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Always looking on bright side

IT'S not as if Colbie Caillat has never had her heartbroken, experienced a major letdown, or had a low point in her life. But instead of wallowing in sorrow through her songs, she prefers to have her music focus on whatever positive lessons can be taken from a setback.

That's why the singer-songwriter, who broke through with the hit "Bubbly," tends to have song titles like "Think Good Thoughts," "What If" and "Dream Life, Life," all featured on her third and latest CD, "All of You."

"I think that music is therapy," the 26-year-old said. "So when I write a song, I write from exact moments that I go through, and I know that everyone can relate to, because everybody goes through the same situations in life. When you can tap into that and people relate to it, it connects you to them."

Caillat, who kicks off a US tour this month, has certainly connected with music fans. She has a gold and platinum album to her credit, and recently she received visual proof of her impact when a fan revealed a new tattoo: Caillat's name on their body.

Q: Are you amazed at how far you've come since your debut?

A: I performed at the White House a few months ago. I met the first family and I sang the national anthem on the White House balcony. I was so emotional that day, I couldn't believe that I had the opportunity to be there with the president and the first family, and that I've won two Grammys. When I think of these things, I have to pinch myself.

Q: "Bubbly" rocketed you to fame. Do you ever try and recreate that moment?

A: As an artist, you have to know how to stay true to who you are and your music, because your fans fell in love with you for a reason. They like a certain style and a sound that you have. But you also have to grow as an artist. This record is more up-tempo, I added more electric guitars and programmed beats and I did a hip-hop collaboration with Common, and we have the ukulele on it.

Q: You've been criticized at times for being too cheery. How do you respond to that?

A: Everyone has a different taste, everyone has a different style. You can't be upset if one person doesn't like your music, because hundreds or thousands of people do love it. I think that you should write from your heart, write songs that will help people get through life situations. There's so much stress and clutter and craziness going on, people need a clearer vision.

Q: You've found love with Justin Young, who is a singer-songwriter, and a guitarist in your band. Is it difficult having a relationship with someone you work with?

A: I feel lucky that I get to work with a person that I'm in love with. He's my best friend and we get to travel the world together and play music together and write songs together. It's so much fun, and when this job stresses me out, he is right there. Of course you can get a little on each other's nerves. But it lasts for five minutes and you're over it.


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