On the Verge: Callaghan

Moving from London, UK to Atlanta, Georgia may seem anticlimactic for a rising musician, but for Georgina Callaghan, known to the world as Callaghan, that was her path to a music career.

It all started with an email to Shawn Mullins via MySpace back in 2009. “I met Shawn in an unusual way,” said Callaghan before her On the Verge performance. She asked him if he had any interest in producing her music. “I thought, ‘man, this is going to be a long shot, but hey, you only live once.’” After two weeks, he emailed her back saying he loved her songs and wanted to record together. “I was blown away,” she said. “That’s when I really decided, okay, I really want to do this for real. Shawn wanted to produce the whole album and I couldn’t say no.”

The album, Life in Full Colour, was released at the beginning of May, 2012. Cutting fifty songs down to twelve was a tough process, but Callaghan said she now has plenty to work with for the second.

She began her set on the piano, playing the love song “It Was Meant to Be”. With a soft and sultry voice, Callaghan mixes a pop foundation with traces of country and folk. Her British accent is quickly lost upon singing, something she said she never meant to do intentionally: “I think pop and country music just lends itself more easily to an American accent.”

She moved to the guitar for her single and the first song on the album, “Best Year”. She described the song as a testament to enjoying the ride that is life. After she and her husband, Steve Massey, decided to leave their family, friends, jobs, and sense of security, they wondered why they had waited so long. “It’s about following your dreams and taking chances,” she said. “Sometimes you just have to go for it, so that’s what this song is about.”

2012 seems to have started pretty fantastically for Callaghan, as well. She played SXSW this past March, released her first full album, and is now touring throughout the country. She played in Fall River, MA and then moved down the coast to New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, followed by a bunch of shows down South.

She said the live music scene in the States is much more lively than in England, although she is still confronted with some culture shock moments. “When I order water at the bar, people have said, ‘I’m sorry we don’t have that kind of beer.’”

Living in Atlanta, Callaghan says she’s been doing a lot more work in Nashville lately, trying to take advantage of the music scene and co-writing opportunities there. “Atlanta is known for its rap and hip hop scene, not its singer-songwriters,” she said before joking about surprising her fans with a rhythm and blues album next.

Callaghan’s album can be bought through iTunes, Amazon, or her own website where you can download her single for free.

By Kathryn Barnes
Photo by Jeeyoon Kim

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