Gabby Barrett; Photo: Robby Klein
Gabby Barrett; Photo: Robby Klein

Gabby Barrett Talks Debut Album ‘Goldmine,’ Life Before ‘American Idol’ and Teases Duet With Husband Cade Foehner

Gabby Barrett first won the hearts of millions during her trek on Season 16 of American Idol in 2018, and after finishing third on the show, she released her debut single “I Hope,” proving herself to be an incredibly talented singer/songwriter. Since then, Barrett has went on to earn a whirlwind of success from breaking records and topping charts to receiving her first No. 1 single with “I Hope” and becoming the first-ever female country artist to amass over 10 million single week streams (notching 11.3 million).

The success doesn’t stop there either as we are just under 2-weeks away from the release of her debut album, Goldmine, which is slated for release on June 19 via Warner Music Nashville and is guaranteed to be a huge success.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Barrett to discuss the forthcoming new record, a possible duet with her husband, Cade Foehner, life before American Idol and much more. You can read it below.

First I want to start off by congratulating you on all the success with “I Hope” and more recently becoming the first-ever female country artist to amass over 10 million single week streams (notching 11.3 million), how does it feel to achieve such a huge accomplishment without even having a debut album out yet?
\Thank you, It is insane, I just still can’t believe that everything that’s coming from this song is like immense, If you would’ve told me two years ago that all of this would’ve happen from this song, I would probably not have believe so, it’s just been absolutely crazy and that steaming total in a week, that was insane again and when it said the first woman ever, I was like ever are you sure. It’s been very cool.

Well your debut album, Goldmine, comes out in just 2 weeks on June 19. Can you tell us how this album will best showcase you as an artist?
People that know me know that I love all kinds of genres of music and I like to sing all kinds of genres of music when I was growing up and all of the genres have influenced me in many different ways. I grew up listening to classic rock, R&B and country and they’ve all had their influence on me and I think with this album, you’ll definitely be able to hear it all throughout and I’m glad to be living in a generation right now that music is bleeding into one another’s genres like you have a mix. Country is not just country anymore, it’s country-pop or country-r&b or country-rap or whatever and so with this album, it’s a multi-genre album and you’ll get a taste of everything and that’s very like me.

You’ve said in the past that this album has something for everyone to love from your Christian fans to the die hard country fans. How would you say this album best reflects your Christian roots?
Yeah, I got a few songs on this album especially one being “Got Me” featuring Shane & Shane, and Shane & Shane is my favorite Christian artist and I’ve been listening to them for years, so I can’t believe I actually got them to be on one of the songs and I feel very blessed. Yeah, my husband [Cade Foehner] and I wrote on the song “Got Me” and there’s some other songs on there that aren’t released yet that showcase thankfulness and praise to the Lord and so that’s a large part of my being and so that’s why I wanted to make sure that there were some Christian based songs on this album as well.

Your song “Got Me” was co-written by not only you, Zach, Shane and Bryan but also your husband Cade Foehner, Cade also played guitar on several songs including “Write It On My Heart,” “Footprints On The Moon” and “Jesus & My Mama” what was it like working with him on those and how did that come together?
Yeah, It was wonderful working with him cause we’re actually very compatible when it comes to music. Ya know, he was on Idol and I met him on Idol, he did rock music, he did classic rock like ‘70s rock and I grew up also listening to classic rock and I love it and I am a very guitar driven gal, so on music I love electric guitars and just guitar solos and so we worked together really well and I’m very glad it is that way. You’ll hear him on a few songs and in the future now he will be doing all the guitar on all my songs, so it’s kind of like a Stevie [Nicks] and Lindsey [Buckingham] thing but minus the relationship that Stevie and Lindsey had as they didn’t have a great relationship but the music was great together with Fleetwood Mac. We’ll just keep it at that.

Now that you have worked with him on your album, Do you think that you will ever release a duet together, with your husband in the future?
Definitely, I can definitely see us doing a song together, we’ve gotten requests from so many people to do that, ya know? It has been fans from Idol and fans of our marriage and our relationship so definitely, I would love to and we may or may not already have something in the works for that in the future now. So, yes!

Can you tell us why you chose “Goldmine” as the title track to record? Do you feel this song best showcases the album?
Goldmine is one of the tracks on the album, it’s the only one that I actually did not write but I love the title of it, not only because it’s a track but also cause when I would think back to when people would work in Goldmines, it was very much known to be hard work, ya know hard working people had to go and really work hard in order to do that job. And so, with this album, The past two years I have been writing vigorously and constantly just grinding it out and so I really think I worked really hard with this album and I really dug for these songs and with these thirteen tracks that we’ve narrowed it down to, I just feel like I struck my own little Goldmine, so that is why we named it that.

How many songs did you have when having to narrow it down to the thirteen tracks when you were putting it all together? 
Oh gosh, we probably had in the twenties, of songs that were written but that weren’t fully done, or pieces of it that we liked and what not. There were songs that were really good that we wanted on there but we just didn’t have enough time with the timeline that everything had to fit into. So, I have some music that I look forward to releasing even after the album too.

On the album, You co-wrote 12 out of the 13 tracks, how important is it to you to be a part of the songwriting process?
Absolutely, I think songs that are most genuine to you and your stories are the ones that end up lasting the longest really and I really wanted to be apart and involved heavily in all of these songs that I was going to cut and I was going to sing and I was going to create and I had a large hand in creativity with this album which I am very fortunate for, that I have a label and a team that allows me to do that. I’m just really proud of this album and I wanted to make sure it was something that I would be proud of looking back on it and I think it definitely will be.

During Lindsay Ell’s ‘Live wELL with Ell’ livestream you mentioned that you are releasing a song entitled “Footprints On The Moon” ahead of the album, could you tell us a bit about that song and what the inspiration was behind it? Any idea of a release date yet for that song?
You know what, I don’t have the release date but I can tell you about the song. I wanted to have a song on the album that was an encouraging song, just something that I would’ve liked to have heard when I was in High School or whatever the case was. It’s just an encouraging song for people to go for their dreams and really reach for the sky because the sky’s the limit. Especially if there’s footprints on the moon, literally, if somebody could walk on the moon which we never thought that would happen, you are able to work hard and achieve some great things here on Earth. So that is just an encouraging song that I wish [that] I had in High School when I was going through harder times, just really grinding it out and nobody really believed in me so I just hope it’s an encouraging song that people will gravitate towards.

The song is definitely the perfect example of your career as well. Did you ever think you would make it to where you are now, then?
Right, 100%.

How do you plan to celebrate album release day with all of the current craziness going on in the world that isn’t allowing gatherings for concerts and such?
You know what I don’t even know, Honestly, I don’t even know because I believe I have to work also on the day of album release, I will be doing more stuff and talking to some more people and just working some more on the day that it actually comes out. But I’m not really a party gal anyways, so I love being home, so I will probably just order a pizza and watch a movie or something or maybe get a cupcake with a candle and just blow it out.

Before American Idol in 2018, you were already pursuing your music career since you were just 9 years old singing in your local gospel choir. What was life like back then before Idol and how does it compare to your life now after Idol and the successes of your debut single “I Hope”? 

Oh gosh, it is just completely upside down, like in the best way. Before Idol it was serious… This is grind right now on another level but before Idol it was like the bottom of the foundation grind, like just getting some people to know your name, just starting to get out there, just starting to perform everywhere that you possibly could just to start something. You know to get a following on social media, to get some people listening to your music and so yeah before I did Idol, I actually had a good little chunk of a following there that I am thankful for. I had like 50k on Instagram and I had 115k on Facebook and stuff just cause I would promote my socials everywhere that I went and I really just performed anywhere that I could even in grocery stores, I performed literally in grocery stores. So, now it’s a different grind but it’s paying off that other grind that I did before American Idol, so it’s just nice to see it really start to pick up now after nine years. 

With Father’s Day approaching and being two days after your album release, how would you say that your dad has influenced or helped your career?
I think he has helped my career immensely, I don’t even know if I would’ve went onto American Idol, if it wasn’t for him. He has just been such a support and in my family I am one of eight, so there’s quite a lot of kids and he always just did stuff for his kids and that’s something I will always appreciate about him and he put so much into it and I just appreciate him very much for that. Hopefully, I could get him a big gift, a big house or something someday, we’ll see.

Can you give us three fun facts that fans may not know about the album?
Three fun facts about the album is one it’s multi-genre, so it’s not just to one straight audience which is cool cause many different people can like it.
I think there’s quite a lot of upbeat and cool songs on this album, so it’s not just an album of ballads or anything like that, there’s a good mix of all kinds of different stuff.
Another fun fact is that my husband does solo’s on a few of the songs, so you’ll have to look for which ones he does solo’s on.

Anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
Grab the album, you can pre-order or pre-save it right now and when it comes out on June 19, tell your friends, tell your aunts, tell your uncle, tell everybody and I hope everybody likes it!

Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with us today, and we wish you the best with album release and fans need to listen to it cause it’s a really really good album.
Thank you so much for taking the time, I appreciate it very very much.

About Andrew Wendowski

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