Colbie Caillat's father Ken Caillat is a highly in-demand audio engineer who was one of the producer's on Fleetwood Mac's multi-platinum albums Rumours and Tusk. Learning to play the piano as a child Caillat was inspired to sing by her love of Lauryn Hill records and began taking voice training in her teens. Although now playing guitar as well, inexperience and shyness lead her to unsuccessfully audition for American Idol twice but undeterred she continued to write songs. With the help and advice of producer Mikal Blue (OneRepublic, Five For Fighting, Carrie Underwood) and singer/songwriter Jason Reeves, she posted tracks on MySpace where she became incredibly popular with more than fourteen million views. Her 2007 debut album was preceded by the platinum selling hit single 'Bubbly' (co-written by Caillat and Reeves) which not only reached No 5 in the USA but also became a Top 10 hit in Canada, Austria, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand and the Netherlands as well as topping the charts in Australia. The album Coco (the childhood nickname she was given by her parents) was released in July and emulating the single debuted at No 5 in the USA and
was a significant hit around the World with sales in excess of three million copies. At the end of the year she released the non-album seasonal song 'Mistletoe' (co-written with her friend Stacy Blue) as a digital download only and while it failed to chart it was featured on a couple of subsequent compilations including 2008's The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs which featured numerous artists including KT Tunstall, Fiona Apple, Katy Perry and Sara Bareilles.
Her debut album yielded two more singles: 'Realise' which peaked at No 20 in the US and 'The Little Things' which missed the charts completely. 2008 was an extremely busy year for the singer; she toured as support to John Mayer, contributed the track 'Somethin' Special' to the charity album AT&T Team USA Soundtrack, released to promote the American athletes at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, co-wrote and duetted with Jason Mraz on 'Lucky' which featured on his album We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, co-wrote Taylor Swift's 'Breathe' from her album Fearless and co-wrote and featured on Schiller's German Top 20 hit 'You'. Caillat was back in the US charts in her own right with another platinum selling single when 'Fallin' For You' (co-written with award winning songwriter Rick Nowels) debuted at No 12 in June 2009. Her second album Breakthrough followed two months later and debuted at the top of the charts in the USA and yielded the minor hit 'I Never Told You' (written with Kara DioGuardi and Jason Reeves.) Other than a cover of Blondie's 'Maria' for the Levi's Pioneer Sessions: 2010 Revival Recordings and contributing vocals to Chase Coy's 'If The Moon Fell Down', The Weepies' 'I Was Made For Sunny Days' and David A. Stewart's 'Bulletproof Vest' it was a quiet year on the recording front for Caillat. She continued to tour, including singing 'God Bless America' at the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at the Angel Stadium in California and performing two songs ('Bubbly' and 'Fallin For You') at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway. The following year saw the release of her third album All Of You that she co-wrote with a number of collaborators including Rick Nowels, Ryan Tedder, Tony Gad, Jason Reeves, Justin Young and Kara DioGuardi. The record debuted in the USA at No 6 and produced three singles; 'I Do', which peaked at No 23, 'Brighter Than The Sun' which only reached No 47 while the digital download only 'Favorite Song' (featuring Common) missed the charts completely.
Issued for the 2012 festive season her next release was Christmas In The Sand, a mix of traditional and original songs produced by Caillat and her father Ken which featured duets with Brad Paisley ('Merry Christmas Baby'), Gavin DeGraw ('Baby It's Cold Outside'), Justin Young ('The Christmas Song') and Jason Reeves ('Every Day Is Christmas'). The Californian singer has collaborated with numerous artists across several genres including hip-hop (Common), dance (Schiller), country (Trace Adkins and Brad Paisley) and pop/rock (Taylor Swift, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Gavin DeGraw, Dave Stewart and Lucky Uke.)
Colbie Caillat has already established herself as a singer/songwriter of considerable talent whose restless spirit has seen her songs evolving from the sweet pop of her first couple of albums to the rock material on All Of You and the innovative beachside treatment of traditional festive fare on Christmas In The Sand. While she has yet to write any real soul-bearing songs there is almost certainly more to Caillat than her generally breezy tunes have suggested so far and it will be interesting to see how her writing develops over subsequent records.
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