INTERVIEW: Caroline Kole Talks iHeart Charity Show, Early Success and Brand New Single “Strawberry Lip Smacker”
We first came across Caroline Kole’s music last year when we were drawn to her single “What If” along with its remixes. Since then she’s followed up with the addictive “BTDT,” a collaboration with producer Pusher and now her brand new single “Strawberry Lip Smacker.” At just 21 she’s already experienced a lot in the industry and from the looks of her new single she’s going to experience a whole lot more. Take a look at our chat with singer/songwriter Caroline Kole!
Your music career started at a pretty early age. What were some of your earliest memories where you felt a real connection to music and wanted to pursue it as a career?
CAROLINE: I started doing music, songwriting and performing at age 8. My family and I have always been huge fans and lovers of music, so I started playing guitar and falling into the routine of performing on the stage like my idols!
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Some of your early highlights include touring with Reba McEntire and reaching #1 on the CMT Countdown. How has those successes shaped the artists that you are today? Do you have any advice for younger aspiring artists looking to make a big leap into music?
CAROLINE: Those experiences have 100% shaped the artist I am today! Reba is graceful and well-spoken in everything she does, is always true to herself, and knows how to treat a person. She is so professional and put together, she and her team have this amazing ability to plan most everything ahead of time and yet are able to adapt to any change of scenery. Reba is a legend for a reason. She is still so good to me! My stage presence, how I handle myself in professional settings, and my drive and determination were all influenced by her and helped me grow as an artist.
Anyone trying to make a big leap in music- treat everybody kindly! The music industry is small and people talk, and you never know who is watching, or who they might turn out to be!
The most incredibly inspiring human being on this earth. Artist of the year-role model of the century. Thank u 4 always teaching me so much pic.twitter.com/NbcOixx4S2
— Caroline Kole (@CarolineKole) September 28, 2016
What artists really inspire you and have played an influence on your artistry? Between the legends and artists of today who make up your list of dream collaborations?
CAROLINE: Reba, TwentyOne Pilots, The Eurythmics, and Pat Benetar, and Dua Lipa are a few of the many influences on my music! I was so lucky to tour internationally with Reba and to sing on her song “Pray For Peace” both in the studio and on stage, and would love the opportunity to do something like that again.
Dua Lipa, Sheryl Crow, TwentyOne pilots, Paramore, Pharrell, and Max Martin are some dream collaborations!
Fast forward to late 2017 where you transitioned from Country into Pop. What was behind that decision and now having released a good amount of Pop music recently how does this change feel?
CAROLINE: Honestly there was no real decision. I had just graduated high school and was exploring my voice, my sound, and started listening to more different genres of music. I started to evolve as a person, and the music naturally followed suit!
One of your newest collaborations “BTDT” is a fierce yet fun single that you and Pusher released. What was it like putting the song together with Pusher and filming the music video?
CAROLINE: That collaboration was one of the most FUN experiences of my life! Pusher and his manager were a dream to work with. He sent me some tracks that I could topline to, and he was so pleased with what I came back with he released it as a single preceding his latest EP that’s out now. He brought so many ideas to the table for the music video, and if you watch it you can tell how much fun we all had on set! It was honestly hard to stay serious!
Your newest single “Strawberry Lip Smacker” released last Friday carries a laidback vibe sonically but offers a different tone lyrically as it speaks on the pressures of being in a relationship. What was the inspiration behind the song and how did it all come together?
CAROLINE: Lip Smacker is a product that I will associate with my youth forever. It represents the time when the hardest decision to make was picking out one flavor of Lip Smacker! When life gets overwhelming, it’s easy for me to want to revert back to that time of my life. I thought that that might be true to everyone, so that inspired this song, co-written with Savvy Giersch and produced by Verskotzi! Also mad props to them for writing with me after I brought in this title ha! I’m so excited that it’s finally out now!
10 songs that are really connecting with you right now.
What I’m sure is a big highlight for you in 2018 is being voted to perform at The River 107.5 Live Love Life event which benefits suicide prevention. What was that event like for you?
CAROLINE: BIG TIME. What an honor! 107.5 showed so much love to me and Nashville music community, and even played There were almost 3,000 submissions for that slot, and I won. It is just as surreal now as it was when they called me to tell me the news. To represent the Nashville music community at a show raising money for suicide prevention (To Write Love On Her Arms specifically) where Kim Petras, Lauv, Why Don’t We, Jake Miller, and Dan + Shay were also performing was a dream that I never even realized was possible. We raised over $20,000 that night, and I couldn’t be more proud of that. I shared a dressing room with Kim and honestly I still haven’t gotten over it. She’s literally so cool.
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Having followed you on social media you really seem to be a very positive, upbeat person. As times can be crazy with everything that social media and the news bring, what helps you stay focused and put life into perspective?
CAROLINE: Aw, thank you! I definitely have my moments where I get really down, but my family keeps me uplifted, my cat keeps me calm (and is the best little cuddle muffin!), and music keeps me curious. I try to focus on positive things, it’s easy to get caught up in negative things but it’s just as easy to smile at the stranger you pass on the sidewalk!