie Turner has dreamed of landing a record deal and taking her music career to the next level. When envisioning what this milestone would look like, the 20-year-old pictured a nice dinner out with family to celebrate the big moment.
But when the Neshaminy alum recently signed with Atlantic Records, things didn’t quite go as planned.
“To describe myself and my life, it’s not normal. So, it would make sense that my record signing isn’t what I pictured it to be in my head,” said Turner. “It was over a Zoom call. My grandfather was practicing the clarinet. I was screaming at my brothers and dad to be quiet. It was just as chaotic as it should’ve been to describe my life. It was very different, very unusual, but I still got the deal at the end of the day.”
Throughout her American Idol journey, as well as afterward when she released the EP The Sad Vegan, The Times regularly chatted with Turner, who was always unabashedly herself. Whether she was reflecting on her cringey moment of accidentally giving Harry Styles a mean stare, or looking “botched” while running into a fan at the Oxford Valley Mall, Turner was consistently open, relatable and incredibly humble.
And she still is.
At the start of The Times’ Zoom call with Turner, she could be found pacing around her Langhorne home, asking her publicist why she gained 20,000 Tik Tok followers overnight. It had to be a “glitch.” But her publicist reminded her that, just maybe, those people actually like her.
Now, with new music officially released, it’s safe to say Turner is about to gain even more recognition.
The single “One Day,” slated to be part of an upcoming EP, dropped at the end of November. Turner wrote the song when she was in a relationship, which ended earlier this year (her reaction to this was, “Yikees!”). However, the track has since taken on an unexpected meaning.
“It was about taking it one day at a time in a relationship. There’s no need to rush if forever is down the line. I didn’t think anything of it, and then my team was like, ‘That kind of represents the pandemic situation, taking it one day at a time.’ Now, I find myself quoting it accidentally when I try and give advice,” she said. “Just take it one day at a time. The pandemic definitely gave it new life.”
Shortly after the single’s release, she gifted fans with a music video that showcases Turner far outside her comfort zone.
“It’s me having to fake date someone on camera, which is terrifying. So terrifying. I hope people appreciate my acting skills because a lot of cringe went into that. A lot of cringe in my soul,” she said. “But there’s boys and bubbles.”
Currently, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Turner is “vibing at home,” temporarily parting ways with her Los Angeles apartment. She lived on the west coast for a mere eight weeks before her mother Catherine urged her to come back to Bucks County.
“Remember the time we were all naïve and believed it would be a two-week quarantine, a two-week lockdown? That’s like a vacation. Hell yeah, I’ll go home,” Turner said, adding that she won’t be returning to California until 2021. “Who doesn’t like to pay rent on an apartment they don’t use? It’s one of my favorite things.”
When asked if she learned any cool quarantine hobbies, Turner was brutally honest.
“I still had it in my head that this was a vacation, so I was one of the unlucky ones who didn’t really do anything while everyone else was like, ‘It’s time to get my summer body,’ working out, eating healthy,” she said. “No, no, no. This was my eat cookie dough five times a day, don’t exercise, don’t move, have a creative slump. It was pretty rough. It wasn’t a productive quarantine. But now, I’m getting better. I’m trying to learn how to sew, embroider and try a bunch of things. Stay tuned on if I actually do them, but we’re learning how to cope.”
For Turner, it’s an honor to still be doing what she loves two years after her time on American Idol.
Especially during a global pandemic.
“I’m extremely blessed that I can call my hobby my job. When people are losing their jobs, it does not go unappreciated that people are still giving me these opportunities and people are still listening to my music,” Turner said. “I just want to thank people for supporting me these past two years and I hope that they don’t get tired of it and keep following me down the journey. It’s going to get better, I promise.”
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com