Community//

Rising Music Star Caroline Kole: “The main thing I wish someone would have told me when I first started would have been to embrace going with the flow, and not get super set on one thing”

I think the main thing I wish someone would have told me when I first started would have been to embrace going with the flow, and not get super set on one thing. The world doesn’t end when that one meeting you wanted to have gets cancelled the day before, and there is zero point […]


I think the main thing I wish someone would have told me when I first started would have been to embrace going with the flow, and not get super set on one thing. The world doesn’t end when that one meeting you wanted to have gets cancelled the day before, and there is zero point in getting hung up on it because odds are, it happened for a reason you don’t even know about yet. I cried so many times at the beginning when the thing I had been so set on goes in a direction that I didn’t plan on or anticipate, but also because I’m incredibly emotional. I wish I could tell my eight year old self that it will all work out in the way that it is supposed to, you just have to trust the process and…well…go with the flow.


Nashville-based pop artist Caroline Kole is a vivacious vocalist with a talent for crafting playful lyrics and earworm pop melodies. She began her career at the age of eight, playing beach bars in her hometown of Clearwater, FL. In her teenage years, Caroline moved to Nashville and begin touring internationally with Reba McEntire and playing stadiums and festivals with Blake Shelton among others. Now 22, years of writing and performing have led to an evolution of personality and sound, and the young artist is now releasing colorful pop music that draws influence from Twenty One Pilots, Julia Michaels, Katy Perry, Meghan Trainor and The Killers. She has been described as “a rainbow castle of candor” (EARMILK), a “pop powerhouse” (PopDust) and her music has been shared by musical masterminds The Chainsmokers, R3HAB and Kelly Clarkson.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in Clearwater, Florida, a small beach town, and started playing music and writing my own songs when I was 8 years old. I started coming to Nashville when I was 10, starting working with my Starstruck Entertainment when I was 12, and moved there after signing a publishing deal with Sony/ ATV when I was 14. I toured internationally with Reba McEntire all throughout my high school career, and after graduating college the music started evolving into alternative rock and then to pop music in a way I could have never planned or expected. Here I am now, and I’m still having the time of my life!

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have been making music since I was eight years old! I have been a fan of music forever and my family has too! My first concert ever was a Kelly Clarkson show right after she won American Idol, and I fell asleep! I was so little, but I still feel bad about it! It’s crazy to think that we are now managed by the same company. Shoutout to Starstruck Entertainment!

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I got to ride on Reba’s private jet with her on our way to a show in Ohio! That was so cool. I got to sit and talk to her the whole way there — she is such an amazing source of inspiration and the most genuine soul I know!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Charlie Daniels invited me to perform with him and Rodney Atkins at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville (the original Opry) and I straight up FORGOT MY GUITAR…thankfully I was able to go home and get it, but I couldn’t drive at the time, so my mom had to go home to get my guitar, and she had to sit in rush hour traffic both ways. I have learned to always double and triple check I have everything I need before I leave to go anywhere!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

My latest project, my “Freaking Out!” EP is my pride and joy and I’m so excited to have it out there in the universe! It’s available everywhere you consume music! These are most real songs I’ve ever written, and each one struck some kind of chord within me whether it was just shy of crying in the writer room or laughing uncontrollably with my co-writers, each one has a special place in my heart and I hope people relate to them and find a place in their hearts for them as well!

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in music? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I think there’s one main reason that diversity should be represented in music, and that’s because it’s better when we all collaborate. Different story lines, different lifestyles, different viewpoints all come together to form something beautiful and raw in the studio, and that’s exactly what music is supposed to be- somebody’s truth. I truly believe that inclusion and diversity can lead to more acceptance of self and others, and now more than ever this is so important.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I think the main thing I wish someone would have told me when I first started would have been to embrace going with the flow, and not get super set on one thing. The world doesn’t end when that one meeting you wanted to have gets cancelled the day before, and there is zero point in getting hung up on it because odds are, it happened for a reason you don’t even know about yet. I cried so many times at the beginning when the thing I had been so set on goes in a direction that I didn’t plan on or anticipate, but also because I’m incredibly emotional. I wish I could tell my eight year old self that it will all work out in the way that it is supposed to, you just have to trust the process and…well…go with the flow.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I’m honestly still learning how to find that balance myself. It’s not easy, but having a good group of people — my family and management team have been this for me — around you keeping you grounded and sane is a great place to start. Also finding a hobby outside of music is nice, mine is reading and re-reading favorite books of mine (like Harry Potter)!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Reba McEntire and my mother, Marie. Reba has a heart of gold and I learned SO much from her as her opening act for several years. Both of these women in my life have served as strong, powerful role models because they are tough, badass women. They inspire me daily in so many ways. I’m grateful to be surrounded by great women like them.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots! I have been a huge fan of them for about eight years now-they are incredibly talented. I admire their ability to relate to their audience and the kind way they treat and care about their fans! Also the way in which they have handled all of their major success! Geez. What I wouldn’t give to sit down and have a conversation with them!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Everywhere on everything! My username is @CarolineKole on every platform! Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, TikTok, all of it!

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.