10 Questions with ... Colbie Caillat
January 4, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat made her debut in 2007 with her album "Coco" and the hit singles "Bubbly" and "Realize". In 2008, Caillat released her second album, "Breakthrough" which was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards. She followed this up with the holiday album, "Christmas In The Sand" in 2012. In 2013, she released "All Of You" which had the single "Brighter Than The Sun".
Her fifth and current studio album, "Gypsy Heart" features songwriting collaborations with previous co-writer Jason Reeves and new co-writers and producers Max Martin, Julian Bunetta and Johan Carlsson. The album features singles "Try", "Just Like That" and "Never Gonna Let You Down."
1) Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions today. I'm actually at our main office now in Malibu, which is where you are from is that correct?
Yes I'm from Malibu! I was born in a house on the hill above Dukes (which was the Sea Lion back then). We moved to Thousand Oaks when l was five.
2) Where did does this interview find you today?
I'm currently laying on a gigantic grey bean bag in my living room with 2 of my 3 dogs, and my favorite show "Friends" is on in the background.
3) Can you remember the moment that you decided to be a performer? Was there ever a time when you wanted to be something else?
Well to be honest, I never wanted to be a performer. My entire life I've always had the worst stage fright. I never wanted to be an entertainer, I just loved singing and then I loved writing songs and with that came the performing, which I grew to love. Growing up, I wanted to be a singer, an interior decorator, work with animals, and be a photographer in Africa :).
I started singing when I was 11. I did school talent shows and I took vocal lessons two times a week from the age 15-18. I learned guitar at 19 and I wrote my first song that day. I fell in love with the feeling of writing a song and creating something on your own, about something you're going through in life. It's liberating.
4) How do you think you have grown as a singer since you began performing?
I know my voice has gotten stronger over the years and I know how to properly sing and control my voice now. My performing has evolved too. I went from standing on stage with my eyes closed, not talking to the crowd the entire show, crying before I went on stage from my nerves ... To now, I'm enjoying the audience and their interactions with me, getting excited to perform my songs for them, and I'm sad when the show is over. It doesn't mean I don't still have stage fright though. :)
5) How has your music changed since your debut album, "Coco" to your latest release, "Gypsy Heart?"
My albums keep growing and I kept experimenting with different instruments, sounds, and genres as I grew up and like new styles. It's hard to always make everyone happy. Changing styles upsets people, but never growing does the same. I'd like to record a live album soon, showing the rawness of my show with imperfections and all.
6) What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
My biggest accomplishment has been surviving the music industry, by releasing five albums over nine years and facing my fears on stage every single day.
7) What was it like working with the legendary producer, Babyface, for this album?
Writing songs with Babyface has been one of the highlights in my life! He's such a legend, and it's inspiring seeing all that he's accomplished and that he's still completely in it and successful. When I wrote "Try" with him I was going through a really difficult time personally being OK with who I was, constantly having people judging me and encouraging me to be someone I was not. I poured my heart out to him and we wrote "Try" for me and for all people that struggle with being comfortable in their own skin. It's a song that I'm most proud of.
8) You must have known that the album's lead single, "Try" was going to be the smash that it was and women everywhere would relate to it. Where did the inspiration for this song come from?
When I came up with the idea for the lyric video for Try, I wanted to ask women I knew that were in the public eye to put themselves in a vulnerable place and allow the world to see a bare faced photo of them showing imperfections and all. It took a lot actually to convince people to do this, showing me that it really is a big issue around the world that we are all scared of letting people see our true selves.
9) More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What artists have consistently inspired you and your music?
I've always been inspired by Reggae, Classic Rock and R&B music. Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayer and Lauryn Hill have been my favorites. When I started making my own music I wanted to combine those genres and make my own, sort of like Acoustic Soul with bright instrumentation that to me sums up Southern California sunshine, which is where I grew up. I wanted my lyrics to be optimistic and up-lifting.
10) What do you have your eyes set on next?
I want to right songs for other people and take a break from touring and performing. I want to focus my time and energy on something new, but still be creative. I'd love to do more photography, design a house, start a vegan clothing line and open an animal shelter/sanctuary. I know that music helps people so much but I feel like I should be doing more than just that.
*Special thanks to Leah Adams who conducted this interview.