Interview: Caitlyn Smith Discusses Her Upcoming Project ‘High’ and Honing Her Craft as a Songwriter

Ahead of her upcoming release ‘High’ on April 8th, we chat to ACM new female artist of the year nominee Caitlyn smith. Smith discusses being a songwriter and honing her craft. Head below to read or listen to the full interview.

It’s so lovely to meet you! Firstly, congratulations on your best new female artist nomination!

Thank you so much! I am so honoured and floored. It’s very – very exciting. I can’t believe it!

You’ve been writing for such a long time. You started writing at 12 and had 3 albums by nineteen?

I grew up in love with music. As soon as I could start singing, I was singing. The passion was always there! I feel so very grateful for parents who were so nurturing. They were never like ‘stage parents’ there were like “Great! Do you want to try this?”. Filling the basement with instruments and driving me to music lessons and things like that. I feel grateful for the space that I had as a kid to explore and write and make records. It was an important part of my journey for sure!

Your album is coming out in a few days, I also had the pleasure to see you perform and to sample some of the songs. Your album is out on the 8th of April, it’s very exciting. Where did it come from? You have released 2 very successful albums which were phenomenal. How have you put the changes in your life into your new music?

I am grateful for the journey I have been on. The years that I spent as a staff songwriter, writing for other people, have really helped hone my craft as a songwriter and say what I want to say. As I go on in my career, each record feels a little more intentional. I feel a little bit more comfortable with how to write songs for myself.

‘High’ was the first song that I wrote that I knew was going to be on this project. It set me off on this tone and thought process on what the highs are I experienced as a wife, a mother, and a friend. Naturally this led to writing a song called ‘Low’ and the whole project started coming together. That’s really what life is made up of and in 30 seconds you can experience both. As I am getting older and really stepping into my own, I am as a wife and a mother, I am finding it easier to step into some of those spaces.

A song like ‘Nothing against you’ is a song about my husband. We have been married for 13 years; we write together, tour together and have kids together and which means naturally we also fight. Any married coupled can feel this, you get on each other’s nerves, but you are like “I hold nothing against you, we are good here even though we disagree”. Opening little elements of my marriage and parenting in this new record and as each record goes on and on, I really feel as if I am stepping into my own.

You are a really unique performer in how you open your heart to the audience. How do you find that as it is personal?

It really is one of the greatest joys of being a performer. I pour my heart and soul into these little songs and there is a lot of feeling in 3-4 minutes. My job as a messenger of the music is then making sure that you feel that. The only way I feel that you can do that is to fully embody the emotion. I joke that I sing from my toes, but it is true! When singing a sad song, it is almost like I have stepped into a movie as an actress on screen telling my truth. In order for you to believe it, I have to believe it.

You are an interviewer, and it is another string to your bow. How did that come about?

In the ‘Lonely together’ series, we started that in the craziness of 2020. We didn’t get to tour or promote ‘supernova’ like we had expected and so I wanted to create a space for others. Everyone was at home and lonely, anxious, worried, and sad. My goal was to bring some inspiration to people and to bring a light to their day. I did that by calling up my friends and just said “come and meet with me on Instagram.” We honed into the creative process a lot. We had songwriters, actors, dancers, and visual artists to explore the different facets of creation. It really was a highlight of 2020. I think because of my songwriter background I loved the role of being across the table and digging through their brain and dragging stuff out.

You’ve been writing for some of the biggest artists in the world. What made you decide to do it your way?

I initially started writing songs on my bedroom floor and just putting my feelings into songs. When I moved to Nashville, I discovered writing songs could be a job. That was incredible! I found that songwriting for others helped me to hone the craft of songwriting so I could then better say what I wanted as an artist. It was a plan B for me, and I truly expected nothing to come of it. The fact that artists resonated and connected with my music and then recorded my music was so surprising and exciting. As the years went on it became more difficult to give away the songs and I missed the stage.

So much of my passion is actually being on stage singing the songs and I missed it. It definitely was a shift as I got so used to writing in the wheel of music row for ‘pitch’. It took a while for me to find my voice and intention. As I write more records, I am finding that my voice becomes stronger and more prominent and easier to find.

You have a new album out on the 8th of April. Where can we hear and what can we expect next?

The first chunk of this project ‘High’ comes out on April 8th. I kick off a tour in my hometown on April 1st. A 14 city headlining tour all throughout the US and playing lots of festivals. I am obsessed with the UK and had so much fun performing at C2C, so we are looking at coming back over there within this year.

We will eventually release the second part of this project as a whole album called ‘High and Low’. Also, chasing after 2 kids and being married in the meantime!

You do have 2 boys – How do they feel about your music as kids are always so humble and honest?

I can tell if it is a song worth recording if I hear my 5-year-old singing it back to me. It is such as joy to see them experience the music. We bring them on the road and let them experience the music. Giving the gift of music is so fun to see. They are very passionate about it and love it. Soon we will give them a guitar and drumsticks and put them to work!

Thank you for your time today and congratulations!

I hope to see you soon when we make it back to the UK.

Interview conducted by Jess T

Featured Image credit – Shervin Lainez

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