Caleb Hyles has made a name for himself with millions of YouTube views on his unique cover songs, taking on everything from pop hits to Disney classics. Now, the world is getting to hear his voice singing his own words, with his original debut album In One Breath.
Caleb took the time to chat with Rock On Purpose about his unique musical journey and what defines his most personal project yet.
How did you get started as a musician? When did that lead you to YouTube?
I’ve been singing and playing music for most of my life. Nothing serious, but music was a first-love, if you will. Both of my parents were music lovers and performers, so naturally, I took after them!
My brother and loved posting home videos onto Google Video back in the day, so when YouTube cropped up, we hopped right on it. I never looked back after that!
What have you learned about music throughout your journey on YouTube? Has covering others’ songs made you a better artist?
100%. Having to cover so many different genres of music has stretched me vocally and creatively. Music is wonderfully diverse and can be expressed in an endless amount of ways. I think we’ve yet to fully explore every facet.
What was the creative process like on In One Breath? Did you collaborate with anyone?
It took much longer than I was expecting, but I truly was stepping out of my comfort zone. Any songwriting I had ever done was quietly by myself at a piano for just minutes at a time, with phone memos that no one ever heard. It was a vulnerable journey, but one that was extremely rewarding. I learned what I liked and what I didn’t like about my own ideas.
Because the album’s creation was so collaborative, dozens of individuals brought their own unique perspectives to the process, and that was challenging— in a good way, mind you! I collaborated with brand new musicians as well as old friends. This album feels a little bit like the culmination of my career up to this point.
Are there specific songs that feel really personal to you on this album?
Of course, all of them are special to me in one way or another. If I were to choose a few that have a particular meaning, I would say the title track “In One Breath,” “Leave a Light on for Me” and “I’ll Name Her Song” are especially personal. One is the conclusion to the album, and an attempt at an answer to the questions I presented. Another is the story of my wife and her childhood. The other is a song to my future children. Maybe my next album won’t be so heavy!
What are you hoping that listeners experience when they’re hearing In One Breath?
Maybe, be a little challenged? Challenged to question how they think, how they approach life, how they view others. How time works, how forgiveness works. Honestly, if good conversations can come from a listen-though, then I’m content.
Do you have a dream song that you want to cover in the future but haven’t yet?
Yep! And it’s coming out this month. But you’ll just have to wait and see!
You can stream In One Breath on Spotify and Apple Music. Follow Caleb on YouTube for more.