Hearing them finish each other's sentences, you'd never guess that Caitlin Lynn and Will Snyder were strangers just a few months ago. As the winners of CMT's Can You Duet competition, they're now an up-and-coming country duo filled with optimism about what their future holds.
Photo Credit: Ben Wilder
During a visit to CMT's offices earlier this week, Lynn, a 22-year-old resident of Glen Burnie, Md., beamed as she laid out the details of her journey, in awe of the opportunities ahead. She reminisced about her Can You Duet experience, remembering her first audition with Jennifer Van Meter, her partner of seven years in the Maryland-based duo, Eighty1 South. As it turned out, Lynn's friend did not make it through the initial trial.
"If I hadn't had her support, I wouldn't have been able to do it," Lynn said. As she advanced through the first audition, Lynn was eventually placed with Snyder for her duet that came together in perfect harmony.
Anyone would be drawn to the gentle persona that Snyder radiates. Throughout the interview, the 22-year-old from London, Ky., sat back comfortably in his chair, smiling and recalling his start on Can You Duet. Similar to Lynn's story, Belvis Morgan, Snyder's cousin and original duet partner, did not make the cut after his first appearance in front of the judges.
"I never pictured me and him winning the contest," Snyder said, adding, "I never pictured me winning the contest."
Ultimately, Lynn's talent complemented Snyder's, and the duo excelled to out-sing and out-perform the other competitors to gain a record deal with Sony BMG. Now side by side and emerging into the country music scene, Lynn and Snyder are fulfilling what they've worked their entire lives to achieve.
With most viewers of the show familiar with their performance of "Even Now," Lynn describes their upcoming album as "a cross between Keith Urban and us." She explained, "You are going to be able to dance, you are going to be able to cry, and you are going to be able to rip out your soul and throw it against the wall because it's just so emotional."
In addition to their skills as performers, Lynn and Snyder also show promise as songwriters. They performed original material on Can You Duet, and you can expect to hear more of their songwriting on the upcoming album.
Lynn is particularly proud of "Address in the Stars," a personal and deeply moving song she co-wrote with Can You Duet judge Aimee Mayo, a Nashville songwriter whose credits include Lonestar's "Amazed" and other hits recorded by Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Martina McBride and others. A tribute to Lynn's aunt and Mayo's father and grandmother who have passed away, "Address in the Stars" moved even Snyder to tears.
"I was just captivated by it," he said. "It's just one of those that stops you in your tracks. ... There is a melody that will stop you ... and the lyric of it is really powerful. It just draws you in and makes you want to listen to it over and over."
Looking ahead, Lynn said, "I'm hoping people just take our music for what it is. I'm really praying we touch people, as other artists have touched me and affected me."
Lynn and Snyder were overwhelmed with the strong response to Snyder's blog on CMT.com and the support they've received from fans -- or, as the duo would prefer to call them, friends.
"We as artists know what it's like to be fans," Snyder said.
"We know how much we take pride in the artists we love and respect," Lynn added.
"I mean, I know what other artists mean to me," Snyder noted. "To be able to mean that to someone else, it's the world. It's a friendship."