Kristin Diable did not have the patience to “be discovered”; instead, the singer, songwriter and musician threw herself into the music world when she was a teenager.
“I just started making music,” she said. “I didn’t wait for someone to come and give me permission, or for a label to come and make me a record, or for an American Idol audition. It doesn’t really work like that.”
Diable and her band, the City, will perform at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater, playing a combination of “Americana, soul and rock ‘n’ roll,” she said.
Diable primarily focuses on songwriting in her music. She writes all the songs for her four-piece band, which is influenced by many genres and performers such as The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, Nina Simone and Neil Young.
“The City has been around for a couple of years now,” she said. “The concept of the word ‘city’ is that it’s inclusive. It’s about connecting people and creating a sense of community.”
The band’s new record is called Create Your Own Mythology, and it centers thematically on individuality and defining one’s own lifestyle and values.
“A lot of the stories we’re told are about conventional lifestyles we’re supposed to lead,” she said. “We’re supposed to go to school, get a job, get married, follow a particular set of religious beliefs, etc.”
Diable has pursued an unconventional lifestyle simply by working as a musician, she said. Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she said most people considered music and rock ‘n’ roll to be hobbies or forms of entertainment on weekends, but not legitimate career paths.
“Music is no more nor less plausible a career path than being a teacher or anything else,” Diable said. “You just have to get a little more creative in trying to make it pay for your existence. It takes a little longer, and it’s not as straightforward.”
Diable was determined to become a musician without help from others, which she feels is one of the secrets to making it as a singer or performer.
“It’s a craft and an art form, and it takes time, experience and learning to get good at it and find your voice,” she said. “If you want it to happen, you have to do it yourself. You have to pave the way yourself.”
Bringing a level of honesty and vulnerability to creating and performing music is another key to success, she said. Much of this appreciation for songs that are authentic, both from a lyrical and musical perspective, comes from living in the New Orleans area.
“I think there is a freedom of spirit in New Orleans that’s very unique and doesn’t really exist anywhere else,” she said. “It’s its own culture. That freedom of spirit definitely weaves its way through my songs and through my approach to life in general.”
This approach to music and to life comes full circle to the band’s new album.
“People are capable of creating their own mythologies,” she said. “You don’t have to listen to someone else’s story. You might as well make up your own.”