It’s almost inevitable; when a relationship comes to an end, there’s certain mementoes that will always remind someone of the relationship. It may be a song or it may be a photo, but without fail, each time that “thing” is stumbled upon, the memories of that relationship flood back, sometimes making them wonder what may have been and sometimes wishing the relationship had worked out. With her newest single, “Take Only What You Need,” Caitlin Quisenberry examines that exact feeling.
On her new single, Quisenberry asks the leaving party in a relationship to leave behind those certain mementoes, taking only what they need when they go as the title suggests. “Take Only What You Need” continues Quisenberry’s every-three-week release strategy, which has seen her streaming numbers drastically increase, helped her songs get placed on curated playlists and kept her fans on their toes as to what she has up her sleeve in the coming weeks after a single release.
We caught up with Caitlin to talk all about “Take Only What You Need,” as well as her recent streaming success, feeling comfortable in songwriting sessions, her plans for more new music and more!
Pro Country: You are in the middle of a stretch where you are releasing a new single every three weeks. What has it been like for you to release new music so frequently and keep your listeners on their toes?
Caitlin Quisenberry: It’s been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun! I’m in a routine now, like a rhythm. Along with my releases, I’m constantly writing new music, getting back into the studio to record it, filming music videos for the next songs coming out, writing my weekly CQ newsletters to stay in touch with my listeners and designing new merch around each single I drop. I hope all the new music is keeping my listeners on their toes, ‘cuz I sure am!
PC: Your newest stretch of singles are quickly approaching a combined 100,000 streams and have played a big part in accruing over 13,000 monthly listeners and landed you on a handful of curated playlists. How encouraging has the response been in the midst of this new release strategy?
CQ: Thank you for noticing that! My numbers are very encouraging and are showing me that the plan we put in place is working. The curated playlists are so important and have allowed my reach to expand well beyond family and friends. I have a great support group (including you, Justin) who have been with me since the beginning; helping me promote my music, adding me to their personal playlists, etc. That is really how any business works and becomes successful. Music is no different and needs to be grown organically to last and continue to grow.
PC: Why did you feel that “Take Only What You Need” was the right follow up to your last single, “Love Her Out of My Head”?
CQ: It’s funny you ask that, because I really do put a lot of thought into the order of my releases. I wanted “LOVE HER OUT OF MY HEAD” to be released right before Halloween because it is a hauntingly twisted love story. I didn’t write that one, so I knew I wanted to follow it up with one I did write. It’s important for me to be known as a singer/songwriter and not only as an artist. So, I followed that one up with “TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED” because it was recently chosen by top producers and publishers at a songwriting convention as the top song. With that hype around it, I felt it had the wings it needed to be dropped next.
PC: “Take Only What You Need” was co-written with Ben Simonetti and Jesse Labelle. Can you take us in the room and talk about the inspiration behind the song?
CQ: I knew both Ben and Jesse, but they didn’t know each other, so I set up the write. Because it was our first time in a room writing together, we started off just chit chatting about how we had all just moved and what a pain it was, and how we wish we didn’t have so much stuff and how much easier it would be if we were more minimalists and would just “take only what you need;” the rest is just baggage that weighs you down. From there, that catchy phrase, ”take only what you need” morphed into our break up song. It’s fun writing with guys because they have a different perspective on relationships, so I was inserting the female perspective along the way.
PC: “Take Only What You Need” serves as the second song you have released that you have had a hand in writing. How much have you seen yourself growing as a songwriter and being confident in writing rooms with several of the big-name writers you have been writing with?
CQ: It was so much fun for me to be a part of this write, I mean, Ben and Jesse are top writers in Nashville, and I had just moved here and was pretty new. I felt like being in that room and part of that write gave me at least five years of experience! They moved me forward fast, then let me record it. That experience gave me a lot of confidence and has helped me immensely in all my writes that have followed.
PC: Last time we talked, you mentioned that you had new releases scheduled through March of 2022. What information can you give about your forthcoming releases? What can listeners expect to hear?
CQ: I now have a release plan that extents to August 2022! Not all the music is recorded that far out, but I do have the songs written and mapped out. My next release is the Christmas song, “O HOLY NIGHT” dropping this Friday, Dec. 3rd. I made it my own by modernizing it a bit, adding a new bridge I wrote and enhanced the build by adding three key changes. Then in January, I’m releasing my first EP, called Nashville Stripped. It’s stripped down acoustic version of full production songs I’ve already released. My release in February is going to be a song that was pitched to me over a year ago and I absolutely fell in love with it, like more than any song I’ve been pitched before. When we went back to tell them I wanted it, a big male artist had already snatched it up. I had to wait for him to record it so I could then record it as a cover. This song really moves me and I can’t wait to reveal the song to you!!
For those of your reading this: the best way to be the first to know about my new releases before anyone else is to sign up for my CQ newsletter. It’s free and comes out every Monday morning.
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
CQ: I would like to end by thanking you, Justin, for doing this interview, believing in me as a songwriter and artist, and for continuing to promote my music. I love Pro Country and all you do. I’ve found great artists and music through following you.
*”Take Only What You Need” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*