EXCLUSIVE: Cali Rodi talks “God Save The Queen”

Featured Photo Credit: Taylor Florio

Originally discovered by country artist Keith Urban, Cali Rodi has developed a pop sound that is lyrically sophisticated and direct. 

In 2017, Rodi released her debut single, “Party Favor,” an empowering anthem for women inspired by her own struggles. Her new single,  “God Save The Queen” is the next evolution of that first single and one that Rodi hopes provides a sense of hope and strength to those listening who may have gone through a similar experience. 

We chatted with the LA based artist about her new single, her upcoming debut project and more.

Excerpt from the podcast: 

How did you first get interested in music? 

Growing up, my Grandma lived with us. We had a piano in the living room and would always stare at it, but I was always kind of too scared to try to play it. One day we went to the music shop and got a book of all these top 40 pop songs at the time – it was Britney Spears and NSYNC and stuff like that. It was a piano book and I gave it to my Grandma and was like do you think you could play some of these? And she did! Coolest Grandma ever! I would tie up my shirt to be like Brintey. [My Grandma] really gave me the musical gene, I would say. She tried to get me to take piano lessons, but I had no love for the piano whatsoever. Then, when I was nine I picked up my first guitar and that was the instrument I fell in love with and actually stuck with. 

I’m assuming you probably listened to a lot of Britney and NSYNC, but who did you listen to growing up and how did they influence your sound today? 

There’s a lot of different sounds that I listened to. When I was little, my Mom really loved country. It was the era of Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks and I love that kind of 90s country. It is very pop, which is probably why I liked it. I ended up moving to Nashville after I graduated high school. I just love country songwriting. When I was in middle school and high school I got super into Warped Tour and punk and dyed my hair black on the bottom to try and be cool. It was a lot of Blink 182 and Paramore – those kinds of bands. It is definitely random, but I feel like if you listen to my music, there’s a little bit of the obvious pop influence, but also the Nashville storytelling/songwriting and the teeth of Warped Tour- that little angst that I like. 

What was the inspiration behind your new single, “God Save The Queen”?

I always think of that song as the big sister to “Party Favor.” There’s a few years between them, but I was like okay, I’ll say it again because it’s still happening. I think it’s easy to write songs about relationships and I have so many of those that I am going to put out this year, but I like when songs have a message. “Party Favor” was more geared towards guys and “God Save The Queen” is more of a universal message. I was on my way to a writing session and I was trying to pay my parking meter and this crazy, drugged-out homeless guy started chasing me and started pushing me, spitting on me, calling me a b*tch – all these crazy things. I was not expecting that at all. I was cornered and it was broad daylight too. There were people around. I was screaming for help and no one would help me. That’s where I got the idea for that song and wrote it the next day because it was like after a car accident – you get really shaky and I never really experienced feeling physically violated like that. I just wanted to write this song that had this element of confidence and strength because I did not feel that at all in the moment. 

To hear more from Cali Rodi about her single, “God Save The Queen, songwriting, and what’s up next, check out our latest podcast.