I have been speaking with Caroline Kole…
about her new single, What If, and how it came together. She reveals whether there will be more material and takes me back to the start of her career – I ask which artists she grew up listening to and whether she has a precious memory from her time in music.
Kole tells me the three albums that mean a lot to her; some rising artists we need to get behind; whether there are going to be any gigs coming later in the year; some useful advice for artists emerging – she ends the interview by selecting a bit of a modern classic.
Hi, Caroline. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello! My week has been great (smiles). We put out a single, What If, last week and it’s been getting really fun press! So, just busy with the promotion of that and, of course, ordering fall-semester textbooks!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Of course! I’m Caroline Kole. I recently turned twenty-one! Woo! I’m a full-time artist and full-time college student. I started on the music scene when I was eight; performing out at ten and opening for massive Country acts shortly thereafter and touring internationally with Reba McEntire in high-school.
We had success with #1 music videos on C.M.T. (Country Music Television) and lots of love and play from Sirius XM’s The Highway! Unreal experiences! The music evolved from Country to Pop when I took a gap year after high school - and now here we are on the surface of that new journey! I’m having so much fun (smiles).
What If is your latest single. What is the story behind the song?
Haha, well; who hasn’t asked their self “what if” at some point in their life? Since I’m where I’m at in life, I find myself asking that question a lot in regards to relationships. I tend to go after the boys I know I shouldn’t but, ya know what, what if I just went up and got him?! I have a tendency to go after what, and who, I want!
Is there going to be an E.P. or album next year, perhaps?
Perhaps (smiles). We have a lot of great remixes of What If coming out in the next couple weeks, along with lots of new music lined up! You and I will both see how we end up releasing it all. Haha!
You began your career at age eight (in Florida) and found your way to Nashville. How did you find yourself there? How important were the Bluebird Café and an encounter with Reba McEntire?
I had been going to Nashville for a couple years writing, forming relationships; cutting my chops before I met Reba. She came to a writer’s round I was playing at the Bluebird Cafe and I immediately started working with her and my manager Narvel Blackstock. That introduction was vital to my early career and, without a doubt, is the reason for the success that I had then and now!
Which artists did you grow up listening to? Do you recall when music first came into your life?
Hahaha. My musical upbringing might be why I listen to the mix up of music that I do. I grew up on Pat Benatar, Brooks & Dunn; The Cranberries, Reba; Simon & Garfunkel, The Police and I remember my very first concert - Kelly Clarkson! Right after she had won American Idol…and I fell asleep towards the end (smiles).
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
My goal for the end of 2018 - and even just in general - is to release as much music as I can for people to listen to! I’m writing all the time, so I want to keep giving it to people! Hopefully, we’ll jump back into the touring scene (you’ll be the first to know!) but, right now, I’m so focused on writing alllll the songssss!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
It’s honestly surreal when I think back on all the experiences I’ve had. One of my most memorable moments, though, is when I was getting ready to walk out to perform my opening for Reba and she was getting ready to go on stage after me (looking fabulous and sparkly and wonderful as always) and she said: “You and I are a lot alike, you know.” I still can’t really process that phrase. She’s the Queen of Country Music, for crying out loud!
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Sheryl Crow – Detours
It will always take me back to Florida. My dad played that album all the time at our house and it will forever take me back to the “Salty/messed up hair from the boat ride, so let’s all jump in the pool until our fingers and toes are little prunes!”.
Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
I’ve been a fan of them for years and seeing their success makes me so overwhelmingly happy - and that tour was INCREDIBLE. They know how to put on a show.
Ingrid Michaelson - Human Again
This is the album that I listened to NON-STOP in high-school! Takes me back. Her lyrics are so real and quirky and I’ve always loved that about Ingrid (smiles).
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Oh wow...I would say Twenty One Pilots but, honestly, I’d just be awkward the whole time. Ha! Either Ariana Grande, Katy Perry or Taylor Swift - they are such strong females in the Pop world and each of them knows how to put on a show! Such professionals! Great role models - and I’d love to get to know them on a personal level! Who wouldn’t?! (Smiles).
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Be prepared for everything! Be able to stay calm and collected when - not if - something doesn’t go as planned. It’s a crazy industry. If you can hang in there the universe will reward you!
IN THIS PHOTO: MUNA/PHOTO CREDIT: ELLE Magazine (US)
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Music is kind of a lifestyle - one that I love! I have a really cool cat named Rikki that I like to cuddle and snuggle with when I have a free moment. I also enjoy shopping and finding new brands/boutiques. My bank account does not enjoy that hobby.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I choose....Mr. Brightside by The Killers!
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