Brenton Giesey

Colbie Caillat Embraces Her Country Roots

“A little country sparkle” is what this superstar is utilizing to make yet another mark on the music industry.

You know her from her smash hits “Bubbly,” “Realize,” and “I Never Told You” from the early 2000s. She is someone who dominated pop mixes and adult contemporary radio. Nobody could escape her relaxed, beach-y vibe (and nobody wanted to), but, nowadays, Colbie Caillat can be heard all over country playlists as she begins a new chapter in her life. 

Seven years ago, Callait made the leap from her sun-soaked life in California to the country flair of Nashville. The singer had success in her move: she helped put together a pretty, twangy group called Gone West and also performed on Country Music’s Biggest Stage. With her first solo country album on the way, The Aquarian’s Robert Frezza made sure to sit down with the crossover sensation that has become Colbie Caillat.

What have you been up to since your pop days?

I started a country band called Gone West. I moved to Nashville. We released an album and then the pandemic hit, and now the last couple years I’ve been working on my solo project.

I’m originally from Southern California and I moved to Nashville seven years ago. I have friends here. I wanted to live in a different city. I loved how it felt like such a small town and feels like home. It’s such a great community and everyone is so supportive. 

Gone West was comprised of friends and your fiancé?

Yes, my friend Jason Reeves, who I wrote a lot of music with in the past, his wife, Nelly, and Justin, my fiancé at the time. We always wrote music together and played music together, so we thought it be fun to be in a band together. 

Your new single, “Worth It,” is out. Is about the relationship you had with your fiancé?

Our relationship was really beautiful. We are still friends. I really wanted to have a song for him and our relationship. Not all break ups are bad! You’re not always enemies with your ex, so I wanted to show that I cherished what we had.

“Worth It” also finds you exploring more of that country genre. Did you find the crossover from pop to country an easy one?

If you listen to my previous records, especially Coco, I always had that influence. My music was acoustic pop, but had that folk feel. I always had an acoustic guitar and steel guitar. Now, living in Nashville for the past seven years, it’s the majority of what I listen to. It’s been a really nice transition. This album sounds like my first album except with a little country sparkle. 

You made your debut at The Grand Ole Opry. What was that experience like?

It was amazing. I felt so supported. They are so organized, calm, and make you feel warm. It’s here in Nashville and they air on the radio. They have it weekly and they have artists from all over and perform with their house band. 

Do you still see the same fanbase still come to your shows?

It’s both. I have the same fans that are still supportive throughout my career, but at a lot of shows, when I ask the crowd if this is their first show, the majority raise their hands. That’s surprising and it’s been cool to see. There are young teens and kids and mothers who are in their forties and fifties in the audiences. I always hear mothers raise their children on my music, which is really sweet.

You are a supporter and spokesperson of many organizations including the ASPCA, Save The Music, and Surfrider Foundation. 

I used to work with ASPCA. I think we need to bring more awareness of animal adoption, ones that we have as pets or ones that we raise on farmlands. 

Save The Music is important to have an outlet for kids to have them be creative. When I first started playing guitar and writing when I was 19, it was therapy. It’s important just having that foundation and those tools when you are young.

Surfrider Foundation is important for the environment. They clean up and are taking care of our planet. 

What does the future hold for you?

Right now, I’m focused on this album that I’ve been working on for two years now. I think you can write any style of song and it really depends on what genre of style you produce it as. Right now, I’m country and that’s what I love, but anything is possible.

Any regrets?

I always had stage fright and I have social anxiety. It’s always been a damper on my whole career. I’ll get a show offer or a chance to sing the national anthem on live television, but I’d get nervous. I wish I didn’t let that get in my mind so I could fully enjoy it.