Katie embraces life with "one step short of crazy" passion. She exudes enthusiasm and zest, roaring through each day with boundless energy that uplifts those around her. She is ever seeking to challenge herself in new directions and won’t allow others to stand in her way. Katie has a way of charming the most un-charmable, with a smile, a giggle and a hug that warms you to your toes. Her confidence bubbles over on stage, until everyone in the audience is feeling "the spirit" and moving to her groove. Christened Jessica Katie Whitis, Katie is the third child in a family of thirteen children. Katie recalls that as a child, her father would play guitar to entertain his children. When she was afraid to go to bed by herself, Mom gave Katie her first taste of soul and gospel with a cassette tape of Beau Williams for her lullabies. Today, Beau remains one of the greatest influences on Katie’s style.
There was always music on in the house. Katie's big brother, Jeremy, owned a large music collection. Katie would borrow records - oldies and rock and whatever Jeremy was currently listening to, or borrow his drum set to create her own music. The pivotal point in her life, though, came at the age of 14, when a member of Katie's church, in a moment of prayer, asked Katie, "Do you sing" At that time, pretty much the only singing Katie did was in the barn while cleaning the horse stalls, which she shared with this woman. The woman replied that she believed that God was going to strengthen Katie's gift of song. Shortly after that, Katie began singing at her community church. Performing solos not only gave her the opportunity to openly praise the Lord, but it also fed her desire to share her gift with others. Katie's strong voice and infectious enthusiasm were warmly embraced and admired by the congregation.
She began to get invited to sing for weddings or perform at other churches. Word of her fresh young talent spread and soon Katie was busy at larger events such as local fairs, festivals and arenas seating more than 40,000! Katie spent the next few years performing wherever and whenever she could expanding to international venues. Any vocal competition within sixty miles of her home was sure to include a performance by this powerhouse entertainer. While Katie was winning awards and wowing her fans with renditions of others tunes, she was starting to focus attention on the inner music of her soul. She began writing lyrics and working with a local musician to put the rhythms she felt in her bones into a language we all could enjoy. Katie's first recorded original, Fragile Heart, speaks of heartache and warns a new beau to be gentle with the tender emotions of love. Because of the rave reviews it received, Katie was inspired to continue to compose her own tunes.
Currently Katie performs with Joyride Band, Houston Coyote Ugly and is working diligently on a new album. Katie was recently awarded for her work in the motion picture “75 North” featuring “Big K” Kevin Taylor (World Record Brick Breaker) Katie is working with LRT Films LLC on two new films.