We had the good fortune of connecting with Cali Rodi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cali, what inspires you?
I’m inspired by so many things. Gwen Stefani songs I listened to growing up, Gilmore Girls reruns, boy talk with my best friend. But I’m mostly inspired by words. As weird as it sounds, before a songwriting session I’ll flip through a rhyming dictionary and scour the pages on a hunt for the perfect word that could be a title or idea for a song! Once I have that, I can mold an entire lyric around that one word. My mom is an English teacher, so I think that’s where I get my love of language.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but I feel like I’ve just recently come into my own. For years I’ve had the mantra “just be yourself” ingrained in my brain. But, in the music industry, that’s unfortunately easier said than done. I’ve had multiple producers tell me I shouldn’t belt or sing too loud in the studio, or try and tell me what I should say in my songs- that sometimes I’m “too much.” I’ve been told by venue owners that girls shouldn’t play guitar (before I set foot on stage and got them to shut up of course). But, there was a period of time where I listened to all those little voices and took it to heart. Not anymore! Growing up, I idolized bands like Paramore and No Doubt. I became obsessed with female front-women who worked the stage, sang their faces off, and wrote songs where no topic was off-limits. In my musical journey, after experimenting with various genres of music, I always came back to that kind of music. So now I’m embracing that energy and am what I like to call “putting the pop in pop-punk”- where I combine my love of ear candy pop music with angsty guitars and grit. Years of obstacles, roadblocks, and various deals led me to now, where I know exactly who I am, what I want to say, and how I want to say it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Los Angeles, so there’s so many fun things to do! My favorite dinner spots are Yen Sushi in Studio City, La Pergoletta in Los Feliz, and Castaway in Burbank. My favorite place for a night out is at No Vacancy in Hollywood and El Tejano in North Hollywood (Lauv even wrote a song about it on his latest album). If you’re in California you have to take as many trips to the beach as possible- especially Malibu! My number one spot is La Piedra State Beach. I also love being active, so a WundaBar pilates class or a hike up Fryman Canyon is a must. Oh, and I’m a Disney freak, so of course a perfect week in LA requires a trip to Disneyland!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It truly takes a village to have even an ounce of success. I could fill hundreds of pages full of people I’d want to thank, however there are a few that really stick out to me. My parents have been my biggest support system ever since I was singing into a hairbrush. Growing up, they would drive me all around Arizona from gig to gig, and to guitar and vocal lessons. I’m forever grateful to have a family that believes in me. Billy Cioffi also deserves a shoutout! Billy was my guitar teacher and number one collaborator throughout middle and high school. He taught me how to write songs, how to be a good songwriting partner, and how to really “own” a stage. He instilled a fearless spirit into me that I still carry with me today. I also have to shoutout my team- my vocal producer Emily Wright and my manager Desi O’Meara. I used to read Emily’s name in Katy Perry and Kesha CD liner notes, so to be under her wing has been the biggest blessing. She’s truly helped me find my voice, both in the studio and just in general as an artist. Desi has also played a huge role in helping shape my career. He’s so hands-on and has helped me navigate this crazy business so I can focus on what’s important- making my art! The last person who deserves so much recognition is Phil Guerini at Radio Disney. He’s the first program director to take a chance and play my records on the radio. I will never forget that.

Website: http://calirodi.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/calirodi/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/calirodi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/calirodi

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXiPIl48i82JbhcCvGPhQCg

Other: Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@calirodi?

Image Credits
Two studio shots: Easton Schirra
Pier shot: Erika Whitaker

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