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Caity Baser:Personality with a capital P

by HQ

“I don’t want to be a character; I want to be Caity Baser!”

Caity is a drop of fresh energy in a sea of churned-out trends in the music industry – she treats songwriting like an open diary, her fans like her best friends, and she knows exactly who she is. Before she was a musician with a pure zest for life and a cunning ability to rope you into her world, Caity had her sights set on Broadway.

“I’ve been performing my entire life,” she tells me, “I did musical theatre forever and thought I’d be in Broadway.” This isn’t a far cry from the singer’s persona as a fun-loving, free-spirited, yet beautifully chaotic and versatile artist. “I realised very quickly I don’t want to do that [to act],” Caity had her own shoes to fill.

The 20-year-old British singer-songwriter is exuberant and smiling from ear to ear with a warm and real glow about her when we meet on call. She opens with a joke, filling the conversation with her infectious, upbeat attitude already.

Hailing from Southampton and now living in sunny Brighton, Caity broke onto the music scene after going viral on TikTok in the first UK lockdown. “There was honestly nothing going on in Southampton,” she laughs, “I only go back to see my friends – there isn’t much of a music scene either. Once I turned 18, I was like, I’m leaving! My dad lived in Brighton, and I was seeing a boy there so it just made sense.” Like any Gen Z, Caity recalls soaking up the sun over the weekend, whilst cycling around with a little iced coffee. But nothing could have prepared her for the major life change that would come after upping sticks.

“I would never post videos ever. And if I did, I would leave them up for like an hour then delete it because I would just get worried about what people would think about me and that it’s weird.” The singer has famously recalled how her old friends would mock her at school and see her singing as “showing off”.

“Once lockdown happened, I was completely separated away from everybody. I didn’t speak to anyone and was like, fuck everyone, you’re not good for me.” Caity decided to jump the gun and post a song that took her 10 minutes to write, in her room. “I felt so strongly about it, and I didn’t know how to use Tik Tok, but I just filmed it. I edited all the lyrics because I saw people doing that, and then when I was close to deleting it, I just turned my phone off and told myself to leave it. I just had this weird feeling.”

She went out with her friends, turned her phone back on to half a million views, countless new followers, and a message from her now-manager – “Hey Queen, come to London” – and the rest was history. Caity has since released one album, ‘Lil CB’ (2021), and a debut EP, ‘Thanks for Nothing, See You Never’ (2023) under EMI, alongside singles with DJs Sigala and Joel Corry.

In the singer’s collaboration with Sigala, ‘Feels This Good’, she recalls going into the studio thinking she was the only feature on the track. “I sang the whole song with the rap and then I got the mix back and thought ‘who’s that on the first verse’, then I was like I know that lovely, buttery voice that is Mae Muller. So, I texted her and said we’re on a tune together, then we had a whole thing and shot a music video together.” Caity went on to meet up with the third feature on the track, Stefflon Don, who she lovingly describes as a “fucking icon”.

With a bright future, the ‘Leave Me Alone’ singer says that Doja Cat would be her dream collaboration. “Her or Megan thee Stallion, I need an American babe. I also love Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and Ice Spice – she’s stealing my heart.” It wouldn’t be a full circle moment without Katy Perry, however, who ignited Caity’s passion for music when she saw her perform live.

“I went to a Katy Perry concert when I was like eight years old, we had seats at the very top of this hotel. I remember thinking how on earth has this tiny lady made a stadium feel like we’re best friends and we all know each other? It was such a feeling that I wanted to be that girl and since then, music’s been everything to me.”

With Freddie Mercury and Elton John as her role models, Caity remains firmly fixed down to earth as she continues to be surprised by the thousands of people who come out to see her perform. “Reading and Leeds festival was my first ‘what the fuck’ moment because I thought nobody was going to turn up,” she reveals, “even my last gig at the Kentish town forum, which is 500 people, I did the same thing when I came out on stage, just thinking ‘what are you doing here’? It’s just wild.”

At one of her recent shows, the singer posted a video to social media where she beckons at a man in the crowd to kiss her during her performance of ‘Kiss You’. “He was staring at me and making kiss faces, so I thought go on then, kiss me. I just saw my whole label behind me looking shocked…” Caity will always leave you guessing, after growing up on everything from Whitney Houston, Louis Armstrong and Motown to loving drum and bass and mimicking the star power of Freddie Mercury and Sir Elton. She lives for the excitement and leans into it: “When you come to my shows, who knows what’s going to happen?”

But the power of the pen hasn’t always come so easily for Caity, who reveals “I’ve always found it difficult to express myself with words”. As a young girl, she would dance along to relatable music and now, she can pen a song in a matter of minutes. The ‘X&Y’ singer created her first mixtape, ‘Lil CB’, in a four-day studio session. “I didn’t think about it, I just thought people call me CB, like little CB, so the mixtape is like a present from big me to little me.” In contrast to this spontaneity, Caity reveals that for her EP, ‘Thanks for Nothing, See You Never’, she looked at every single detail. “The artwork, the videos, the campaigning, I really got into everything because I thought, now I know what I’m doing.”

The 2023 EP shows a greater, rebellious spirit from the Gen-Z artist, who struggles to pick a favourite song from her discography. However, the artist is fond of one popular single, which didn’t make it onto the EP. “I love ‘Friendly Sex’,” which was released in different versions last year, “I remember writing it in my bedroom at about five minutes – I just came out the shower thinking about it.” ‘Kiss You’ and ‘2020s’ are also on the singer’s list of favourite songs to sing – that is, if she has to pick. Caity’s bedroom also appears to be a songwriting sanctuary, with ‘Jimmy Choos’ being born from her bedroom floor. The singer tells me how she cried with her best friend about being broke before they both realised that money “doesn’t make you any cooler” and she wrote a song about it.

“My songwriting process is something happens in my life, good or bad, and then I just tell the story exactly how it happened. I think about the situation in my room, like what was I wearing? What day was it? How was I feeling? What were my friends saying?” Speaking to Caity Baser is like talking to a best friend, just as listening to her songs is like hearing the ins and outs of a friend’s dilemma, so it’s no surprise that her process allows for this level of vulnerability, transparency and modern-day openness that younger musicians are showing. “When something happens, I call my friends and vent, so I turn that venting into a song.”

With a love for storytelling, Caity can channel this into her music where her listeners can easily relate to her form of expression. “I want them to imagine we’re on a phone call, and I’m going ‘hey, listen to this’ because that’s genuinely what I do.”

Exchanging five years of pub work and a job at the Co-op for singing to crowds on stage, Caity’s continued her form of self-expression through her style and makeup. “Look at my boots!” She says before profusely apologising, “I’m sat on the floor but look at my boots, they’re amazing”. In her latest array of video interviews, you might spot the singer with the same pair of tanned and furry knee-high boots, not too dissimilar from what a fashionable Yeti might look like from the knees below. “My thing is eyeliner,” she continues, “I love a big graphic wing or crazy colours on my eyes.” Where hairstyles are concerned, the ‘Pretty Boys’ singer opts for bunches, a slicked back look, or space buns – “I alternate between a lot of these hairstyles that my mum dressed me in as a child. I literally wear the same thing, I’m just stretched out now.”

With grit and passion behind her, Caity is looking towards her upcoming projects which include “more singles this year”, festivals and calling the studio a second home. “Life is life-ing”, for the rising popstar.

Photographer – Lauren Carnell
Assistant – George Wood
Stylist – Elise Shauna
MUA – Taisha Absherwood
Hair Stylist – Sandra Hahnel
Writer – Jill Lupupa

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