Belfast Telegraph

Jazz singer conquers hearing problems to launch recording career

A jazz singer has spoken of how she dedicated herself to music after she was fitted with digital hearing aids which meant she could hear herself properly for the first time.

Talented Kathryn Lowdon, 31, only took singing lessons after fixing her previously undiagnosed hearing loss, and since then she has formed a band, performed live, and now created an EP.

The Gateshead artist has also set up as a singing teacher, and hopes to inspire other aspiring musicians who may have a hearing condition.

Ms Lowdon enjoyed piano as a child but only took up singing properly after she had digital hearing aids fitted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, four years ago.

She had an undiagnosed congenital hearing condition which affected how she heard her own voice, and meant she found it difficult to pronounce certain consonants.

She explained: "My friend pointed out I had left my iPod on in my bag and I couldn't hear it and so I went for a hearing examination.

"I got my hearing aids and that opened up my world. I became fascinated by music, as I had never had it to that extent, and I studied really hard."

She took transatlantic singing lessons via Skype with leading teachers and her style developed.

Both her grandfathers were jazz singers, and she devoured her father's record collection as a child.

"I think I had a natural talent for music and I was really passionate about it," she said.

She thought her career path after her diagnosis was "unique", and hoped she could inspire others to follow her.

Her aim is to tour with her band Kathryn And The Soul Engineers after launching her soul, jazz and blues-influenced EP titled Cake at Hoochie Cookie in Newcastle on Sunday February 21.

She described the recording as "lyrically outspoken and unafraid, drawing on real life experiences of triumph over adversity which are designed to inspire audiences".

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