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Exclusive Interview: Caroline Renezeder Talks ‘cocktails and you’

Exclusive Interview: Caroline Renezeder Talks ‘cocktails and you’

If you’re looking for a project that brings depth, heart, and music that you can put on while creating your own art, look no further. Caroline Renezeder has just released her new single, ‘cocktails and you,’ from her upcoming EP GROW.

Featuring silky vocals, smooth production, and R&B flavor, this single is a must for your summer-turning-into-fall playlists.

We got the scoop on what went into creating ‘cocktails and you’ and what’s to come on GROW! Plus, Caroline reveals some of her inspirations and what it was like working with Poo Bear, who’s most famous for collaborating with Justin Bieber.

Welcome to THP! We’re so excited to chat with you. First of all, what would you most like our readers to know about you and your music?
It’s been three years since I last put out a project. As for most creatives, COVID put a wrench in a lot of my plans. Especially as an independent artist who had to rely heavily on booking performances to keep pushing my career. I took time off to focus on other business ventures, school, and investing time into entrepreneurship. This shift in focus created newfound freedom in my music. I felt less pressure to make music for the sake of booking my next show, getting on the next playlist, or what have you. I was making music just for me. Therefore, the project’s style feels incredibly genuine and authentic.

‘cocktails and you’ is such a gorgeous song. We love the falsetto vocals and how mellow it is while still being layered. What went into its creation? What’s the process like?
It’s a funny story actually. I made the beat for ‘cocktails and you’ last summer of ’21. It was originally created to be a worship song by my friend Tara Kelly and I. At the same time, I was working with Sylvia MacCalla (co-producer of Grow) on an array of songs. I ended up accidentally sending her the beat for what is now ‘cocktails and you’. She came back to me with the melody and lyric ideas for the chorus of ‘cocktails’. When she sent it to me I was surprised as the song was already being done in a different genre. But it was SO good I couldn’t refuse it. I thought about how cool it would be to have the first single off the EP be an R&B/pop song with worship undertones.

Taking it back to 2017, what was it like working with Poo Bear for your debut single, ‘Show Me?’
It was incredible. I was so intimidated to write with a man as talented, let alone famous as him. All my worries were put to rest within the first five minutes of meeting him. He is genuinely the kindest person and made me feel so comfortable and confident. I was also only 20 at the time so that confidence aspect was HUGE for me. We figured out we went to the same church right away and from there on the writing process was smooth sailing.

We’re obsessed with the honest writing on ‘cheers to the night.’ It’s so relatable. Is the smiley face at the end of the title on ‘cheers’ and ‘cocktails’ of a specific significance?
To be honest with you, no. I just thought it looked really cute. I guess it was also somewhat of a subconscious marketing decision. I’m making music to relate to people so I wanted the songs to feel inviting.

Who are three dream singer-songwriters you’d love to collab with one day?
TBH I just want to be in the room when Anderson .Paak writes. A genre twist to work with Maverick City would also be insane.

Image Source: Caroline Renezeder via Instagram

What was it like having your song featured in a movie? How did your collaboration with Lady Driver come about?
I’ve known the producers of the film for quite some time. Christina Moore is a great friend and as good of a person as she is talented. I sent her my catalog of songs and she ended up featuring a few in several of her movies, Lady Driver being the biggest. It was and still is a very surreal feeling to see your song be played over the final scenes and credits of a movie. It was distributed by Netflix and Warner Brothers which makes it even cooler.

What would you include if you were making a mood board to capture the vibe of GROW?
Lots of colors. Whimsical but elegant vibes.

In honor of ‘cocktails and you,’ what cocktail would you say represents the GROW EP?
Grow is all about stepping into your own person and the freedom that comes with knowing who you are and what you want. I think that journey looks different for everyone so I wouldn’t say there is one particular cocktail that represents the entire project. I think it’s subjective to every person listening. To me personally, Grow feels like a smokey grapefruit mezcal Paloma with a salty tajin rim, whereas ‘cocktails and you’, contrary to the title, feels like a glass of really amazing red wine.

Can you tell us a little more about the creation of GROW as an independent project? How did it start, and how do you approach songwriting?
Every song was created alongside Sylvia MacCalla. Sylvia is an incredible writer, producer, vocal producer, etc. We began working on the project back in 2019 when we didn’t even know it would become a full EP. Just before the pandemic, we wrote ‘Switch’ which is feature #4 I believe. After that song was finished we knew we had to make a project together because our writing synergy was so good. When you find someone you work with so well the songs sort of fall out of you. We would either start with a preexisting beat or create one, then the melodies start rolling, typically followed by the lyrics. However, sometimes you have an amazing lyric idea before the melody, it all just depends.

Since this EP is all about life changes and the journey of growing up, how do you stay grounded through it all? What do you do to get through when things are hard, or there is a big change happening?
I’m incredibly close with my family. It’s the thing I’m most grateful for in this world and in my life. That family now includes a fiancé and puppy who I live with. With them all on my side, nothing feels impossible, even in the most difficult of times. I also have faith in a God that’s way bigger than me. Sometimes that faith is shaken, especially in the past three years when the world has just felt insane, but my family are the people that always bring me back to it.

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What’s on your playlists right now? And when it came to creating GROW, were there any specific musical inspirations that you listened to?
To be honest I tried hard to actually not listen to a lot of music while creating Grow. I know this sounds a bit backward but I didn’t want anything to pour out of me creatively that wasn’t from me. I wanted to discover who I was creatively by looking into myself for inspiration. While making Grow I was exercising my left brain working on business, listening to podcasts, etc. By doing this, when I switched to my creative side, things just flowed more freely. As far as what I am currently listening to, I’m in full wedding playlist curation mode. So a lot of fun house music lol. Totally opposite to Grow.

And lastly, what has been the most memorable part of the journey of creating GROW?
My most memorable part is just seeing the genuine growth that happened during this time. The project began as a form of therapy to get through some really tough times. I had an incredibly difficult time dealing with a few losses back in 2020 and 2021. My own mental and physical health felt like it was at a low. But instead of letting that consume me, I ended up working really hard to feel better. And in the process, I planted a lot of seeds that I’m now seeing flourish this year. Coinciding with the creation of Grow I got engaged, built a studio, started a business, grew in my faith, and most importantly feel like I got my mental and physical health to a place where they feel even better than before the pandemic. Looking back and being proud of myself is I guess my favorite part.

Image Source: Julia Schweiss

Stream ‘cocktails and you’ here and get ready for GROW!

What do you love most about ‘cocktails and you?’ Let us know on Twitter @thehoneypop or in the comments below!

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