Pop singer Colbie Caillat says Nashville remains one of her favorite places to play, so her Mercy Lounge show tonight (Dec. 10) will be extra special because its timing means that she can add the song “Mistletoe” to her set list.
“I wrote that song with my friend Stacy Blue,” she says. “‘Mistletoe’ is about being at home during the holidays and your loved ones aren’t able to be there with you and how hard it can be. So many people are going through that right now with the military or their loved ones being away at work.
“I’m really excited to be doing it because we only got to do it a couple of times last year. We’ll be in the Christmas spirit for our show,” says Colbie, who asks audience members to bring a toy to tonight’s show for the Marines’ Toys for Tots program.
She is delighted to have been embraced by the country music community. CMT played her videos for “Bubbly” and “Realize” and she’ll be featured on Saturday’s CMT Insider at 12:30 p.m., in a piece shot at Venus & Mars �â�� The Showroom, owned by Karen Elson and Amy Patterson. “It’s so cool because country is a huge market and their fans are so loyal,” she says. “It was inspiring because I didn’t think ‘Bubbly’ was a country song. I thought other songs on the album were more folksy or country, but they played it on (country) radio and CMT.”
News that Colbie’s tour was making a Nashville stop was of particular interest to country star Taylor Swift.
“I so badly wanted to write a song with her ever since her album came out,” says Taylor, who describes Colbie as being No. 1 on “my ‘Cool People List.’ ” “I bugged her management company (Fitzgerald Hartley), ‘ I need to write with her.’ “
The two completed “Breathe,” which is included on Taylor’s sophomore album, Fearless, in about 30 minutes in what Taylor calls the management company’s back shed. “She had a song started, and I helped her finish writing it,” Colbie says. “I can’t believe she’s just 18 and writes all of her songs. She’s an amazing singer and guitar player. She is the most motivated and the sweetest woman.”
Colbie is open to additional Nashville collaborations. “I don’t have any in mind necessarily, but if it happens, I would totally love to do it,” she says. “If it happens, it happens.”
Tonight’s 9 o’clock show will feature a new stage setup and a few new covers as well as songs from her 2 million-selling debut album, Coco. (The deluxe edition of Coco with seven additional songs will be released on Thursday.)
“We change the songs around every night,” she says. “Just me as a performer, I’ve changed a lot. At the beginning, I used to just stand there straight, holding the microphone and not really opening my eyes or walking around. I was just so nervous. I would wear simple tank tops and jeans.
“Now I realize I have to evolve a little bit on stage, so I had a choreographer come out and get me to move around, and I got new clothes to dress it up a little more.”
It turns out that those fancy new duds inspired her to put on a more captivating show. “I never realized that before,” she says. “It gave me more confidence, what I was wearing and moving around and what the crowd was reacting to. It motivates you to stay in that and keep getting better as you go.”