Home / Feature / Kate Plaisted

Kate Plaisted

Girl in the Garden Goes to American Idol

Story Chelsea Chambers   Photos  Kimberlee Miller and American Idol

Idaho native and Eagle resident, Kate Plaisted, has a voice capable of transcending anyone who listens to it to a higher level. The beat behind More Than Temporary is upbeat and motivational, a perfect way to jumpstart any morning, while the beautifully-sung lyrics speak directly to the soul. “I think we might be onto something good and extraordinary. So, let this story play out as it should, it’s only February.” The cadence in her voice sings sweet like spring sunshine, while the rhythm is enough to get you up and moving. Another song, Polaroid, is a must-have for any road trip playlist. “We’ll remember this ride. The world is ours to enjoy. Tonight, we’ll freeze this moment in time, and save the memory in a polaroid.” The experiences that Kate speaks to in her music are relatable, allowing the listener to take their own journey, transported through her music.

Forever musically inclined, Kate has been playing the piano since she was just six years old, and rather impressively we might add. This spurred her interest in other instruments like the ukulele and the guitar. But always searching for something more, she started singing about five years ago. After nearly a decade of playing, “singing along made the piano more fun!” says Kate.

She began taking singing lessons to add a new twist to her piano skills, but she had no idea that singing would transform the direction her life. Her vocal coach recommended she participate in the local Star Idaho 4th of July Talent Show. She went for it, and ultimately won the contest.  What she didn’t expect was for a musician in the audience of this small-town Idaho talent show to approach her to sing backup vocals on their CD.  She loved her experience in the recording studio and this gave Kate the encouragement to participate at a talent showcase in Los Angeles. It almost seemed to good to be true—but shortly afterward, Kate was in Los Angeles, launching her music career further than she ever anticipated.

AMERICAN IDOL – Coverage. (ABC/Josh Vertucci) KATE PLAISTED

“I grew up in a small town in Idaho. I never imagined that anything like this was possible,” Kate recalls.

But LA wasn’t her last stop. While in California, Kate met various agents and coaches and, ultimately, flew to Nashville, Tennessee to begin recording her own songs. And over the course of seven days, Kate wrote (alongside a cowriter and producer) and recorded seven songs.  The EP is titled Polaroid, under Kate’s artist name, Girl in the Garden. “We wrote the music and lyrics and recorded about one song a day.” The process required a huge amount of dedication and perseverance. Kate and her team worked tirelessly all day while in the studio.

After Nashville, Kate made the trip to Houston, Texas, to audition for The Voice. She didn’t quite make the cut, but it didn’t break her spirit. She heard that American Idol was coming to Boise for auditions and the opportunity was too perfect to pass up. “I wasn’t really planning on trying out for American Idol, but they were coming here, so I went for it.” And she made it!

While the road to American Idol Live is a long one, Kate has the support, dedication, and aspiration to succeed in the music industry. And undoubtedly, no matter what happens, this experience has been incredible for networking and getting her foot in the door. With a voice like Kate’s, her success is practically guaranteed.

Kate’s comes from a family of predominantly doctors and scientists, but regardless, a deep love for music runs through her veins. When asked what spurred her musical interests, she said, “It may sound cliché, but when I listen to music, it makes me feel such strong emotions. I wanted to do that for others. Plus, it’s a great way to spread ideas. One of the greatest experiences was when a woman came up to me and said that they were going to play More Than Temporary at their wedding. It was an amazing feeling.”

Kate plays all over Idaho, and she advises other musicians or those interested in the industry to do the same. “Take every single opportunity that you can. Reach out to people. Write music with your friends, attend music camps.” Immerse yourself in the industry. “My first gig was just playing at the Boise Farmer’s Market on the street. And I still met so many people.”

Kate has been seen at The Sapphire Room, The District Coffee House, Long Drop Cider, Dry Creek Merc, The Gazebo in Heritage Park, the Saturday Markets, and more.

“I always wanted to do this,” says Kate, “but I didn’t know that it was even possible until recently.” But it is possible. From small-town Idaho to American Idol and more—Kate Plaisted is an inspiration to musicians, writers, and anyone who thinks that just because they are from a small town that they don’t have the same opportunities as people from larger metropolitan areas might have. And while Eagle, Idaho is not in the same industry-leading league as Los Angeles or New York, there are still vast amounts of opportunity.  

Good luck on American Idol Kate! We are cheering for you!

Kate has two upcoming shows in Eagle at the Gazebo in Heritage Park (May 18 and August 10), but keep an eye out for her all over town and on screen.

Kate is proof that with enough dedication, doors of opportunity will present themselves to you. Both her story and her music are truly inspirational.

If you want to learn more about Kate Plaisted/Girl in the Garden, visit her website at KatePlaisted.com or on Facebook—Girl in the Garden Music. She can also be found on Instagram @kwelkate and YouTube.