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‘Breakthrough’ artist to brighten Boston

Most famous musicians have to release a handful of albums before they can even start playing in small venues. With a little luck, a ton of patience and a lot of talent, they are noticed by a big record label, sign and start touring.

With the explosive evolution of social networking, artists can now make a name for themselves through websites like MySpace. If it weren’t for that, would we know who Colbie Caillat is?

“I hadn’t been doing shows. I wasn’t trying to get signed. I just was this girl who wrote songs and put them up on MySpace,” she said on her artist biography on d.baron media.

In a recent interview with AEtv.com, however, she said that she had unsuccessfully auditioned for American Idol twice. The second time she actually sang the song that put her on the map, “Bubbly.” She attributes her misfortune auditioning for the show to nerves and said, “I can understand why they didn’t pick me.”

Her inspirations range from Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, and Lauryn Hill. Particularly, Hill’s song with the Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly” was a main source of motivation. “It made me want to start singing,” Caillat says, “so I sang one of her songs at a talent show in sixth grade.”

The 24-year-old Californian will be playing at the Orpheum Theater in Boston this Sunday night, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. Howie Day, known primarily for his hit “Collide,” and Trevor Hall will be the opening acts.

Caillat just released her second album, “Breakthrough”, in August and with it, proved that the first was not a fluke.

“Bubbly” was the iTunes Free Single of the Week in July of 2007. Soon thereafter it began to become a regular on the mainstream radio set list. The next month the complete album, “Coco”, debuted as the number one rock album on Billboard.com.

“Breakthrough”, which debuted as the number one general album, currently sits at 39 having been in stores for six weeks now.

Together, her father Ken Caillat, who worked on Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and John Shanks produced her latest album.

“My dad’s recording is very organic and reveals the rawness and vulnerability in a song and John Shanks is a great pop producer. His songs are perfect for radio,” Colbie said in her artist biography.

“On this record… I had a better sense of how I know the songs should sound and feel, and what instruments should be added or taken away from them,” she said. “Because I didn’t get to do that on “Coco”, to really be able to make these songs completely my own was a special experience for me.”

Her music is true to her origins as well as her physical identity. Raised in Malibu, Calif., she uses her soft yet vibrant and strong voice perfectly in unison with an acoustic emphasis to portray the different emotions of her songs. Not only does this make you fall in love with her music, but it also allows you to picture the setting she is rendering.

Her latest tour promoting “Breakthrough” started on Sept. 17 in Anaheim, Calif. and will continue through Boston across the country at different ballrooms and theaters until later this month.

John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls, whom she opened for on their 2007 tour, said on A&E’s Private Sessions, “She goes up there every night and acts like she’s been doing it for 20 years.”

There are tickets still available for her show at the Orpheum in Boston, and can be purchased through livenation.com. All tickets cost $27.

Justin Gagnon can be reached at jgagnon@dailycollegian.com.

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