Katrina (born Katrina Abrahemian on August 19, 1977) is an American singer/songwriter and recording artist. At age 11 she won the television show Star Search as a vocalist, and after leaving music to become a lawyer she released her debut pop album In The Blink Of An Eye in 2011, co-written with Val Garay and Bonnie Hayes. The album features three singles, "Shame on Me", "OPM", and "So Eden", all of which gained chart and radio presences in the U.S. and U.K. For example, "So Eden" approached the Top 40 at Hot AC radio, and "OPM" (Other People's Money) hit #26 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart, also being remixed by Dave Aude.
Katrina Abrahemian was born on August 19, 1977 in Los Angeles, California, and is of Armenian heritage. At age 8 her mother recognized her vocal ability, and at age 11 she appeared as a contestant on the network television singing show Star Search. She won the Junior Vocalist category, competing against a 10-year-old future R&B singer Aaliyah.
Shorty after Katrina appeared on other shows such as Parade of Stars and was pursued by several record companies. She declined their offers, stating "I was 12 turning 13. I understood the concept of celebrity I just didn't understand how it involved me. They even wanted to make Katrina dolls. I just wanted to enjoy growing up and being a kid."
She has also stated "the success of Star Search quickly turned my parents' already tumultuous marriage into a battleground. I thought if I forgot about the music, things would be OK, but of course, the music was never the problem." She had a breakdown of her relationship with her father, and her parents divorced.
Katrina finished high school, singing in the school choir, singing backup for her friends' bands, and continuing to write her own material.
While sharing a one-bedroom apartment with her mother, Katrina decided to attend college and then law school. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science with a Minor in French from San Diego State University; her Juris Doctor, J.D., from Southwestern Law School, as well as her Masters in Entertainment and Media Law. She went on to work in criminal defense and workers' compensation fields, and is still licensed to practice law in the state of California, a member of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Federal Court.
While working she spent much of her spare time writing and recording music. "While my colleagues would be looking forward to a few drinks with friends, or getting ready for a hot date, I would head straight to the studio after a 100-hour work week, but to me that was the ultimate relaxation."
In the mid-2000s Katrina attended a Cher show in Las Vegas, another Armenian singer she had idolized since childhood. Inspired by the concert she quickly decided to return to music, quitting her law firm job and spending the next year writing songs on piano, learning guitar, and performing in clubs.
She wasn't yet approaching labels but she met and befriended Josh Sklair, the former musical director of Etta James. She went on write a number of blues songs with Sklair. In November 2008 she performed two songs with Sklair at the Arpa International Film Festival.
In the Blink of an Eye (2011):
The following year, when she asserted she was interested in recording a pop record, Sklair introduced Katrina to Grammy Award-winning producer Val Garay (James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Elton John) and songwriter Bonnie Hayes (Bonnie Raitt, Cher). She immediately began co-writing an album with both Garay and Hayes.
In 2010 she was signed by the record label Red Red Records, distributed by Sony.
A year after their first writing collaboration Katrina finished recording her debut album "In the Blink of an Eye," a phrase pulled from a song on the album titled "Taken." The album was released in 2011, and includes three singles, "Shame On Me," "So Eden," and "OPM."
"Shame On Me"
Katrina's debut single "Shame On Me" was released in January 2011. The single was playlisted at a number of stations across the US and hit #46 on the Hot AC chart, #1 on iHeartRadio Top 20 On Demand Adult Chart, spent several months in the top 5, and remained on the chart continuously that year. On May 7, 2011, AOL Music featured Katrina and the "Shame On Me" music video on their homepage. The song was also picked by "CultureBrats" as Song of the Day on January 24, 2012.
On February 15, 2012, ArtistDirect premiered the music video for "So Eden." "So Eden" is approached the Top 40 at Hot AC radio and debuted as the #1 Most Added at Hot AC it's first week. The track also appeared in CBS Radio Online and YAHOO! MUSIC station's online promotions for their CHR and HOT A/C stations in the US.
The single "So Eden" was released in the UK on March 26, 2012.Artistdirect.com called the track a "dreamy, adult contempo rock song with a bit of an edge." In Europe, dozens of stations in the UK play the single. Industry trade AAA Music UK called it "a rich & soulful lament to lost love...a well produced pop record, influenced by rock, with strong, powerful vocals and an impressive vocal range."
Katrina's follow-up and debut dance single released in July 2011, "OPM" (Other People's Money), hit #26 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart and topped the DJ Times Record Pool Picks in the summer of 2011. On August 3, 2011, AOL Music premiered the video for "OPM."
The song was remixed by Dave Aude, and the music video includes Katrina, Aude, Frank Stallone, George Rogge, and DJ Nino. According to Katrina, "OPM was inspired by my time spent in the Hollywood Hills. While practicing law, before going back to music, I admittedly partied with a group of professionals ... lawyers, doctors, and retirees babysitting their investments. There was this overwhelming element of mostly women, some men, all beautiful with empty pockets partying to overindulgent opulent extremes with other people's money. The lifestyle included private jets, villas, 96 Dom, and homes that belonged on the show MTV Cribs."
After the album release Katrina reached the #1 spot on Clear Channel's 'NEW! Artists to Watch' Chart. She was also featured in iHeartRadio's "NEW! Artists To Watch" campaign.
She toured in the U.S. and U.K. to support the album, including a series of live performances in London, ending with a showcase at the BBC Club in the BBC's London headquarters, with the track being played on BBC2 radio. In 2012 she toured the US in support of rock band Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, and also played the opening slot for Meat Loaf's 2012 Mad Mad World Tour. She has a new album due for 2013, with the single "Watch Me Walk Away" to be released in Fall of 2012.
She has listed some of her earlier influences as Cher, Sarah Brightman, Etta James, Edith Piaf, Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, and Ella Fitzgerald. The first CDs she ever bought were Phantom of the Opera and Mariah Carey. More recent influences include Pink, Bruno Mars, The Band Perry, and Lady Antebellum, with rock influences as diverse as Led Zeppelin and Nirvana.
Katrina lives in Los Angeles with her husband. She is an active skier, and is involved with the Los Angeles charity The Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the United States.