Over the past couple of years Sydney artist Cassidy-Rae has released several highly entertaining singles that were full of fun while still telling stories. There is another side to this singer-songwriter, though, which she showed on her 2019 single ‘More’ and is bringing to us again with her latest release, ‘Meant to Be’ – it’s a more serious side, subject matter wise, and musically these songs give Cassidy-Rae the opportunity to show the more soulful aspect to her voice.
When asked about this different direction to her music, Cassidy-Rae says, ‘Honestly I believe when words fail, music speaks. I write from the heart, I draw on and I’m constantly absorbing myself in emotions from all aspects of life. I find relationships and connections really fascinating.
‘I don’t consciously plan my songwriting – so I don’t plan to write upbeat positive songs – and not a lot of my songs are. I find myself in an emotion or a situation and my songs are a repsonse to that. I live with an attitude of gratitude and positivity. I try and spread good vibes like confetti but not always are my songs happy. When writing about relationships, not all of my songs are upbeat and positive, for example, this latest release. “Meant To Be” is a song for the hearts that are hurting and broken. For those who thought something felt so right and turned out to be so wrong. Sometimes, in those moments we are lost for words, a way to describe what we are going through, trying to process. That’s what this song is, and it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to feel this emotion, and know, that you aren’t alone – others are going through the same thing, and together, we can heal and move forward to a new path that is so much more beautiful.’
On the song there is a clear sense of connection from artist to audience; Cassidy-Rae brings so much emotion to her performance that the listener can’t help but be affected by it. When asked how she conjures those emotions in the studio, she says, ‘When recording this song, one of the key focuses I wanted to share was the raw and authentic vocals, so it makes me happy to hear you say there’s a lot of emotion in this song.
‘When I’m in the studio with my talented producer, Michael Carpenter, we talk. I’ve worked with him on so many singles now because I’ve found a producer (and a friend) who not only likes my music (which I think is important when working with your team) but someone who can almost hear my thoughts (on numerous occasions, it’s been pointed out to us that we speak in half sentences, almost a different language when discussing music and recording). He hears the music that’s in my head and helps bring it to life, without trying to change it. He allows me freedom to explore music and emotions, so I find it very easy when recording to step into that mindset where I first wrote these songs. I also write from personal experiences so I draw on the moments that inspire the song.’
Michael Carpenter is a recording artist as well as a busy producer, and he’s produced several of Cassidy-Rae’s songs. She says she searched for a producer for a long time before finding Carpenter. Of working with him, she says, ‘When creating a song, I can hear the music in my head – the entire soundtrack. There is a reason to my madness, I like to say, but I know why I want a particular instrument in a particular moment and how it works into the song to be the best art that I can create. A producer helps brings these thoughts to life, and finding a producer as talented as Michael, who can almost hear the music in my head but also help build to that all the while allowing me the space and freedom to be at my most vulnerable self, because these songs are my heart – these stories are what I have gone through and it’s a brave process to let someone into those thoughts and stories and keep them authentic and what I envisaged.’
While the video for ‘Meant to Be’ is still forthcoming, Cassidy-Rae has released videos for all her previous singles and each one is an event – a lot of thought and care goes into each, and they always match the songs beautifully.
‘I love the entire creative process,’ says Cassidy-Rae of making the videos, ‘from the moment that inspired the song, writing the song, recording and producing, creating the artwork, getting excited with friends around the world for its release, creating videos and merchandise – ALL OF IT! I was raised on the saying “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.” I really do love what I do, even when it’s challenging.
‘So yes, videos for me are exciting! To share my music visually and share this little piece of my heart, so that my friends around the world can relate and enjoy, it’s exhilarating!
‘I’ve also been working with my videographers for nearly a decade – Jackson Speed are an extremely skilful and creative team, wanting to explore visually and cinematically as well as having fun trying different techniques or concepts. Our friendship has grown over the years which just makes the process even more enjoyable.’
Videos can also travel for an artist when they’re unable to tour, as has been the case for so many artists and, at the moment, for Sydney artists such as Cassidy-Rae. But she has been making the best of the situation,
‘Right before this current lockdown, I found myself travelling interstate across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria on a radio tour,’ she says, ‘sharing my latest songs and performing to my friends. Since the first lockdowns began, I created a live music session (like a virtual piano bar) on my Facebook so my friends from around the world could come together and sing along to our favourite songs each week. That has been going on now for over a year! So I’m still thankfully able to perform every week and share my music as well as playing the requests from friends in the virtual crowd.
‘When lockdown is over, I can’t wait to get back out and travel again. I was absolutely loving the radio tour seeing as many friends (I don’t call them fans cause we talk way too much to be anything less than friends) so I hope to hop on the road again real soon with some new music!’
Given the depth of her talent, and her passion for all aspects of performance, live shows by Cassidy-Rae will be a must. You can find out where she’s playing – once she’s playing – at https://www.cassidy-rae.com