In this edition of #CREATORTALK, we speak to Caitlyn Leigh. #CREATORTALK is a series of articles and interviews, with a focus on the creative industries and the the talent working within them.
PW- Hey Caitlyn! How’s it going?
Hey! I’m doing great, thanks!
PW- So, first thing’s first. For those who don’t know yet, how would you sum up who you are and what you do?
Well, my name’s Caitlyn Leigh, and I’m an acoustic singer-songwriter. I’ve been a solo performer for nearly three years now. My music’s been given a number of descriptions really, but I guess pop has been the consistent one. There was ‘pop punk meets country’ on one occasion, which I’m quite fond of!
PW- You’ve recently finished a tour with Slackrr as their bassist. How was that opportunity for you? Any highlights?
It’s been great! I joined the band back in May, and we’ve had some awesome opportunities to play venues around the UK alongside some hometown gigs. For our tour in June we played Sheffield, Leeds and finished with a hometown show in Southampton – every gig was a highlight, to be honest (not to mention a trip to the nearby animal farm on our day off). We also had great fun working on the debut music video which you can find on the Slackrr page! This is the first time I’ve had the chance to properly work with a band, let alone go on a tour so I guess you could call it a big deal! It’s the most fun I’ve had with music, definitely.
PW- Your new single is due to debut on the 25th August, what can you tell us about it?
Yes it is!! I’m super excited for this release. The new single, ‘You With Her,’ is actually the first track from my upcoming EP, ‘Traffic Lights.’ The whole idea behind the record is each track will represent a different coloured light. ‘You With Her’ represents green for a few reasons; thematically it centres around envy, but it’s also about trying (and maybe failing) to move on. We’ve recently finished the music video shoot for the track, which I’m hyped for people to see!
PW- Having released your debut EP last year, and with this one in the pipeline for the near future, how do you feel you have grown as an artist in this time?
I think I can admit this now – I wasn’t really that proud of the ‘Listen With My Eyes’ EP. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard and I was happy with it at the time, but I also think I rushed to release a record before I fully knew what I was doing. I still don’t fully know what I’m doing now, but I think I’d be bored if I did!
‘Listen With My Eyes’ is ultimately about growing up: experiencing change and making decisions. ‘Traffic Lights’ explores more concepts, and hopefully introduces a more mature sound. I think the idea of growth in general has become a prominent concept in a lot of what I write, so I hope that’s going to come across in the next record.
PW- You’re based in the south of the UK. What is your favourite music venue in the local area and why?
Ah, it’s so difficult to choose! One of the first places I ever performed solo was at The Railway Inn in Winchester, so that’ll always be a special one. I’ve also performed at Southampton’s The Joiners more recently with Slackrr, which was awesome – it was a venue I’d wanted to play for a long time, as I’d seen a lot of musicians I look up to perform there in the past.
PW- This blog focuses heavily on creativity and the real people behind the art. How does creativity affect you on a day to day basis? Do you get super inspired out and about, or is it more of a focused effort, where you can shut off from the world and just think?
I think I’d call it a combination of the two. I’m currently studying for my creative writing degree alongside making music, so I can’t just wait around for inspiration to hit me all the time. But then again, it’s not always easy to just sit down say ‘today, I will be creative.’ Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. I think the key thing is to stay open-minded, because inspiration can definitely stem from the strangest places. I find if I just take a risk on something and see how far I can take an idea, I might surprise myself (or I might scrap it and try again tomorrow).
PW- In this kind of economy and industry, it can be tough to feel like you’re moving forwards sometimes. How do you battle these feelings when they come up, and do you have any advice to other people who might struggle in a similar way?
That’s a tricky one. From a musician’s perspective, it’s impossible to avoid those feelings all the time. One night the venue’s packed out and the next you’re only playing to the sound engineer and your mum (and if you’re lucky, the drunk man at the bar who’s just fallen off his chair). But the thing is, if you’re doing it for the sheer enjoyment, every gig’s a good gig.
I think the best advice I’ve been given is to never lose focus on feeling inspired and finding fun in creativity. People who ‘create’ and do it as a paint by numbers game have nothing real to offer, and settle in being entirely self-content. So keep challenging yourself, and you’ll keep enjoying it.
PW- And final question! It’s more of an invitation actually. Use the next few sentences to self-promote the hell out of what you’re up to, what we can see etc, no judgement!
Well firstly, thank you to everyone who’s already checked out my music online or come to a show, it does mean the world to me. If you haven’t, here’s a Facebook page, give it a like to keep up with what I’m doing and where I’m gigging! My new single ‘You With Her’ will be available on the 25th August, you can hear it on all major platforms (Spotify, iTunes, etc) along with all my previous singles! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your dog! Thank you!