We talk with the emerging artist about her upcoming EP and her charity, Kidd’s Kids.
Dallas-based singer-songwriter Caroline Kraddick has released two singles, “Over” and “This Love.” Now the daughter of radio personality Kidd Kraddick is preparing for her debut EP, set for release this fall.
Inspired by her Texas roots and upbringing, Kraddick’s music embraces both her love of country music and charity. She donates a portion of the proceeds from each song to the charity her father established, Kidd’s Kids, which provides hope and happiness for children with life-threatening and life-altering conditions.
Recently, we caught up with Kraddick about her upcoming EP and Kidd’s Kids.
Cowboys & Indians: You have plans to release an EP in the fall. What can we expect?
Caroline Kraddick: Yes. I’m super-excited about it. I’ve been in the writing process for over a year now, and I’ve finally found a producer that I really love and connect with who set me up with all female writers, which was very different. I usually write mostly with men, so it was really a kind of different and fun take on everything. It was just really easy to connect, so I got a lot of great songs I’m super proud of, so I cannot wait to release it.
C&I: So you’re already finished recording?
Kraddick: Yes. I just finished. I went back to L.A. last week and we wrote and recorded our last one last week.
C&I: Talk a bit about the production process. …
Kraddick: It all came super easy. I think we were just kind of in the zone and we were able to make the most the day that we were writing. I wrote with a variety of different writers. The writing process can be so awkward sometimes if you don’t know who you’re writing with. It’s like dating, you know? I was lucky. I really connected to all the writers I was working with, so it all came very easily.
C&I: Your debut track, “This Love,” was written by Ryan Cabrera and Jamie Hartman, and you co-wrote a track called “Over” with Ryan Cabrera. What was it like to work with him?
Kraddick: Writing and doing all my work with Ryan has just been a dream. We grew up together, but just seeing him in his arena of music … he’s such an underrated artist. He’s such an amazing writer, and so I really looked up to him. I couldn’t even believe that he was willing to work with me when we first started. He’s one of the more vulnerable people that I’ve worked with. It can be really hard if you’re working with someone who’s not understanding what you’re going for or not connecting with you. Ryan and I have always just been friends, so the writing process came really normal to us.
C&I: What do you think that Ryan and Jamie brought to “This Love” that made it so special?
Kraddick: The song is actually about an experience that Ryan went through — I think it was like 10 years ago — about this girl that he had met abroad. I had a similar story, so that’s what influenced everything. Ryan was able to take his personal experience and [because] he’s an artist, he feels very deeply and was able to put that into a song, which is really amazing.
C&I: Is there a song from your music career that you’re most proud of performing or writing or working on?
Kraddick: Probably my new single. It’s called “Stronger.” It’ll be out in about a month. I’m a singer, but then I’m also the Chief Happiness Officer, CEO of Kidd’s Kids, which is my family’s nonprofit. I really wanted to make a song. It’s so easy for those charity songs to be cheesy or not well-produced. So it was like, I just want to do one for the kids that I serve but have it be relatable to everyone. We were able to write the song “Stronger.” It has kind of a John Mayer/Maren Morris vibe to it. The lyrics are really strong, but it’s not cheesy and I think it’s just super relatable. And it’s one that you instantly get stuck in your head when you hear it. All my friends are already obsessed with it. I’m really proud of that one, and I’m proud that it has a great message behind it.
C&I: Your father, the loved Dallas radio personality Kidd Kraddick, founded Kidd’s Kids. Tell us more about the charity and what it represents. …
Kraddick: The charity started when my mom was pregnant with me and [my parents] had a doctor’s appointment where the sonogram looked like there was something off with me. And so my parents were kind of prepared to have a special-needs child. They couldn’t really say what the problem was at the time. And then when I was born healthy, they decided they needed to be able to give back. They started taking kids from Dallas to San Antonio for Sea World and then it just kind of evolved over the years into this huge event where we take 50 to 60 kids with life-threatening conditions to Disney World in November.
And then I started the teen initiative where we take teenagers because in the November trip we take ages 5 to 12. I went back to Disney as a 23-year-old when my dad died on the Kidd’s Kids trip, and Disney World just totally healed me. It was just such a happy place and being around all these kids, I felt the need to expand the age group of the kids since I was 23 and experiencing so much relief and joy by being there. So I said we need to extend it. It’s growing and I’m super proud of it. It’s really special for me to be able to use my music as my voice to help tell people about the charity.
C&I: You partnered with the Rustic to do some charity shows. Can we expect more of those combinations?
Kraddick: Oh, yeah. Absolutely, yes. I was able to tour with the Rustic, so I went to all their locations — Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. It was great just to get out into other markets. I was able to open for Josh Abbott Band in Amarillo, which was a really amazing experience. But every time I’m onstage, I’m promoting Kidd’s Kids and I actually donate all the proceeds that I make back to the charity and all my merchandise goes back to the charity as well.
C&I: Speaking of your late father, when you were starting to be a musician, what kind of advice did he give you or what did you learn from him during his career?
Kraddick: I learned so much from him. I feel like my biggest regret is not writing half the stuff he set down. I always wanted to be in musical theater, I didn’t really want to be an artist, and my dad would always tell me, “I’ll make you an artist.” Like, “You just tell me and we’ll make you a pop star.” That made me kind of not want it because I wanted to do it on my own. Now I’m just absolutely kicking myself for not listening to him. He was just always so supportive of my talent. My parents would do anything for me to support that. I’ve been really glad that my parents both really believed in my talent. It was funny, because I looked back in my yearbook and we had to do this questionnaire about where you want to be in 10 years. One of the things I said to myself was that I wanted to be using my music for good. I feel like that’s exactly what I’m doing. So that’s a beautiful full-circle moment for me.
C&I: What can we expect from your live shows?
Kraddick: I love my live shows because I’m able to do some of my original music. And then I love throwing in covers that kind of are in the same realm as my music. The girls that I performed in front of at Josh Abbott Band, there’s a line of girls who just totally, I could tell, were on the same brainwave as me, so singing songs like “Hide the Wine” by Carly Pearce and a lot of millennial-appealing songs [was] really fun. That’s my audience and they were just totally into it and connecting. I love being able to do that kind of stuff.
C&I: You’re from Dallas. For C&I readers who come to see Texas, what are your go-to places to visit in the city?
Kraddick: I’m like a nerd and I love the Perot Museum. I love to go to Javier’s for dinner because I feel like it’s just — well, I’ve been going there since I was a kid and it’s just such an institution. And then you have to go see a show at Granada or the Kessler.
C&I: What’s next? We know that you’re coming out with an EP soon, but beyond that?
Kraddick: I think that you can expect some more traveling, touring, performances. I recently did a showcase at the House of Blues in Dallas for event people in the area that may need someone to sing at a corporate event. They can also have the charity giveback, so I’ve been doing a lot of that, which is really rewarding for me, because I get to go and perform in a platform of people that I might not meet and then I also get to educate them on Kidd’s Kids. So I plan to do a lot more of that. And then I will be traveling to Nashville in a few weeks and I’m going to have some great writes there. Who knows? The world is my oyster.
For more information on Caroline Kraddick, visit her website.
To make a donation to Kidd’s Kids, visit the charity’s website.