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It All Started With Tom

MySpace fave streams her way to the big time.

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Singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat has a lot of friends -- more than 161,000, according to MySpace. Less than a year ago, the California native was named one of Rolling Stone’s best unsigned artists. Last month, Universal Republic released her debut album, Coco, and Caillat joined the Goo Goo Dolls and Lifehouse on a cross-country summer tour. “People started adding my songs to their [MySpace] pages, and their friends added it to their pages,” she says. “It was so crazy.”

Before Coco came out, the 21-year-old singer didn’t spend much time in front of audiences. She’s still honing her stage persona, she says. “I was just recording in the studio for fun, then I had to go out and do some shows. That’s hard to get used to.” Several years ago, Caillat entered a talent show after hearing Lauryn Hill sing “Killing Me Softly” with the Fugees. Soon she was writing her own songs. “They just come out,” she says. “They’re mostly about fears and relationships -- personal stuff.” Caillat comes off like a less sleepy Norah Jones, dusted with some of Jack Johnson’s sun-kissed cool. It comes naturally: Her dad, Ken Caillat, co-produced Fleetwood Mac’s placid-rock classic Rumours. “He’s starting to get ‘Is your daughter . . . ?’” she laughs. Now that she’s conquered MySpace, Caillat says she’s starting to feel real-world stress. “It’s a little strange, but really exciting,” she says. “There’s a lot of pressure. Before, if I messed up, I let myself down. Now, there are a lot of people counting on me not to mess up.”
Tue., Aug. 28, 7 p.m.

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