Princess Katie and Racer Steve are kids’ music royalty, no pun intended. Comprised of the beautiful lead singer Katie O’Sullivan and her equally adorable husband Steve Borne, Princess Katie and Racer Steve make music that is equal parts fun and infectious. We spoke with the duo about rock music, working together and creating the ultimate rock concert experience for kids.
Katie: I was an Improv comedy actress as well as a personal trainer.
Katie: We totally fell into this. My cousin is a social worker who was working at different hospitals. She would tell us about the kids, so Steve and I decided to dress up and visit the kids. We would dress as Spiderman and Spongebob, and then after awhile, we became Shrek and Fiona.Steve: The holiday season came around, and we wanted to go from room to room to visit the kids. I couldn’t play my guitar with the Shrek hands, so we decided to go as our own characters.
Katie: I had been Princess Fiona for so long so I became Princess Katie.
Steve: And I became Racer Steve. I had done some racing and had a racing suit in the closet. I had thought about being an astronaut, but if the kids had questions, I wouldn’t have been able to speak effectively about it. I could talk about being a race car driver, though.
What are Princess Katie and Racer Steve’s personalities like?
Katie: Princess Katie is not a typical princess. She’s feisty and strong. My personality on stage is the same off stage.
Steve: Racer Steve is the jokester. He’s the backbone of the band. Princess Katie runs the band. He’s the settling influence.
Your shows are a true rock concert extravaganza.
Steve: The kids are up and dancing like crazy. It’s very high energy. We also have a lot of humor in the show. Sometimes it goes over the kids’ heads but the parents get it. We bring parents onstage to do dances, too.
Katie: Which is perfectly embarrassing. [laughs] I liken it to an 80’s Van Halen concert. We’re jumping off things. There’s a baby mosh pit. The kids don’t stage dive, though. [laughs]
How would you describe the music?
Katie: It’s eclectic. We do every type of genre and we try to nail it. I like things to be really crazy, fun and exciting for the parents and the kids. So we’ll mix in a little Tom Jones, or the Go-Go’s, or even Ozzy Osbourne.
Sans the biting off of bats’ heads, I presume?
Katie: [laughs] Yes, no animals are hurt during our shows!
There’s a definite retro vibe to the music.
Steve: Yes, there is. It can go from the ‘60s-80s.
Katie: Yeah, I’m thinking shag carpet for my office so I can be inspired.
Steve: In the end, we want to make adult quality rock ‘n roll with kids’ lyrics. It’s intended to be as good as any other music you hear.
What are you working on now?
Steve: Tiny Cool, our third album, came out a few months ago. We’re working on a few new videos and we’re writing new songs for our next album. And on September 19th, we’re playing at the 92nd Y in NYC.
We should mention that you’re married.
Steve: We’ve been married for 6 or 7 years.
Six or seven?
Katie: [laughs] I know, right? Steve was doing a pilot for a TV show and I came on as the actress. It was for a travel show, so we spent one week together in a car. It was non-stop laughing. Who else could I do this with? Everything is based on laughing and a sense of humor. I don’t know anyone else who I could do this with, or would want to.
Is it challenging to work together?
Steve: If we’re doing an album, it’s stressful, but it’s more of a creative thing. It always works out. And kids are truly the best audience; it’s not lip service. They are the most honest audience. If you’re playing great, they let you know.
Katie: We love working with kids. It’s the best. There’s nothing greater than that little hand reaching up and giving you a high five.