Multimedia-instrumentalist Katherine Paul, aka ‘KP, performing under the moniker Black Belt Eagle Scout, released At the Party With My Brown Friends (CD, LP, TAPE) August 30, 2019, on Saddle Creek Records. The album examines her evolution in life and unearths the true meaning of friendship and support from her friend group to her. On November 8, Drop-Off Productions Presents Black Belt Eagle Scout + Hikes at Surfside 7, 8 PM – 11:45 PM.
“I started realizing most of my friend group is this bunch of brown women, and a bunch of people of color, and how that can be important to oneself, especially as a person of color, and an Indigenous person. Being able to have friends who understand what life is like for you.”
And the title was born, At the Party with my Brown Friends. The party is a metaphor for the world, and society, and navigating through. KP says, “It can be a really bad party or a really good party, depending on who you have there with you. At my party, I have all of my brown friends with me.”
KP was born in 1989 in Anacortes, WA, raised on the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in LaConner, WA (pronounced SWIN-OH-MISH). Katherine played in various bands like Forest Park, Genders, Y La Bamba, and Helvetia before settling down with Black Belt Eagle Scout.
Katherine’s desire to inspire and change the world through music came after a summer camp in Portland, The Rock-and-roll camp for girls, where she met a bunch of friends who loved to rock out, and felt compelled to move to Portland.
In 2007, KP got accepted to Lewis & Clark College and was one of a handful of kids from the thousand people reservation that moved away and went to college. Katherine majored in Anthropology/Sociology, Minor in Gender Studies, but always played music.
Black Belt was the back burner for a bit, as all of KP’s personal music was while playing in other peoples’ bands, booking venues, and curating other’s music careers. She got used to the gigs and the social scene, but Katherine was unfulfilled creatively and didn’t feel like she was making a difference with her work and her art.
“The intention behind this band and this project are wholeheartedly from my indigenous perspective. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to be who I am,” KP says. “I grew up on an Indian reservation, and it’s just a really big part of my life and my identity. I want to offer this identity through music and be able to share with people and sometimes even teach people because I think that some people don’t always necessarily know about indigenous artists, depending on where you are in the world.”
Black Belt Eagle Scout is all about realizing and embracing who KP is at the core, what she is doing in the world, and opening up the doors for other people to look within themselves.
“I always think about when I’m creating music is to sing from one’s heart and to create from one’s heart. That’s something that my dad has always taught me. I think that it definitely has to do with our indigenous background. We share our culture, and we share our customs through our art and music.”