By Michael Aaron Gallagher of StayFamous.Net
In the ever-changing world of social media influence, the Stauffer family rose to fame with the success of their viral videos starring sisters Mila and Emma. Over the years, their lighthearted, advertiser-friendly content has garnered the attention of major media outlets, as well as celebrities like Paris Hilton, Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, Isabela Merced, and the Kardashians. With a loyal fanbase supporting them, their family has worked with some of the world’s top companies, including Amazon, Vicks, Walmart, Target and Macy’s.
But none of that success would have been possible without one of the most creative and talented social media influencers working hard behind the scenes – their 17 year-old sister Kaitlin. Not only did she propose the idea to share a funny video she created with Mila on her mother’s Instagram page four years ago, but she has since written, directed and edited some of their most iconic videos. More than 150 Million views later, Kaitlin’s talent has helped propel the family to become one of the most popular and beloved family channels on the internet.
“The whole thing is super fun,” Kaitlin recently told StayFamous.Net. “I’m a huge part of the behind-the-scenes. I direct and edit most of the videos.”
Now that the twins are older, they are able to collaborate on some of the creative decisions.
“Mila and Emma and I come up with the ideas together,” she said. “They have really good ideas too.”
As if her role in the Stauffer family projects was not impressive enough, Kaitlin is also pursuing a career in the music industry, as an up-and-coming, singer/songwriter with a growing fan base. Her music, which can be described as a blend of pop and indie/emo folk, is smartly written, enigmatic and altogether mesmerizing. With her relatable lyrics and catchy melodies, Kaitlin weaves a narrative that is both poetic and original.
In a recent telephone interview, she shared some behind-the-scenes secrets of how she filmed her imaginative music video for the new single, “Flying Shopping Cart.”
“It was so difficult. We had this shopping cart,” Kaitlin explained. “We tied the front of it with a rope to the back of my dad’s car and then my dad drove the car. My little brother sat in the trunk and he had a flashlight on my face, because it was too dark. He held an iPhone and filmed it using the app Video Star, which is a fun music video app. It took four tries to get it all in one [take].”
“That was staged,” Kaitlin said. “The first few times I actually did crash, and I thought that was funny so we staged it for the last time.”
The song itself, with its rich imagery and whimsical tone, was actually inspired by a real-life dream Kaitlin had when she was 13.
“I was trying to cope with this major crush that I had and all these new, oversized feelings,” Kaitlin said. “Most songs take me a really long time to write, but ‘Flying Shopping Cart’ just kind of fell out of me. I had this dream about being in a shopping cart with the person that I liked. It didn’t really make any sense but I just thought that would be cool for a song.”
Kaitlin’s journey into music began at a young age. Before the Stauffers were a household name, Katie proudly shared videos of her eldest daughter singing in front of audiences at her elementary school. A longtime Taylor Swift fan, some of her earliest public performances were of the country music star’s greatest hits. At Kaitlin’s second grade talent show she sang “Romeo and Juliet” and at her fourth grade talent show she performed “Mean,” accompanied by her grandmother, Teri who played the guitar. It was around that time that Kaitlin herself began to play the guitar.
“I started in fourth grade,” Kaitlin said. “My grandma taught me three chords on the guitar. It was for ‘Mean’ by Taylor Swift, because I really wanted to learn that song. And after that I just kept playing songs with those same three chords.”
As a child, Kaitlin would often perform the songs that she wrote for her family.
“I remember when she was little,” her mother Katie said. “She would come down and sing them for us. And my husband and I would be like, ‘Where did you get that from? How did you do that?’ because it was beyond her years. She would even write ones about our family. It wasn’t like a kid that would write a song…. It just blew us away.”
To understand the genius behind Kaitlin’s music you have to understand the source of its inspiration. Like her sisters Mila and Emma, Kaitlin has that certain Stauffer family charm. In a conversation with her, you can immediately tell she is friendly, intelligent, inquisitive, easy to talk to, and down to earth. Her mother aptly describes her personality overall as “deep.” She likes to listen to Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Mitski, Cat Stevens, and Simon and Garfunkle.
“She’s very into people,” Katie said, “really getting to know them on a deep level. She loves to talk. The best words to describe her are she’s really deep and emotional…. That’s where her music comes from.”
Although the music industry can be a challenging business, emerging artists like Kaitlin aren’t waiting for a record deal to achieve their dreams of producing great songs. Through social media she is using her existing platforms to showcase her talent. In doing so, she is reaching a bigger audience than many artists ever achieve.
Unlike some of her peers in Los Angeles, who are endlessly clamoring for attention in the spotlight on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, Kaitlin is modest and humble in the way she promotes her own career. Yet, even with her steady, patient approach, she has already built a strong internet presence with nearly a quarter of a million Instagram followers (@kaitsta) and hundreds of thousands of views of her music videos.
As a rising young star, Kaitlin has had the opportunity to attend several Hollywood events and walk the red carpet. In 2018, she attended TigerBeat and Instagram’s 19 Under 19 Awards for other social media influencers, where she performed her original song “The Butterfly Man.”
Whether she is directing a video of her sisters or writing a song, one thing is certain, Kaitlin is a multitalented, marketing powerhouse with a strong understanding of pop culture and a unique gift for storytelling. Her creative directorial vision and witty use of trendy words and phrases, often elevates the quality of her sisters’ videos making them easy to relate to, entertaining and shareworthy.
In the coming months, Kaitlin hopes to record more tracks in the recording studio and release some of her songs on digital music platforms like iTunes.
For more information, about Kaitlin Stauffer’s music, and to listen to her songs “Flying Shopping Cart,” “Aquarium,” “The House in the Trees,” “Think of Me,” “Mr. Infinity,” and “A Boy Like You,” subscribe to her Youtube Channel (click here) and follow her on Instagram (@kaitsta). You can also follow her family’s adventures on her mother’s Instagram (@KCStauffer).
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“Kaitlin Stauffer – Singer, Songwriter & Social Media Powerhouse (Exclusive Interview)”
Copyright © 2020 by Michael Aaron Gallagher
Photography courtesy of Katie Stauffer and Jim Silver of TTPM Influencer Talent Management
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