We interviewed singer Colbie Caillat before her performance at The Paramount in Huntington recently.
What is your favorite thing to do during your free time?
Hang out with my dogs and with family and friends and eat yummy food.
What is your favorite song you wrote, and why?
“I Never Told You” is one of my favorite songs to sing and then also my song “Bubbly” because I wrote that when I was 20 years old and it’s a song that I came up with really fast. A lot of songs take a while to write and that one was easy and it kind of felt like it was something out of me to express, and it changed my life.
What were your favorite singers and bands as a child?
I loved Fleetwood Mac; my parents raised me with a lot of Fleetwood Mac records. Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley songs.
What was it like working with Jason Mraz on the song “Lucky”?
So cool. He’s one of the coolest human beings. His voice is incredible, and when we actually got to record a song I was in London with him, and he’s just really funny and he makes you feel comfortable wherever you are. It was such a great experience because I was a huge fan of his music. I felt honored to get that opportunity.
Did you find it difficult when you first started learning how to play the guitar, and what is your favorite: guitar, piano or singing?
Yes, it was very difficult. It hurts your fingers unless you play it enough to get calluses on your fingers. So it kind of hurts. So you have to get through that and play enough to where you don’t feel the pain anymore. My favorite instrument would be singing.
What comes to your mind when you write songs? What do you write songs about?
I write songs about stuff that I’m going through in life, whether it’s falling in love or going through a breakup or watching a family member go through something around me. A lot of times, if I’ve written enough about myself, I will kind of watch the people I’m closest to and see if I could write about what they’re going through, and even sometimes from a different perspective.
What was the most fun music video of yours?
That’s a tough one. My music video for “Fallin’ for You.” Bobby Moynihan from “SNL” was one of the actors in it, and it was more like a funny music video. We got to do embarrassing funny things and the whole time we were laughing, filming that one. So that was real fun.
What made you want to join the Humane Society, the charity you’re in?
I love animals, and since they don’t have a voice they need people to speak up for them and remind people that they need to be treated humanely and with kindness, and so I really wanted to be a voice for them and help people realize that they should adopt and really treat animals nicely.
What sort of message would you have for kids?
I would say to . . . choose something that you would want to do every single day and, when you choose that, make sure you practice every day and you prepare yourself and you learn all the aspects around it, because there’s so much more involved than just the one thing that you’re wanting to do.
Was it really hard to do only the 11 songs on “The Malibu Sessions” album?
It was hard because we recorded 29 songs and we wrote 60 songs. We had to narrow it down. Every song you write is your baby, and I felt I had to really strategically choose the 11 songs into having a really nice flow to this record and have the conceptual vibe where everything matched each other. In that sense, it kind of became easy that if I had one guideline to stick with, then that’s how I chose the songs.
Who supported you the most?
My family. My parents, my sister and my two best friends. They were the ones that kept encouraging me to be a singer. I really wanted to, but I have stage fright and I didn’t like to entertain people, and so they kept encouraging me to do what I love and to work through that fear.
What was it like to win a Grammy?
It was amazing. It was such an honor. My dad has a Grammy so I’d always see it in our house growing up, and I think to be acknowledged in the music industry in that way is something that every musician always hopes for. It was very emotional when I went up there. I didn’t think, like, everyone always cries — and I totally was just so excited about that I was up on that stage accepting it, crying.
One of the songs you wrote is “Try.” What inspired you to write it?
That’s a great question. I wrote that song about how all of us, every person around the world, starts and goes with self-confidence and insecurities, and I know it starts really young. For me it did. So I wrote it to help encourage everyone who’s ever doubting themselves in any way to really embrace their imperfections and let people see the exact person they are, because that person should be loved. You shouldn’t change yourself for anyone.