Beautiful, Vulnerable, Unique: An Interview with Callaghan Belle


Callaghan Smerek can’t remember a time before music or how her love for it started, but she does know that she’s ready to tell her story.

As a young child, her typical day involved writing a song or two.

“I didn’t realize there was anything unusual about a little kid writing music,” she said. “I thought everyone was doing it.”

The first few years of her life were spent in the studio and on the road with her godmother, Anita Baker. By the time she was 10, she was singing background vocals for Bob Seger. She signed her first record deal in high school. She was on the fast track to a successful music career.

But time seemed to stop when production on her first Callaghan Belle EP began.

Sovereign is set to release at the end of the year, and is a project that Smerek spent years on. She said that she was lucky to have people who believed in her music, but found it difficult to find people who wanted to put the work in. While the project wasn’t the creative breeze that she hoped it would be, she said this process made her a better musician.

She learned the production side of the industry, taught herself ProTools, and “came out on the other side with a beautiful, vulnerable, unique piece of art.”

It’s a learning experience that she won’t soon forget. She’s since surrounded herself with producers and collaborators but still has her say in all aspects of the creation process.

“It’s served me well to be a woman in this industry who understands the production side of things,” she said. “That’s still pretty uncommon. Whenever I’m in the studio with a bunch of guys, it feels empowering to be the girl who knows how to record, produce, arrange, etc. Learning to communicate via sound—meaning instead of trying to describe how I want something to sound, I can literally create it myself—was an invaluable lesson.”

The music of Callaghan Belle comes from a place of passion, and while she can’t remember the exact moment that music caught her attention, she’s remembered where she came from and who she wants to be. She’s finally made it to a point where she’s ready to tell her story – and it’s a good one.

“It’s honestly just so exciting to be on this ride and see where these releases take me—hopefully on the road soon with an artist who inspires me.”