Colbie Caillat Gains Star Status with Debut Album

Singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat credits a popular Web site with breaking her hit song “Bubbly” and launching her career.

“Yeah, I mean MySpace [Web site] definitely got my career started for me because I put my songs up,” she says. “My fans, that I grew over a few months period of time, they added my songs to their pages. Then I became the No. 1 unsigned artist, and then I got a record deal.”

That record deal lead to Caillat’s debut CD Coco. The title came from her nickname. Caillat talks about her musical influences.

“When I wrote my first song, it was just me and my guitar, and I had learned four chords. So the song was kind of like acoustic folk,” she says. “But once I got into more writing and with my producer and recording, it just kind of added [my abilities grew].

“I like soul. I like R&B. I like reggae. I like classic rock. So I kind of added everything. It is kind of ‘poppy’ [popular music] because it is played on radio. So it is just a little mix of everything, and it is exactly my style.”

The idea that music can be a career is not foreign to Caillat’s family. Her father, Ken Caillat, is a very successful recording engineer and producer. His credits include some of the biggest-selling records of all time.

“He did [produce] Rumors and Tusk [albums recorded by Fleetwood Mac], and he engineered many different albums,” she explains. “He worked with Bob Marley, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley. He did a bunch of stuff, but Fleetwood Mac … he co-produced those albums, so that is what everyone talks about.”

Caillat credits her father for the best career advice she has received.

“To become a songwriter, because I always wanted to be a singer. I would always quit my piano lessons, and I was not really into being a musician. I did not even think about being a songwriter,” she says. “It is really important for your career for being able to sing your own songs. Everything about it. It is just really important to do that [perform one's one compositions]. So once I learned how to do that, it is the best. I am so glad that he talked me into it [songwriting].”

The success of her first CD has led to other opportunities, like an appearance on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards and her own music videos. Caillat says the actor featured in her videos is no stranger.

“He is one of my best friends since high school. He is an actor/model, and when I had to choose the guy to be in my video I was like, ‘Well, why have some random guy when this guy is gorgeous, and we are really good friends?’ The chemistry would be good, and I wanted to help his career out as well.”

Success often brings pressure upon an artist to deliver a second CD that exceeds the success of the first. Caillat is excited about the new songs she has been writing, and brings the same optimism that was a trademark of Coco.
“I am really excited about it [her second album]. I think it is going to be great,” she says. “I think we are, me and my band and my crew and everyone who is involved with me, we are going to make it the best, and the next tour will be amazing. I am really looking forward to it all.”