Country music up-and-coming sensation Beth Cayhall recently spoke with Music City Encore about her debut single and album. She discusses the lead single, “Boys Eat Your Hearts Out,” including the songwriting and video shooting process, while also giving us the inside scoop and the stories behind the songs on her debut album.
Beth shares how she first became interested in country music, as well as what it was like growing up in her hometown of Ocean View, Delaware, and how she would describe herself as an artist and a person.
We were privileged to speak with this singer-songwriter, and we can’t wait to see where her career goes in the coming years. A special thanks to Beth Cayhall! Read below for the full interview:
Music City Encore: What was it about “Boys Eat Your Hearts Out” that made you want to release it as the first single?
Beth Cayhall: I wanted to release an up-tempo song as my first single, and the subject matter referencing a girls-night-out seemed appropriate for a summer release.
MCE: This is a song about girls having fun out on the town, yet ironically, you wrote this song with two guys. That had to have been an interesting songwriting process!
BC: This was actually one of my favorite and most memorable songwriting sessions! We had a lot of fun, and it was comical to hear a male’s point of view on the subject matter. I wrote this song with Dave Robbins (Blackhawk) and Lonnie Wilson (Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, Conway Twitty, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw). I think the guys had just as much fun with it as I did! I’m sure they both can relate to the male perspective of the song from back in their early single days!
MCE: You’re getting a great response from radio and gearing up to release a music video for this single. What can we expect from the video? Any funny incidents happen during the video shooting process?
BC: One word comes to mind…HOT!! It was one of the hottest weekends of the whole summer, and of course we were scheduled to shoot outside. It was definitely a fun day though! Two of my best friends and I spent the majority of the day driving around the country in a ’64 turquoise Mustang convertible (LOVED IT) getting “chased” by two guys in a pick-up truck, so naturally there were a lot of laughs and a lot of fun memories, even despite the heat. And the heat just made it that much more memorable! Then, I shot a live show portion of the video at one of my favorite Nashville venues with my amazing band. It was a long day, but the whole experience was fun and memorable. I got to meet and work with a lot of great people, and I am very pleased with the results. I can’t wait for everyone to see the video!
MCE: In addition to “Boys Eat Your Hearts Out,” the debut album includes seven other songs. What was the vibe and theme you wanted to create with your first album?
BC: There are so many different elements to my sound and live show that I wanted to showcase with this album. I write a lot with my live show in mind. I definitely wanted to include a lot of fun up-tempos that showcase the fun pop/rock side of me, but also the power ballads that showcase the more soulful and intimate side of me.
MCE: You co-wrote all but two songs on the album. What is the ideal songwriting process for you?
BC: I love getting into the room and talking with my co-writers and letting the session kind of find its own direction. I always make sure that I have ideas to bring to the table, but it’s interesting how often the session ends up taking several different twists along the way. Sometimes the final product ends up being something entirely different than what we initially sat down to write. And often times what we write about ends up being inspired by something we were talking about or a story one of us is telling, rather than the actual idea or “hook” we came in wanting to write about. I love that about songwriting…sometimes the songs seem to write themselves.
MCE: The album was produced by Kent Wells. How was the process working with him?
BC: Working with Kent has been a wonderful experience all around. It’s been an honor to work with someone who is so talented and renowned. I have always admired his work, and have a lot of respect for him as a musician, a producer, and a person…and he treats everyone he works with, including me, with a lot of respect. He took into great consideration my vision for this project, and I couldn’t be happier with the final product!
MCE: You were exposed to country music at a very young age. Could you tell us about your upbringing and how you became interested in country?
BC: I grew up surrounded by talent and a lot of music! Music has always been a fundamental stone in my life and amongst my family. My paternal grandfather and his siblings played in a country band together, and I grew up at his feet watching him play the steel guitar (an instrument that my older brother later picked up and plays very well today). My parents were active in the church choir, and church is actually where I began singing. My father and brothers play together quite often in a local band, and my sisters and I all took piano lessons growing up. I was surrounded by country music, and also influenced heavily by my mother’s taste in a lot of oldies and soulful classics.
MCE: Tell us about your hometown of Ocean View, Delaware. What was it like growing up there?
BC: I grew up on the coast, surrounded by water, which I miss dearly! Ocean View is a small coastal town, but also very agricultural. I grew up close to all of my family, and with a close-knit group of friends and a sense of community where everyone knew everyone. I have such an amazing support group there.
MCE: You obviously love performing on stage, but also enjoy downtime back at home. How do you find a balance between the two?
BC: Finding balance has always been a priority to me. I don’t let myself get too caught up in “being the artist,” but also don’t let myself get too distanced or distracted from my goal and my dream. I think it’s important to recognize and use our gifts, and to do good with them. But it’s also crucially important to always keep yourself grounded, and revisit your roots. Family is important, first and foremost. I have always said that singing is what I DO, but Beth is who I AM. My life is so much more than “Beth Cayhall, the artist,” and I am thankful for every person and passion placed in my life. It is important to me to be a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter and sister, a good neighbor, etc. I am also thankful though for the opportunity and ability to sing, and I love doing it and sharing those gifts and meeting new fans. I don’t ever want to take either position for granted.
MCE: This record showcases your vocal ability, songwriting, and personality. What is the most valuable trait that defines you as an artist?
BC: Perhaps it’s my dedication to remain true to myself and my influences. Also, it is my passion for my live show, and connecting with my audience, whether that’s through a live performance or a song itself.
MCE: What is the meaning behind the album’s title, ‘Worth Fighting For’?
BC: “Worth Fighting For” is the title of a track on the album and one that I wrote. I chose that as the album title because there IS so much in life worth fighting for. One of my biggest mottos in life is to never ever give up, and that encompasses a lot of things, including but not limited to my music and my dream. Therefore, it just seems appropriate to put this project out there under that title. It’s worth fighting for, and I don’t intend to give up. I also think it’s a strong and important message to share.
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