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Farmington Hills Teen Pens Songs for Pop Star

Callaghan Smerek is writing songs for Colbie Caillat's Christmas album. Smerek performs Saturday during Founders Festival.

Farmington Hills Teen Pens Songs for Pop Star

Farmington Hills resident Callaghan Smerek may only be 17, but she's already got quite a songwriting resume. 

This summer, Smerek is working with pop star Colbie Caillat on songs for Caillat's holiday album. She connected with the singer through her father, record producer Ken Caillat, after realizing they were friends on Facebook, Smerek told WDIV-TV

The celebrity is heady stuff for the Academy of Sacred Heart senior, who keeps up a 4.0 grade point average while building her career. But the music – that comes naturally.

"I've been writing songs for literally my entire life," Smerek said. "It's just like breathing to me." 

She got her first big break with a song called "Pookie Bear", written for a Wendy's restaurant commercial. The song shows up as a ring tone during the ad. But Smerek said she has been singing in commercials since she was eight years old. 

Her father, Grammy award winning record producer Gerard Smerek, works for Farmington Hills-based . 

"My parents wanted me to be a waitress, or a doctor, or anything other than in the music business," Smerek said. And she admits it hasn't been easy keeping up with her music career and her education. She often does her homework in the car and once took a test on a plane. 

"It's not as glamorous as it looked on Hannah Montana," she joked, referring to the popular Disney show starring teen star Miley Cyrus. "I have to make time for both ... I don't party, I do songs and music. And I wouldn't trade it for the world." 

Smerek said if nothing "super big" happens with her career, she plans to attend college and has looked at schools in New York and Nashville, TN. But her career goals are firmly rooted in the music business. "It's all I've ever done, I don't think I could switch it up," she said.

Having opened for Youtube.com sensation Greyson Chance and performed at Hard Rock Cafe and for Southfield-based Axis Music Academy, Smerek said she'd like to do more on stage. She likes being in front of an audience and getting their feedback. 

Local residents can hear her Saturday, 2 p.m.-3 p.m., at the tent during Founders Festival. 

Correction: Callaghan Smerek's father's name was incorrectly reported in the original version of this article, and Colbie Caillat's holiday album was incorrectly described. 

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