The Young and The Restless songbird Cait Fairbanks (Tessa) is no stranger to lending both her vocal and songwriting talents to the sudser. She struck gold by writing and performing original song “Next to You” during Victoria (Amelia Heinle) and Ashland’s (Richard Burgi) wedding. The song earned Fairbanks her third Emmy nomination. What was Fairbanks’ process for writing the love long?
“I think it was about a month or two before they told me, ‘Hey, you’re going to be singing at Victoria and Ashland’s wedding. We’d like you to write with Brad Hatfield,” shares Fairbanks.
Fairbanks reveals Hatfield has written for daytime’s number one soap extensively. “He does a lot of jazz standards and beautiful orchestrations. We met over Zoom for like two minutes. He sent me some recordings and I pretty much ruined chords he sent me. I made them very simple. I was like ‘I can’t play that, but I’m going to try to play this!’
The self-deprecating star explains she and Hatfield then received input from Y&R’s music supervisors. “They were just watching over us. They kept making suggestions: ‘What about this? Or this?’ That was really it. It was so hauntingly simple.”
Fairbanks offers a glimpse into what it’s like to perform her original songs on the soap. “You know what’s so funny? I have to lip sync when I’m singing on the show. So it’s always a little awkward, especially when it’s time to shoot the performance. I’m always walking out alone, and the whole cast is watching along. I’m like ‘I hope don’t mess this up because I don’t want to extend the day.’ They really only did one take of me performing the song. It was a really fun day. I love to shoot weddings, because the whole cast is there. “
Speaking of wedding, how does Fairbanks feel now that Tessa and true love Mariah (Camryn Grimes) are finally wife and wife? “I feel like I actually got married,” gushes the actress.
According to Fairbanks, taping Teriah’s wedding proved a Herculean effort. “It was really long. The first day of shooting was like 17 hours! We wanted it to be really special. It was really important. It was so fun because we had the whole young cast together. We never really get the chance to all be together due to COVID. So, the fact that we were all together it just brought the whole thing to life. “
Tessa and Mariah may be happily married but things haven’t exactly been smooth sailing for the couple. Their plans to have a baby have been postponed by a medical crisis for Tessa. Will the soap resume their baby story? “It’s possible,” surmises Fairbanks. “I think they’ve brought that [adoption] up in the story. I imagine it could happen. It won’t be a standard adoption, because it’s a soap opera. It has to be extra juicy. Maybe we’ll adopt a murderer or something?”