Interview: How Ryan Tedder Helped Colbie Caillat Rethink Her New Album
By Annie Reuter
Colbie Caillat thought she was finished with her new album. That is, until she wrote a song with OneRepublic‘s Ryan Tedder. That song became her current single “Hold On,” and completely changed the direction she was going toward. In a video interview with Radio.com (watch above), Caillat explained how that writing session came together and why Babyface is her favorite producer to work with, as well as previewed some of the tracks on the album expected later this year on Republic Records.
“I flew to Miami where [Tedder] was on tour and we wrote ‘Hold On,’” she told Radio.com. “Once I heard the production and the direction that we went with on this song, it inspired me and everyone on my team of this new sound.”
Caillat said the record will be a mix of the songs she previously recorded for the album, which was originally set to be released last November. The tracks are “a little more classic rock, 70s vibe and these up-tempo departure leaning pop style songs.”
With this record, she worked with several writers and producers she’s used in the past, as well as Babyface, whom she credits as her favorite producer.
“He can write any style song, produce any style and for this record we’ve done four, maybe five songs together,” she said. “The first one we wrote together is ‘A Land Called Far Away’ and it’s leaning a little folk. There’s a banjo in it. And then the next song we wrote is R&B and pop. There’s all these big vocals and riffs all over the place. The next song we wrote together is a piano ballad that’s raw. No harmonies. Just acoustic guitar and piano. It’s called ‘Try.’”
While she hasn’t put together a final track list, Caillat said many of the songs are taken from what her friends and family are going through and past relationships she’s been in.
“['Try'] is about how us women feel like we need to change ourselves in so many different ways for people to accept us and like us. As much as we all hate that we allow that to happen, we still do it. Every day we wake up and change the way we look just so that we feel better about ourselves. Me and Kenny [Babyface] and Jason [Reeves], we were talking about that. We wanted a song that was honest and vulnerable.”
Two other tracks were inspired by her best friend’s dating life, which reminded Caillat of people she has dated in the past.
“It’s easy when you can relate to something like that. There’s a couple songs on this record that I wouldn’t want the guy to hear because I wouldn’t want him to get that kind of credit.”
But others, she wants him to hear.
“It’s a little bit of revenge, but I think in a cool way. A way that you took that anger for the person and you created something beautiful with it.”