INTERVIEW: Caitlynne Curtis on 'Mood Swings' & balancing her music with being a mum

Caitlynne Curtis

The music industry is fickle and hard to 'break' into. Caitlynne Curtis knows this all too well and has overcome rejection and considerable difficulties to make a name for herself in the business.

Currently working on a new album, she has big plans for her future and, having recently released new single "Mood Swings", she told XS Noize about how social media has played and continues to play a big part in her career and how she juggles life as an artist with being a mum.

Has music always been your passion, or was it something you were perhaps just 'subjected to' by others first? What was your first experience of music, in any form, and how might you say that influenced you as you got older? 

Music has always been my passion since I was little. When I was three years old, I used to sing to my grandma all the time. After a couple of years, my parents put me into vocal classes at 6. I did that for a year, got my first solo in our recital, and I felt at home. I stopped taking lessons after the age of 7 and became self-taught from there on.

You and your family moved from Massachusetts to Nashville when you were 12 for you to pursue music. Why at that time in particular?

The goal was to get a head start and try to be a country music star early enough to break into the music business. But I found out the hard way that it takes A LOT of time!

You were rejected by the X-Factor at the age of 16. I can only imagine how much that must've hurt, but what lessons did you take from that, and what advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying/auditioning for the show or one similar? 

I took quite a few lessons from that experience. Number one, don't be nervous. I know it's one of the most anxiety-filled experiences getting up on stage. You just have to believe in yourself and own it. Number two, don't let anyone tell you it's impossible or that you are not good enough. Take it and use it as fuel to the fire. As for someone who wants to audition for a show…. DON'T, LOL! Those shows are rigged. You can be the most talented person to audition. If you have no backstory, the producers won't even want any part of it. Make a TikTok, honestly. You have a better chance there than on a show!

You recorded and shared a number of covers on your Instagram to help support you and your son, who you had at 19. Which cover might you say got the strongest reaction, and how did seeing people's responses motivate you to keep working towards your music career?

I did a cover of a Morgan Wallen song, and my friends went crazy and shared it hundreds of times. That made me smile and gave me a little extra spark to keep trying.

How do you juggle being an artist and a mum? 

It can be hard to balance the time for each. My son knows how important this is to me, and he has a passion for music as well, so I'm grateful that he enjoys coming to the studio with me. I always take him for a nice steak dinner after, so I'm sure that helps!

You're now signed to independent label Angels & Outlaws. What is it about that label in particular that makes you feel like they're the right fit for you? How have the label helped shape your vision for your career and your music?

Angels and Outlaws has been such an amazing experience. They are a perfect fit for me to be able to express myself in my music without having to follow any rules. I was supposed to be a country singer! I said I think I want to be a pop star and Struggle Jennings (owner of angels and outlaws) said alright, let's go! Now we have been working on my second album, and that will really show you what kind of artist I am and how pop music is really what speaks to my soul! I also have to give props to my producer, Scattered Brains, for taking that leap with me and becoming one of the best pop producers in the game!!!

What's the inspiration behind your latest single, "Mood Swings?" 

The inspiration behind "Mood Swings" is the ups and downs of love. The more toxic side that we sometimes face. "One text from him sends her spiralling" - I know we've all been there.

What is it about this song in particular that made you want to share it with the world?

Honestly, the 90s pop rock feel! The nostalgia, the lyrics. It was one of those songs that I couldn't wait and keep until the album!

What do you want people to take from or be reminded about when they hear it? 

I want people to be able to relate. Like, I get it! We all go back and forth. There are ups and downs. Only you know what's right for you!

Having released your first album last year, is there perhaps a new collection in the works?

Yes! I'm so excited, and it's been a long work in progress to really get the sounds and vibes I want. It is all coming together, and I will be dropping towards the end of this year - get ready!

You're already well familiar with the power and influence of social media, but how do you feel about it in general? Do you think there's such a thing as 'too much' SM when it comes to artists and creating a connection with their audience/fans?

I think social media is a must to keep connected with fans. I love my fans, and I do my best to always reply to DMs and thank them! When I post, I just post pictures from my iPhone; not many professional photos. I think, at times, there can be too much. I keep most of my life private, but what I want to share, I share!

We're in peak tour/festival season - will you be hitting the road for any shows in the coming weeks and months? 

I am going to be touring with Struggle Jennings for the majority of the rest of this year and hoping to be added to some of the festivals next year. Who knows, maybe I'll pop off and be a headliner!!

Finally, after struggling to 'make it' for so long, and now you're finally achieving the success you've worked so hard for, how do you plan and hope to stay a staple of this industry when so many of your artistic counterparts have come and gone in recent years? What is it about you and your music that you perhaps think, hope and believe gives you genuine staying power? What's driving you to keep moving forward, touching hearts and minds with your creations? 

I plan on just making music that is true to me. Music, like any other business, has its ups and downs. Keep going. People give up when it gets hard. I go harder. My son is my biggest motivation, as well as my inner child. If you would have told me at six that by 26, I would have a Billboard number 1 plaque hanging on my wall, I would have giggled. So, here's to a long career and many more plaques and awards to come!

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