TikTok is not just a platform for clothing hauls and comedic skits; it’s also an outlet where people from all around the world can showcase their talents. For singer/songwriter Kaleb Austin, this social media platform has made all the difference in his world, it has been “life-changing,” according to Austin. Because of it, he is able to once again follow his dreams of turning his passion for music into a career, after having to take a short hiatus from music to support his family.
“I honestly didn’t think I would ever be able to fully pursue music again, so I am extremely grateful and humbled to have all this love and support,” Austin told Music Mayhem.
Now, his rising popularity has led him to having not one, but two No. 1 songs on the iTunes Country and All-Genre charts, his most recent being his latest single, “Sun Goes Down.” The other being his debut single “Sound Of The South.”
His musical upbringing is why he wanted to become a musician in the first place, but his wife and kids are the reason he wants to continue with it now. Through all of the ups and downs throughout his career, Austin has made his family his first priority. One day, we might even see his kids pursuing their dreams in the music industry, after all the great lessons they learned from their dad.
“Our kids love music and I teach them and involve them every chance I get. I’m glad they can see how hard work pays off no matter what you choose to do in life.”
Music Mayhem recently caught up with Austin to find out more about his background, getting his start on TikTok, his family, latest single and much more. Read on to find out what Austin has been up to in this exclusive Q&A!
For our readers to get to know you a little bit more, can you share your backstory? I know your wife mentioned that you gave up everything about 2 years ago to provide for your family and now you’re actively pursuing music again. Can you tell us about this?
I grew up in a large family full of musicians so I was constantly exposed to live music. I would listen to country and rock mostly so I was influenced by many different artists. I lived in Nashville songwriting for almost a year before moving back to Utah due to family reasons. It was there I really learned to write and wrote my first two singles “Sound of the South” and “Sun Goes Down” shortly after moving back.
I had to put music on the back burner a few years back after some business moves didn’t work out. Taking care of my family always comes first, even if it means I have to put my own dreams on hold. I really think I had to learn a few things before the timing and energy was right for music to take off, so I am grateful for all the years of growth I’ve gone through to get to this point. My wife started posting videos on TikTok last year and things took off beyond anything we could’ve imagined. I honestly didn’t think I would ever be able to fully pursue music again, so I am extremely grateful and humbled to have all this love and support. My hope with all this is that my music and my story can help someone out there have the strength to go after their own dreams. Never give up and eventually it will happen.
What would you say is the toughest part about trying to pursue music again?
Trying to find enough time for songwriting, recording videos, studio time, preparing for live shows with my band, and family time has been challenging. But it’s about chipping away at all the blocks each day. Persistence and positivity is the key, so I’m enjoying every minute of this opportunity. Just trying to release new music and content as quickly as possible.
Huge congratulations on your second No. 1 song with your latest single “Sun Goes Down.” Could you tell us about the song and how it came into fruition? I know you mentioned it was a 5 year anniversary gift for your wife.
Thank you! Life can get pretty hectic so it’s important to remember to have fun with your partner. I wrote the song about staying in and just partying with each other and forgetting about the rest of the world for just one night. Yes it was an amazing gift to have a song I wrote for her so many years ago top the iTunes charts for our 5 year wedding anniversary. Don’t know how I’ll ever top that!
Can you tell us what was going through your mind when you saw that your single was No. 1 on both the country and all genre charts upon release?
I felt excited and humbled to see everyone’s hard work pay off. It was a very emotional moment in the best way. Definitely on cloud 9 and still am. I’m very lucky and thank God I have such a supportive wife and fanbase that will help my music succeed.
@kalebaustinmusicLove my KAmpfire family! ##greenscreen ##fypシ ##numberone♬ Sun Goes Down – Kaleb Austin
How did it feel to see your song sitting above artists like Luke Combs, Gabby Barrett, Chris Young, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and so many others?
I really respect these artists and have listened to their music for years. Just to have a song chart let alone top the charts with artists like them is a huge honor and accomplishment.
Your first single “Sound Of The South” amassed over nearly 700,000 streams since its release earlier this year, how does it feel to have a platform like TikTok, that allows you to release music and have it shoot up the charts?
TikTok has been a life changing platform. It has given independent artists like me the best avenue in history to get music directly to fans. Literally changing the way music is heard and released. Pretty cool to be a big part of that change.
With TikTok being a driving force in the music industry lately, How important do you feel TikTok is today in helping artists have their music heard?
TikTok is the best way to have new music heard and a great tool for any artist, signed or independent, to see success in today’s market.
Your TikTok followers were actually able to give you the gift of a Gibson guitar, which is just incredible. How did that feel to have the guitar of your dreams gifted to you by your loyal followers who love your music?
This blew me away. I’ve never owned such a nice instrument. My TikTok family which we call the “KAmpfire,” has been beyond supportive and for them to give me my dream guitar was incredible. I’m extremely grateful for all their love and support. Definitely wouldn’t have this success without such loyal and giving people.
You have said that you’ve been rejected by American Idol once and The Voice twice in the past and we have to say that is 100% their loss as your voice is incredible. Can you tell us about that experience? How does it feel to find your own success without having to be a part of a singing competition show?
Thank you very much! Yeah looking back I’m glad things worked out the way they did. It taught me to have a thick skin and never give up even when people tell you no. It only fueled my fire and forced me to improve my craft. Now I’m able to release the music I want in my own way which feels great!
You seem to be very family oriented, can you tell us what family means to you and you include/incorporate your wife and children within your music?
Family is extremely important to me. My wife is really supportive and involved with my career and her social media skills have given me a second chance with music. Her being such a big part of my career is paramount to my success both now and moving forward. Our kids love music and I teach them and involve them every chance I get. I’m glad they can see how hard work pays off no matter what you choose to do in life.
Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations/influences?
Some of my country influences would be Garth Brooks, Clay Walker, Merle Haggard, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean and Eric Church. Rock influences would be artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica, Tom Petty and Bon Jovi.
What inspired you to pursue a career in country music and is this something you’ve always wanted to do?
It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I picked up a guitar and wrote my first songs at 14. I was immediately drawn to how powerful and influential music is. How it has the potential to literally change the world because it can evoke emotions in people. I’ve wanted to devote my life to music for a long time now and country music is what I grew up with, so it’s where I hang my hat as an artist.
How did you pick up playing guitar and songwriting? Did you have any inspirations growing up within your family?
I remember falling asleep as a kid to my mom singing along to a Patsy Cline karaoke track. She really gets all the credit for why I love music so much. She got me into drum and piano lessons first but I wanted to play a more portable instrument. She then had a neighbor give me a few guitar lessons when I was 14 and I just started writing songs. My first few songs were terrible, but I became addicted to writing my own music and things progressed from there. I joined/started different projects and wrote as much as possible. All those years of touring dive bars and playing side stage county fairs really molded me into a better musician.
If you could pick one country superstar to duet with, who would you choose and why would you choose them?
Garth Brooks hands down. He’s a living legend. I strive to be a great performer and connect with people like he does.
What’s next for you for the rest of 2021 and beyond?
I will be finishing my 6 song EP this fall which will be released early next year. Most of my time will be spent writing new music for that project and future projects. I’m really just focusing on putting out new music and hitting the road to play as many shows as possible.