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1 or 2 — Episode 40: Katera

Tip jar for Katera

“I just wanna be single” is one of those phrases at which people tend to scoff. But the truth is that figuring yourself out, and figuring out how to be comfortable and contended with that, is not just a prerequisite to a healthy, meaningful romantic partnership, it’s a key building block to holding steady as an individual amid life’s chaotic churn.

Columbia R&B singer Katera’s new song “Single” shines as a beacon for this truth. While out chilling with her crew, she’s pulled to the dance floor by a guy she doesn’t know. She’s fine with the dance, but as she casually but confidently intones, “We can mingle / But I want to be single.”

It’s a song well-suited for solo performance in this week’s “1 or 2”, offering obvious reinforcement for words that center on focusing on yourself for a bit. She sings about not wanting “strings attached” as her electric guitar rings out clear and true, and her radiant voice presents her position not as some desperate need, but as a course that she’s set for herself, and one she’s committed to follow.

Her live rendition (captured in front of Henry Spencer Moore’s “Upright Motive No. 8” in Boyd Plaza) exudes an affirming level of self-confidence and self-awareness.

It’s a performance I’m thrilled we can share with you as the 40th episode of the “1 or 2” socially distanced performance series.

While I’m not happy that the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to make such avenues to connecting local artists with local audiences — and giving those artists some much-needed paychecks — so necessary, I remain awed by the inspiration and perspective our featured artists have provided in these trying times.

Free Times remains grateful to our partners in this endeavor — One Columbia, Richland Library and SceneSC — for helping us keep it going.

To check out more "1 or 2" videos, all of which are freely accessible without an online subscription, head to


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