COLBIE CAILLAT Talks “Gypsy Heart”, Working With Babyface, Biggest Inspirations and Much More!
Posted On 31 Oct 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, All of You, Artist Interview, Babyface, Bob Marley, Breakthrough, Brighter Than The Sun, Bubbly, Christmas In The Sand, Coco, Colbie Caillat, Dukes, Fleetwood Mac, Friends, Grammy, Gypsy Heart, Jason Mraz, Jason Reeves, Johan Carlsson, John Mayer, Julian Bunetta, Just Like That, Lauryn Hill, Malibu, Max Martin, Realize, Republic Records, Sea Lion, Taylor Swift, Thousand Oaks, Try
The singer-songwriter, Colbie Caillat has been delighting us with her music since her debut in 2007 with “Coco”. It included the hit singles “Bubbly” and “Realize”. In 2008, Caillat released her second album, “Breakthrough” and it was as 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. Then in 2013, she released “All Of You” which had the single “Brighter Than The Sun”.
Her latest and fifth studio album, “Gypsy Heart”, was released last year. This collection features songwriting collaborations with past co-writer, Jason Reeves, as well as new co-writers and producers Max Martin, Julian Bunetta and Johan Carlsson. The album’s lead singles are “Try” and “Just Like That”.
All Access recently had the pleasure of interviewing Colbie and learn more about her inspirations, how she came to be a performer in the first place and much more. Enjoy!
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for me! I’m actually at our main office now in Malibu, which is where you are from. Correct?
Yes I’m from Malibu! Was born in a house on the hill above Dukes (which was the Sea Lion back then). Moved to Thousand Oaks when l was 5.
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.
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 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. Did school talent shows. Took vocal lessons 2 times a week from the age 15-18. Learned guitar at 19 and wrote my first song that day. I fell in love with the feeling of writing a song. Creating something on your own, about something you’re going through in life, it’s liberating.
How do you think you have grown as a singer since you began performing? How has your music changed since your debut album, Coco to your latest release, Gypsy Heart?
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 enjoying the audience and their interactions with me, getting excited to perform my songs for them, and being sad when the show is over. Doesn’t mean I don’t still have stage fright though. 🙂
My albums keep growing and I keep experimenting with different instruments, sounds, genres, as I grow 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.
What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment so far and what do you have your eyes set on next?
My biggest accomplishment has been surviving the music industry, by releasing 5 albums over 9 years and facing my fears on stage every single day.
I wanna wright songs for other people and take a break from touring and performing. I wanna 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.