By age 21, Californian vocalist Colbie Caillat had evolved swiftly from an aspiring R&B/folk singer to a pop sensation with the marketing assistance of a little networking tool called Myspace. She grew up in Malibu and Ventura County and caught the music bug at an early age from her father Ken Caillat, an established audio engineer who helped produce Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours and Tusk. Songs were often mixed at the console in her Malibu beach house, filling the corridors with the sounds of Billy Idol, Pat Benatar, and other ’80s pop/rock. As a child, Caillat gave piano lessons a try but wasn’t inspired until she turned 11 years old and became enthralled watching Lauryn Hill sing in Sister Act 2. Immediately realizing that she wanted to be a singer, and with her parents’ encouragement, she started taking vocal lessons. At age 15, in a twist of fate, she met Mikal Blue, a producer who had previously worked with Five for Fighting and Carrie Underwood. He hired her to sing on a few techno songs that were to be used during runway models’ shows and they cultivated a professional relationship and began writing together. At 19, she picked up an acoustic guitar and the two recorded the first song she composed.
As the collaboration thickened, Jason Reeves entered the picture and lent his artistic know-how to help shape and craft the music for her debut, Coco. Caillat wrote the basic melodies, usually in her bathroom because of the reverby acoustics, and would then bounce her ideas off Blue or Reeves for their artistic input. After finishing a handful of songs, she posted some tunes on MySpace and generated virtually no response for the first few months. To her astonishment, when she added the single “Bubbly” to the site, people latched on to the catchy hook. As word of mouth spread, her page pulled in a few thousand hits a day; after she had accumulated 6,240 friends, Rolling Stone highlighted her as one of the top female artists on MySpace. For four months, she was the number one unsigned artist, and garnered over 14 million plays. With such an appealing statistic on her résumé, record labels began courting her and she signed to Universal Republic, as her number of online friends surpassed the 100,000 mark. In July of 2007, her label released Coco. – Jason Lymangrover