C&I has the first listen to the new single from this rockin’ country “‘girl version’ of Eric Church mixed with some Sheryl Crow.”
Let’s jump right into our conversation with Nashville’s Bailey Callahan and get into her brand-new “State of Mind.”
Cowboys & Indians: For people who are not familiar with you, tell us a little bit about yourself and your music.
Bailey Callahan: Hey y’all! I’m Bailey Callahan! I’m a jeep-driving, songwriting all-around American girl from Orlando, Florida. I moved to Nashville in 2018, just a week after my high school graduation and haven’t looked back. Since my arrival, I’ve harbored a ton of great relationships, written a tremendous amount of music, recorded and released my very own tracks to country radio, booked all of my own shows, all while making Music City my home.
I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, fueled by the motivation of a bet from my grandma, who said, “The first grandchild to learn how to play a musical instrument would get $50.” I was all in, and from there, I fell in love with music. I began writing songs and played my first real gig when I was 11 years old.
It was then I knew what I wanted to do. I attended high school virtually, which enabled me to tour and get my name out there without jeopardizing my education.
My music is spunky and a bit sassy. I describe my sound as the “girl version” of Eric Church mixed with some Sheryl Crow.
What’s your hometown — both growing up and living now?
C&I: Tell us about the new music. What inspired it and how did it come together?
Callahan: When I release new music, I look at it as if it were a new era in my life. A new outlook and perspective with an altered and vibrant color palette all its own make for a familiar but different sound.
“State of Mind” is a mixture of ’70s rock and modern country. As a writer, I find my inspiration from different places I’ve traveled. Last December, I took a trip to California and fell in love with the state; that trip was very eye- opening for me and hence the birth of "State of Mind.”
Overall, I love the high energy of the track. From a writing standpoint, my favorite line is “You know you wanna play my game.” From a musical standpoint, I love all the little guitar licks woven throughout the background.
It’s a song about life, love, and locations. “State of Mind” makes me wanna get in a car and drive fast — maybe even go on a road trip. I’m hoping listeners will get a glimpse into my life, my thoughts, and my ambition.
C&I: What have you been doing during the pandemic?
Callahan: I think, like most people, COVID has put a dent in my aspirations, but I try to look at everything positively. Since all my gigs got canceled, I've been able to focus a lot of my time on songwriting and rebranding for the future. This time has made me realize even more how much I love what I do and value that. Everyone is on an even playing field, post COVID-19. I had a lot planned for this year before COVID-19 came into play. My hopes are that everything returns to its structure but with bigger and better opportunities.
C&I: Generally speaking, what inspires you? How do you “refill the well” of creativity?
Callahan: New personal experiences or life situations always spark ideas to write about. As people, we are constantly evolving and searching for something new and better. I’ve always found that life process interesting to write about. I work hard to try to outdo myself, which is where my productivity comes from also.
C&I: What’s something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
Callahan: Not music related? I have 13 ribs!
C&I: What’s next for you?
Callahan: I’m taking this time to work and concentrate on my songwriting. It’s been a good time for to take personal inventory and for growth. Songwriting is about self-expression. I’ve got a notebook chock-full of ideas for song hooks and storylines. So, there’ll be lots of new music pouring out. Stay tuned!