Colbie Caillat welcomes change. Being a Gemini might have something to do with it, or it could just be her innate predilection for progression. Either way, the Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum songstress’s fourth album, Gypsy Heart, and EP Gypsy Heart Side A, see her artistically evolve yet again.
“I like change,” she affirms. “I have a hard time picking one thing I love. Gypsy Heart sums up everything I am…..Musically, Gypsy Heart has the singer-songwriter style fans have loved all these years, but it’s more up-tempo with beats and heavy production on some songs. Combining those two sides was my goal.”
She certainly succeeds as well. After 2012’s Christmas in the Sand, she spent the next year tirelessly writing. “After turning it in to my label, they suggested I keep writing
and aim for a completely different sound.” Reluctantly, she agreed to continue writing, and it proved to be the right decision. Teaming up with her “Brighter Than The Sun” collaborator OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder [Adele, Beyoncé], the two cut the shimmering dance floor anthem “Hold On,” which hinted at what lay on the horizon for Caillat.
For Gypsy Heart’s campaign song “Try”, she joined forces with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Gently plucking an acoustic guitar along to a lush piano melody, the singer makes a powerful statement about female body image. For the lyric video, she enlists both fans and celebrities to appear without makeup, freeing themselves and bravely embracing natural beauty. “While we were writing, Kenny told me, ‘Stay true to yourself. Don’t let them change you’,” she goes on. So, I started singing the chorus with the words, ‘You don’t have to try’. It was such a liberating way to start the session and we kept rolling with that message…..This is an anthem for women to accept who they are and be comfortable showing it and not hiding it from one another.”
Elsewhere on Gypsy Heart, Caillat cuts loose yet again. “Blaze” could very well be the life of the party over an endless summer with its kinetic energy and breezy hook. At the same time, “If You Love Me Let Me Go” examines a breakup with poetic lyrics and her striking vocal delivery. During “Live It Up”, Caillat confronts stage fright and her struggles to overcome it.
Meanwhile, “Never Gonna Let You Down” remains the song everyone loved the most, however, “Babyface” put his own stamp on it. “Along with ‘Try’, I think it’s one of the songs my fans will relate to the most,” she continues. “I love the crisp folk lean to the song.”
Caillat’s music lasts forever. To date, she has been honored with Two Grammy Awards and sold over six million albums and ten million singles worldwide. Her breakthrough hit “Bubbly” remains "one of the best-selling digital tracks in history" and her multi-platinum debut COCO hit #5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart upon release, while her sophomore set Breakthrough landed at #1. From 2011’s All of You, “Brighter Than The Sun” went platinum and enjoyed over twenty film and television placements, while seeing acclaim from People and NY Post. She’s also played sold out venues everywhere alongside everybody from John Mayer to Sheryl Crow.
Still, at the end of the day, Colbie always challenges herself as a writer, regardless of which direction she travels. “I just want to write songs that stay with people,” she concludes. “If fans can listen to my music on repeat, that’s amazing. And play my songs during memorable moments in their life, I know I want that more than anything.”
Alex & Sierra
Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton met on the beach in Florida when they were in high school, not realizing at the time that it was the fortuitous beginning of a musical journey. Alex was a musician, inspired by the infectious music and optimistic attitude of Jason Mraz, while Sierra was a competitive dancer with a love for all things artistic. The pair eventually moved from a friendship to a relationship, always singing together for fun in the car. Every week Sierra would drive over an hour to see Alex perform at venues around Daytona and New Smyrna Beach and it was only a matter of time before he began calling her up onstage to sing. As this continued for a year, the collaboration became more and more significant and eventually transitioned into Alex & Sierra.
“We realized we could do more than just a song or two,” Alex says. “It felt like more than that. I’ve always had confidence in music – that’s the only thing I could ever really see myself doing. And then when we started performing together I realized I would get more applause when Sierra was onstage. That made me feel even more confident in performing music. It really was something special.”
In early 2013, the duo filmed themselves singing the Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow” in front of a rubber ducky shower curtain in Alex’s college dorm as an audition for The X Factor. Months passed and the group continued performing around Florida, including a show outside Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran’s Amway Arena performance in Orlando in the spring of 2013 for top 40 station, XL 106.7 where Sierra was an intern. In May, news arrived that Alex & Sierra had scored a spot on The X Factor, which they eventually won in December. The experience quickly took the pair to the next level, expanding their musical skills as they offered fan-favorite renditions of songs like Taylor Swift “I Knew You Were Trouble” and Sheeran’s “Give Me Love.” Alex & Sierra’s versions of A Great Big World’s “Say Something” and Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” reached No. 1 on iTunes. Overall, their X Factor numbers have sold over one million copies and earned 69 million views on YouTube.