As Brighton-based popstar Caity Baser releases her debut EP, Bethan Andrews sits down and talks with the no frills singer about her whirlwind success story
Caity Baser. It’s a name that, at the moment, you may not have heard of, but it’s fair to say that, soon, you certainly won’t be able to escape her. The 20-year-old Brighton-based singer is rising at a meteoric pace. Having posted her first song to Tik Tok in September of the 2020 lockdowns, Caity found herself going viral overnight. Fast forward to today, and she’s signed to EMI and about to embark on her first tour – it’s all happening.
But how did it all start? “Music has always been what I’ve wanted to do with my life and the dream, but it always seemed so impossible,” she says. “I tried everything from sports, acting, dance to musical theatre, but the only thing I never quit was singing and songwriting. I studied musical theatre and pop music, but I dropped musical theatre because I hated it and everyone was too jazz hands and it was all too intimidating! And then lockdown happened and I was right back to square one…”
It’s immediately clear that Caity has a drive and an ambition that many struggle to find, and she tells me about how, from secondary school, she started teaching herself piano. “I’d sit there and be like, ‘Oh, that sounds nice. Is that a chord? Maybe,’” she explains. “And through that, I learned how to write songs.” It would turn out to be this very skill and passion that forged the turning point of her “impossible” career choice. “I had a complicated relationship with social media where I didn’t want to post myself singing because it cringed me out,” she says. “I was in my room one day and just thought I’m going to write a song and post it. I felt so many urges to delete it, but I turned off my phone and went and hung out in M&S car park because that’s the kind of thing you did in 2020! I turned my phone back on and I had half a million views, all these followers and all these amazing comments.”
From there, Caity’s life changed overnight. She got a call from a lady who is now her manager, ended up going to London to meet her and producers Future Cut, who did Lily Allen’s Smile album and worked with Little Mix, and got signed there and then. I wonder if it’s something she saw coming. “I always had this feeling, and this is such a cringey thing to say, but I always felt like I wasn’t meant to do a normal life,” she says. “That makes me feel physically ill, so the second I got the chance, I wasn’t going to let the moment slide as it doesn’t come around often. I’m still holding tight now and not letting it go! It’s been non-stop craziness and fun, it’s the best thing ever. It’s intense, but it’s giving me a good work ethic.”
There’s something infectious about Caity and you can’t help but smile and perk up when in her company. She tells me of quitting her job to finally pursue her dream. “I’d just started a new job at the Co-op, I did my first shift and then went to London for the first time,” she explains. “I came back, cried my whole way through the second shift and then went in the next day and quit. I’d never even met the boss before but I told him, I’m going to be a popstar!”
Clearly, it’s going well. She might still utilise social media a lot and remain grounded in her Tik Tok roots, but this is only the beginning. Through this creative partnership with Future Cut, she’s already bagged critical plaudits and millions of streams for original songs like X&Y and Friendly Sex: songs that, as her fast-growing fanbase already knows, showcase an artist who’s as direct lyrically as she is in person. She’s recently signed with EMI, signed a publishing deal with Sony, set to play at Reading and Leeds, sold out her first headline in just three minutes and her tour in a day.
So, what really sets Caity apart from the masses of young women wanting to make it as a singer in a crowded marketplace? “I’m quite honest, very British and quite rude and cheeky,” she laughs. “In this world of sin, everyone likes to dress things up and not say it how it is. I don’t really beat around the bush, I don’t really do metaphors, and I’d rather just say what I mean. I’m not going to go, ‘oh, you’ve eaten my heart out’ if what I really want to say is that you’ve pissed me off. How I am in songs is how I am in conversations – when I write, I imagine I’m talking to my friends. I’ve had a lot of people say my songs are like being on a Facetime call with your mate, and that’s exactly what I want. It hones in on closeness, which is really important to me, because I want to feel close to the people who listen to my music.”
Caity recently released her debut EP, and she’s excited to get her songs out there. “I’ve been sat on some of these songs for ages, so it’s exciting to finally get them out there and for people to get to know me more,” she smiles. “It’s a group of songs about being a girl in your 20s. I have balls now, and I want to empower every other girl, as well.”
What is Caity most proud of in this journey? “Just growing and continuing to grow, and making music that just bangs,” she says. “I can’t wait to see people’s gleaming faces in the audience when I’m on tour. I love performing so much and it’s the thing that comes most naturally to me, so I really can’t wait.”
Speaking of the tour, Caity tells me how much she is looking forward to performing her Brighton date, and getting to perform in her beloved home. “I’m so excited and do you know what’s mad? Every time I go to London to get the train, I get the little rental bikes and cycle past the venue I’m playing at to get home from the station. For so long, I would stop and peek in to see who was playing and how big it is, and now I’m playing it. I wanted a queue of people outside for me, and now it’s happening,” she grins.
So, what drew Caity in when it comes to Brighton? “I love the sea, I’m such an ocean baby. And I love the buzz of Brighton. It’s a place I can walk around in my pyjamas and be like, whatever. Everyone’s cool, everyone’s friendly, and it’s so colourful,” she beams. “Brighton feels like my city, I just love it so much, and it’s such a creative place and is so lively with so much personality. It’s a small place that feels so big at the same time because there is so much going on. I love it, it’s definitely my home.”
Apart from her upcoming tour and music releases, Caity insists there are a million crazy things going on. Clearly, she’s excited for the future and it seems that the world should be too. “There will be more music, festivals and maybe some collabs,” she hints. “I want to travel more. I’m going to LA for the first time ever and I’m so excited. I’m excited to take Brighton to LA, let’s see how they like me there!”
Caity Baser’s new 6 track EP ‘Thanks For Nothing, See You Never’ is out now via EMI Records/Chosen Music. See more at caitybaser.com