FYIG Chats With Singer/Songwriter Callaghan Belle

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thank you for having me! I’m a songwriter and musician from Detroit. I’ve been working behind the scenes as a songwriter for a few years in Los Angeles, but now I’m finally releasing material as an artist. So I’m very excited about that.

You started singing and writing your own music at 8 years old. Was it pretty clear even then that this would be what you wanted to do for a career?

All my life. It’s funny, I can’t remember a time before music and I don’t know why it started. I didn’t realize there was anything unusual about a little kid writing songs. I thought everyone was doing it.

How did it feel to sign a record deal with Ken Caillat by the time you were in high school?

It felt pretty surreal. But I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I really grasped what was happening at the time. I feel like that happens a lot when you’re young in extraordinary circumstances. I signed my deal at the Village Recorder in West LA, which felt kind of historic. Studio D was built specifically for Fleetwood Mac and so many icons have recorded there since. It’s a really beautiful memory for me.

How would you describe your musical style?

I used to call it Blonde Rock n Roll because I thought that sounded cool. But I have no idea what that means, so instead, I’ll call it dark pop that tells a story. [Laughs]

Which artists have inspired you?

The Beatles, Lana Del Rey, Kelly Clarkson, JoJo, The Pretty Reckless, Troye Sivan, Dolly Parton, Led Zeppelin, Aly & AJ

You’ve written songs for JoJo and Colbie Caillat. What made you finally turn your focus into creating your own original music?

My focus has actually always been on creating as an artist, the other opportunities were happy, serendipitous accidents. It’s crazy to admit this, but my first EP has been done for two years now. People kept telling me to wait to release it and I listened for some reason. Now people are asking why I still want to release it. You just can’t win. [Laughs] But while I was “waiting,” I took advantage of other writing opportunities.

Callaghan Belle

How differently do you approach creating music for yourself versus another artist?

Writing for others typically involves direction and collaboration of some sort. Essentially, your writing communicates what that artist wants to say to the world. Writing for yourself is purely therapeutic. Inspiration hits and 20 minutes later there’s a song. For me, there’s no process, it just happens all at once.

You recently released your debut single, “Dear Detroit”. What can you tell us about this song?

I wrote “Dear Detroit” a few years ago before moving to LA. It was actually one of the first songs I produced on my own. The backstory came from a meeting I’d had at The Beverly Hills Hotel— Basically, I was this wide-eyed teenager in a sundress and this man in a suit was going on and on about how my music needed to be “more about guns.” It was quite a meeting. [Laughs] But it inspired me to write about the internal battle that we all face when we move away from home. So “Dear Detroit” is about feeling homesick for a sense of belonging whether that stems from a person, a place, or an emotion.

Do you have any live shows coming up? If so, what’s the audience experience like?

I don’t currently have any shows scheduled. But soon! I aim to put on an intimate, fun show. I want everyone to feel comfortable and heard. Especially with smaller venues, the vibe can be really therapeutic and soothing.

What sets you apart from other music artists?

Hmm.. most likely my vulnerability. I’ve felt too many emotions in my short lifetime. [Laughs] But I try to take advantage of that and help others through their own feelings.
Do you have an EP or full-length album on the way? If so, what can listeners expect?
Yes! My first EP, Sovereign, will be out later this year. It’s my baby. It’s dark pop, but still sweet and vulnerable. It tells a story of growing up. For example, one of my favorite songs on the album is called “Kids.” It’s about growing up in a broken home but learning to trust and love anyway.

What advice would you give to aspiring singers/songwriters?

My advice to aspiring songwriters is to gather experiences. You can’t authentically write about what you don’t know— Inspiration dries up quickly when it doesn’t stem from something real. As a kid I wrote and wrote, but never went out and experienced life. That’s one thing I wish I could go back and change. And my advice to aspiring singers is to sing along with your favorite artists. I learned to sing by screaming along to Kelly Clarkson and JoJo as a kid. [Laughs]

What’s your life like outside of the studio?

I actually go to school in my free time. I’m majoring in political science. So, after a day in the studio, I come home and read about political theories. [Laughs] I also love to work out. Hiking, yoga, going to the gym. But on an ideal chill day, I’m completely unplanned. I’ll spend time with my friends. I love road trips. I love traveling. Going to the beach, playing the piano. Being spontaneous and creative is key.

Let the readers know where to find you online.

www.CallaghanBelle.com
https://www.instagram.com/callaghanbelle/
https://twitter.com/CallaghanBelle
https://facebook.com/CallaghanBelle
https://youtube.com/CallaghanBelle