Caroline Smith tries to keep her feelings in check on her smooth new track "Trying Not To Love You."
"I thought it was remarkable how I kept making excuses for this certain man's behavior so I didn't have to face being alone," she explains of the song's inspiration in an email to Billboard. "And I don't think I'm alone in that struggle -- of not wanting to be alone -- but I really wanted to explore why this year and sing songs about my journey to true singleness as a woman. I know a lot of women feel that and I just wanted to be like, "You're not alone girl. But come on. He's not worth all the shit he puts you through."
Wrap your headphones around the Roc Nation singer's catalog and you'll discover that the Minnesota native has fused '90s R&B with indie rock and neo-soul on offerings like 2013's Half About Being a Woman album, home to the body-positive anthem "Magazine." She also teamed with sassy rhymer Lizzo for the latter's "Let 'Em Say."
Get more familiar with Smith in the full Q&A and bump her new single "Trying Not To Love You" below.
What made you fall in love with music?
Lyrics, for sure. As a little girl, I loved how my favorite artists could make me feel with their words and how they could bring me to completely different part of myself all within a four-minute window. Whether it was feeling like a million bucks screaming the words to Mariah Carey's "Emotions" with your mom in the kitchen or lip syncing Jewel's "who will save your soul" to your eight year-old self in the mirror with way too many butterfly clips in your hair.
How did your upbringing shape your musical style? Were there any specific singers who influenced you?
I grew up in a very musical household. Every family event revolved around what was on the stereo or who brought the guitar. My mom was always listening to songwriters like Carole King and Paul Simon, but it wasn't until my babysitter let me listen to her TLC tape on her Walkman while we sunbathed in the front yard that I knew what I wanted to do with my life.
What is your mantra when it comes to self-esteem?
I try to keep healthy body and a healthy mind. I really think the key to creativity is confidence and the key to confidence is feeling healthy. So I meditate, take dance classes, journal a ton, and try to eat as healthy as I can. If all that isn't working, then usually a phone call to my mom doesn't hurt.
What can fans expect from you in the future?
Working hard on the new album which will be out soon! I'm so excited to give a little taste of what the new album is gonna sound like.