I am a professional 'all things vocal'! Heard on Grammy-nominated artist's work & in a BAFTA & BIFA award-winning feature film. My specialities are background vocal arranging, songwriting (pop/funk/folk/broadway), recording & producing all vocals, top-line writing, piano, and voice overs (British & EU accent).
Hi! I am a London-born independent artist, vocalist & songwriter now living and working in NYC. In 2014 I composed and performed the theme song to BAFTA & BIFA award-winning film 'Kilo Two Bravo,': enjoying international success in both theatres and on streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon. I have toured the US, UK & EU, working with Grammy-nominated artist Cory Wong as a vocal arranger & producer, collaborative artist, & songwriter. I appear on multi-platinum-selling artist Dave Koz's most recent album as a featured artist and background vox composer. In NYC, I regularly perform as a solo artist, band leader, keys player & vocalist, including for the popular a cappella performance group The New York Belles. My voiceover career is young; however, I have landed two professional advertising campaigns and two audiobook jobs in the past 12 months.
My home studio is where I provide professionally recorded, entirely produced backing vocals, arrangements, and top-line work. My tracking method for background vox is to stereo stack each part to achieve a 'synth-like' quality. I also record 'doo-wop' style with call & response phrases, & melodic harmonies. My editing & production process is streamlined & efficient, enabling me to have a quick turnaround, anything between 1-3 days depending on project length & depth. Rates start at $250/song. Let's make something awesome!
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
5 ReviewsEndorse Phoebe Katis
Phoebe is one of the best when it comes vocals and songwriting!!! I’ve hired her for many things I produce and she never disappoints. Truly one of the best harmony singers I’ve had the pleasure to work with and always so kind and thoughtful in her process. She is always diligent in getting things right and has incredible work ethic, so you know your project will be done in a timely manner. I couldn’t recommend Phoebe enough!!!
There is so much to say about Phoebe! I heard her voice and knew she was perfect for the musical theater demo songs I was working on. While I expected a fabulous voice, what blew me away was her passion and commitment to the project, the characters, and the emotion of the pieces. This, combined with exceptional communication, made it easy to make amendments and even improve the songs with her seemingly effortless harmonies. Phoebe's vocal agility, devotion, and professionalism helped me not only create incredible demos, but also enjoy the process immensley!
Phoebe has great intuition and skill as a songwriter. She worked with me to write lyrics for my song with instrumental melodies. She helped fine-tune the melody, lock down a song form, create a better-sounding demo, AND gave me great tips while recording my lead vocals! Phoebe is a true joy to work with, easy to collaborate with, and has been very timely with her communications!
My name is Sam Greenfield and I’ve hired Phoebe to record vocals and co-write on several of my songs. I’ve worked/toured/recorded with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Mariah Carey, Cory Wong, and Dave Koz. Every time I get a dropbox folder of tracks from Phoebe, and load them into a logic session, my songs are immediately elevated tenfold. Whether you have very specific parts mapped out for her, or give her full creative liberty of what she does, she always knocks it out of the park. Trust me, your song is not complete until Phoebe puts her stamp on it.
Phoebe Katis has worked with my acapella quartet, The New York Belles as musical director, arranger, and vocal performer. She is highly skilled at vocal arranging, creating lush harmony arrangements and paying attention to detail. Phoebe has provided us with professional learning tracks to make our process much easier. She also has a wonderful ability as music director to help balance our group sound and make every note more dynamic. Phoebe sings with raw integrity with consistently beautiful intonation. She also has lovely original music and is always coming up with something new.
Interview with Phoebe Katis
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: As I am new to the platform, I haven't met anyone here that I would recommend, but I am always looking for fellow musicians and creatives to work closely with and recommend to clients if someone other than me is the right person for their project.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My recently released self-produced album, To Feel The Rain is a huge achievement in my career. I co-produced my first three albums, so this one was extra special because I was in the producers' chair for the first time. I worked with a group of highly talented and wonderful friends, running a recording day in a studio in LA (where we recorded four songs in one 10-hour day) and organizing remote recordings from friends worldwide. I arranged all the strings and horns on the album, another first for me, and produced the soundscapes. I enjoyed the whole process and am very proud of the songs. Please have a listen and let me know what you think!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I have just released my first self-produced album under my artist project Phoebe Katis, so I am working toward my next creative endeavor while promoting and touring this current body of work. I am improving my home studio space with a new vocal booth, so I am ready and excited to work on more recording projects!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! Each has its pros and cons: being a performer, first and foremost, I appreciate the old-school analog production process of printing to tape once and needing to 'get the take' in only a few times around. I also love the way technology has made it possible to record in our own homes, get the perfect sounding vocal stack and be able to edit and tweak until we are 100% happy. There is a 'sound' to both the analog and digital processes, and depending on the project, both can be equally valuable.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to give my full creative attention to your project, listen to your view and work tirelessly to best support that vision with my role. I only enjoy recording and producing vocals for people when they are happy with the finished product. I am happy to contribute creative inputs when asked and follow directions and feedback when you are sure of your vision. Let's create something awesome together!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The freedom and creativity behind arranging and producing vocals of all kinds. I love singing in tight harmony, and it is truly something I do every day just for fun, as well as for work! (check out my Instagram page for my a cappella arrangements of popular songs). I also love working with fellow creatives on their projects, finding a unique way to add my stamp to their music, and listening to the finished project with a happy customer.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How many and what kind of backing vocals would suit this song? Depending on the genre of music, I would always offer three 'kinds' of backing vocals. One: the 'pad' vocal, which is the most 'synth-like' sounding (oohs, aahs, 3 - 5 part harmony). Two: the lyric harmony vocals (singing with the lead and adding a different harmony, for example, the 3rd or 5th). Three: the call-and-response harmony vocals (commonly heard in the doo-wop world of backing vocals, responding to a line sung by the lead vocalist, or filling in the gaps between lead vocal lines). How long does it take to record backing vocals? Again this depends on the type of backing vocals you'd like (see above) and the length of your song. It can take me anywhere from 1 - 3 days to complete vocals, and usually, I'll have a first draft within 24-48 hours, depending on my current workload. How many revisions can I ask for? I usually allow three revisions for lead vocals, depending on song length. For backing vocals, I offer one revision after extensive talks about what approach you would like on your project (see question one). It is a lot harder to totally revise backing vocals as I am layering anywhere from 6 - 24+ background vocals on a song, so I make sure the first draft is what you are looking for in your project. Can I have entirely produced stems? Yes. I can deliver fully produced (tuned, EQd, compressed, reverb, etc.) stereo stems of my background stacks and dry stacks for you to add your own effects & processing. I've paid you already, and I'd like to add one more revision after closing the job. Is this possible? Yes. I can add another round of backing vocals for you for an extra fee proportionate to the scale of the additional vocals you would like. I have lyrics, and I'd like help writing a melody for my song. Can you help? Yes! I love writing toplines; if you need help with lyrics and a melody, that's definitely in my wheelhouse. Depending on the project, I'll either ask for a buyout payment (in which case there is no split in writing royalty) or a buyout plus royalty (less on the buyout, supplemented with a royalty cut).
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Many people think they can record their own background vocals. And many absolutely can! However, there should be an art to arranging complimentary background vocals that enhance the music and don't distract from the core of the piece.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What does this project mean to you? What is your deadline for this project? Where is it going to be shown/placed? How long is the project (length of the song)? How many different vocal parts are you looking for (lead, background, second lead harmony, call and response, etc.)? Do you have any references for the types of vocals you are looking for?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Music can be a deeply personal art, working on your own material, or even for a third-party brief. Every project is unique in my approach. There are many factors to influence how I will record vocals or help with the songwriting, and as a customer looking to hire my services, it is great when I can have an in-depth conversation about the meaning behind the project. Of course, this depends on exactly what the job is for, but even a jingle for a new cereal advert has a creative narrative! I love getting to know the emotion behind a project to add something truly special.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: keyboard, computer, SM 7b microphone, apollo interface, camera!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been a professional musician for the last ten years, graduating from the University of Leeds in the UK in 2014. I began working as a performer, songwriter, and recording artist during my student years. Over the last ten years, I have been stretching my musical wings into different areas of the industry, improving my recording & production skills, gaining experience in songwriting with others, and performing worldwide.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Pop with flavours of broadway, jazz, soul and folk mixed in. Yum!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to meet and work with Imogen Heap to understand her vocal arranging process better. For similar reasons, I'd love to work with Voces 8 on the more classical/choral side of performance and arranging and Take 6 on the gospel/pop side. I would also love to sit down with Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Carole King and Joni Mitchell for a songwriting session; I mean, who wouldn't?
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Edit & comp while you go! So many hours are spent going back into recordings and finding the 'best' takes. While recording, I have learned to know when I am happy with a take and always comp as I go so I don't have substantial take folders to sift through later.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Pop music encompassing folk, jazz, blues, broadway, and funk.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My knowledge of vocal arranging, recording & producing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As mentioned above, the 'synth-like' quality of my backing vocals is a unique feature that is currently very popular in pop music. My versatility as a vocalist allows me to deliver a wide range of vocal genres when singing lead, which is key to working with several clients across the genre field. I am very quick and professional in my vocals delivery, which is a great asset to what is becoming a faster and faster-paced industry.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Once I accept a job, I work closely with the client to understand their vision, making sure to ask all technical and directional questions up front to save time & money on revisions. I typically allow up to 3 revisions depending on the length & depth of the project. Once I have a good idea of what is expected, I work quickly to deliver the first draft. Once notes have been received, I work towards a second draft while checking in with the client to see that they are happy with how I interpret their feedback. Once the recording is complete, I can deliver dry or entirely produced stems, depending on the client's wishes.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I live and work in Brooklyn NYC, with a professionally sound proofed home studio. I have a vocal booth with an Apollo twin interface, SM7 mic, and a Neumann TLC mic. I use Logic Pro X, with (among others) Isotope, FabFilter, Valhalla, Goodhertz plugins.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Imogen Heap is a huge inspiration in her vocal and technological innovations. I also love The Swingles (A Cappella group from London, UK), Voces 8, Jacob Collier, Take 6 and a variety of current singer songwriter artists who arrange and produce their own backing vocals.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My most commonly sought-after skill is arranging, recording, and producing vocals (backing and lead) on recorded and live performance projects. This includes setting from ear as well as reading music and recording parts. The way I blend my vocal stacks has often been described as having a 'synth-like' quality, similar to Imogen Heap, which adds a unique instrumental nature to the parts.