Caitlyn Smith is a singer/songwriter from Cannon Falls, Minnesota. She recently played songs from her debut album, Starfire, and more on BottleRock’s Miner Family Winery Stage. She recently wrapped her first headlining tour and I got a chance to chat with her about her new music, her BottleRock experience, the beauty of motherhood, and more.
TYF: How did you get into music?
Caitlyn Smith: Music was always in my house growing up. My dad played guitar for fun and my mom played the piano. I started singing in church, county fairs, and talent shows at a young age. When I figured out I could write songs and put my feelings into music, that became all that I wanted to do. It all just snowballed from there. I formed a band in middle school with some friends and never looked back.
TYF: It sounds like music has been a big part of your life. Who were some of your music idols growing up?
Smith: Growing up, I listened to everything. From powerful singers like Alison Krauss, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion to rock and roll bands like the Beatles and Wilco, we always had the radio on in our house and listened to everything under the sun. In high school, I found songwriters like Patty Griffin, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Ray Lamontagne who changed the game for me.
TYF: For our readers who haven’t heard your music yet, can you describe your sound in 5 words?
Smith: Soulful, honest, cinematic, detailed, and raw.
TYF: You recently performed at BottleRock. What was your experience like?
Smith: It was a wonderful experience! A chilly overcast day, but the crowd I played for was warm and engaged. We explored Napa a bit and had a fantastic time and ate incredible food.
TYF: Did you get to do some wine tasting and enjoy the rest of the festivities after your BottleRock performance?
Smith: Sadly, no! I’m pregnant and out of the wine tasting game for the moment! Hopefully next time!!
TYF: If you could ask Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Sheryl Crow anything, while on tour, what would you ask them?
Smith: What’s your secret to keeping what you do fresh/exciting/fun/soul feeding after being on the road for so many years?
TYF: Switching gears, I wanted to talk about something that is super rad and that’s you becoming a mother of two! How do you balance your career and your full-time mama duties?
Smith: Yay! We’re so excited to add another person to our family. The balance is a daily practice; it’s something I’m constantly learning how to do! It’s important for me to remain intentional about carving out family time, time to work out and be alone, and time to be “on” and work hard. Planning the week ahead of time helps me to succeed in that. Also, “no” is a powerful and wonderful word.
TYF: I couldn’t agree with you more! With that said, what’s the most rewarding thing about motherhood?
Smith: It’s a new love I’ve never ever known. It’s wild and magical and oh so sweet.
TYF: Were any of your songs inspired by your family?
Smith: Absolutely. They constantly show up in my songs. “Cheap Date” to “Don’t Give Up On My Love” are great examples of that on Starfire.
TYF: Do you have any advice for our readers who also want to pursue a career in music?
Smith: You have to find your own lane, find what you do best, and do that with all your heart. Be yourself and don’t try to be someone else. Work hard and be kind to every single person you meet along the way – that’s what it’s all about.