Catching Up With Colbie Caillat Before Yountville Live

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Colbie Caillat Yountville Live
Colbie Caillat

Photo Credit: Kurt Iswarienko

Talking to pop singer/songwriter and acoustic guitarist Colbie Caillatas Haute Living did a few days ago, it’s clear that this two-time Grammy Award winner and multi-platinum songstress simply adores the San Francisco Bay Area—although she was born in Southern California and still calls the lower half home. Her affection for Northern California is one of the reasons she’s one of the big-name talent headed this way for the inaugural Yountville Live, taking place March 19-22 in Napa Valley’s culinary capital. A music component—Aimee Mann, Matt Nathanson and rock band O.A.R. also headline—was added to the Taste of Yountville, now in its 22nd year, to turn an annual wine and food celebration into four days of premium entertainment and epicurean experiences. Below, we talk Yountville Live, wine and music with Caillat, whose latest album “Gypsy Heart” includes the hit song “Try” and is available now.

HL: Why did you want to participate in Yountville Live?
CC: I’m so excited! It’s more “Why not?” Everything awesome is going to be there. I’m performing with my full band. We have a 75-minute set and it’s all about music, food and wine and having a great time with everyone. It’s one of those shows that you’re only excited about. Some things can be more like work or the weather can be cold. This is like, “Let’s get to Napa!” Matt Nathanson is playing before me and he’s great. I’m excited to see everyone and have a good pre-summer experience. I’ll be hanging with people and drinking wine right before.

HL: Which do you prefer, red or white wine?
CC: Mostly red for sure.  I used to drink white. It was refreshing. You don’t crave it like you do red wine at night. When I was younger I used to think (red wine) was boring. I’d think, “Why would you want something warm temperature?” I was fine drinking the cheap stuff before. Now my sister—she’s a sommelier—has shown me the good wines over the years. Now I definitely have a love for them. Every time I go to Napa, I ship home cases of Caymus.

HL: Do you cook?
CC: I cook a little bit but very basic. My boyfriend is more of the cook in the house.

HL: You perform at the Lincoln Theater on March 22. Will you have a chance to enjoy the festival before that?
CC: As of now, I’m only there for that day. But my cousin just had a baby up north so I’m trying to see if I can extend my trip.

HL: You played Santa Rosa during your Gypsy Heart Tour in 2014. How much time do you get to spend up here?
CC: I was just in Napa two months ago for something and last month I went to San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento. Every week I was going up there for a private show of some sort.

HL: Do you get inspired to write when you’re in the Bay Area?
CC: I would if I were there longer but usually I fly up and down the same day. I love it up there. It’s beautiful and it’s always so green. Everyone thinks it’s dry. All of my family lives in the Santa Rosa area. They have this beautiful property in the woods and it’s so lush. When I go up for family trips I do get inspired to write but works trips are never long enough.

HL: Who lives in the Bay Area?
CC: All of my aunts and uncles and cousins. My mom has four siblings and they all have tons of kids and my grandparents live up there. My parents, sister and I live down here.

HL: Your song “Try” makes a powerful statement about female body image. What have you heard from your fans in regards to the positive effect the words have had on them?
CC: I’ve heard so many amazing things at my shows, at meet-and-greets and on Twitter. Last week someone sent me a video of a news article. This eight-year-old girl had her foot run over by a (UPS truck) last year and she was a dancer. She didn’t want to dance anymore. Now she’s back to dancing with a prosthetic leg. She did her first dance to “Try.” The fact that this little beautiful girl, who has so much ahead of her and thought about stopping just because she has one foot, is now dancing again—It’s amazing when you know that anything you can do in life can help someone else in a positive way. I originally wrote the song so I could learn to be comfortable in my own skin and talk about for how many years I haven’t been. Now it’s helping other people. It’s just the coolest feeling.

HL: You’ve been working a lot with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Nothing against him since he produced “Try” but is there a dream producer you’d like to work with?
CC: I’ve been fortunate enough to work with so many producers on my last four records. They’re all so different with their techniques. Kenny’s production sounds timeless and has this different sound to it. He’s such a legend. I’m working with him solo right now. I’m not saying I’m exclusive to him. We’re having too much fun working together. Working with more artists would be something I’d like to do. Chris Martin is just brilliant. To do a song with Coldplay would be incredible.

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