It has been a remarkable year for Gabby Barrett. Marking her extraordinary start to her career through her debut single “I Hope” in 2019, Barrett was successful in catching the attention of many listeners. She released her highly anticipated debut album Goldmine on June 19 this year.
Barrett stunned her fandom when she re-released her debut track but with an unexpected feature from the talented Charlie Puth. The collaboration, as surprising as it looked, was definitely worth listening to! She was seen performing a beautiful rendition of the song at the CMT Music Awards where she successfully grabbed the award for Breakthrough Video of the Year.
“I Hope” impressively became the first top 10 debut Hot Country Songs entry by a woman unaccompanied by another act since October 2017. The single kept on gaining and making waves and has since become a top three hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been certified 3× platinum by the RIAA. Barrett, who is currently expecting her first child with her husband, Cade Foehner, became the first-ever female country artist to top 10 million single-week streams.
We caught up with Barrett to discuss how the existence of her collaboration with Puth came to be, the process behind her music, and what she’s looking forward to achieving in the future years.
Your globally successful track “I Hope” recently topped the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts. How does it feel to get such an immensely positive reaction out of your music? It feels incredible! I’m so thankful for the reaction from fans — I love feeling like they are connecting and enjoying the music I make. That’s a large part of why I got into this, to entertain people and connect with them.
The track delves deep into the personal aspects of your artistic approach. How was the process of exploring a theme like heartbreak and creating art out of it? Heartbreak is one of those themes that I think every human being can relate to and understands on some personal level, so exploring that and writing about it was easier than you’d think. My co-writers Jon Nite and Zach Kale were really open and listened to my thoughts; they had suggested writing a song about a bad breakup where the girl wishes the guy well in the end — of course, I don’t remember many women I know reacting that way — and eventually, we steered to something that I think is extremely special.
Were there any complications that you dealt with during the production stage of the track? If so, how did you overcome them? There were not thankfully! We recorded this back around Halloween 2018. The vocal you hear on the track is the single-take demo vocal from the day we wrote the song.
How did the collaboration with Charlie Puth initially come into existence and what was it like working with him? Charlie reached out via message on Instagram saying how much he loved the song and asked if he could remix it, which I was so thrilled about. I had thought he was just going to do some different production or spin it his own way at first, but he ended up sending me a version of him singing on it, which made it even MORE exciting. He’s very talented, and I’m glad to have a different spin on the song.
Where do you draw your major musical inspirations from? I grew up listening to classic rock, country, pop, and R&B. I was influenced by what my parents would play on the radio growing up, which was a lot of different things – HA! My all-time favorites are Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, Glen Campbell, and Van Halen.
You recently performed at the CMT Music Awards and also grabbed the award for Breakthrough Video of the Year. Congratulations on that! What was the experience like performing there? It was so fun! We recorded it at Bicentennial Park outside in Nashville. It felt so good to get back on stage and perform. And winning was a shock. I was not expecting it at all, so receiving that kind of recognition (and having Taylor Swift announce it) was a huge “jaw drop and freeze” moment.
What’s next? Any plans on future projects/collaborations that you would like to hint to your fans about? Well, I’m pregnant, so I’m mostly just preparing to be a mom! My daughter is due in January, so I can’t wait for her to be here. But I’ve definitely got some more music up my sleeve for 2021!
Lastly, is there any message that you would like to send to your supporters? Just thank you so much for everything – I couldn’t live the life I do without your support and I’m so grateful for the MOST loyal, dedicated, genuine fans.