An Exclusive Interview with Cassidy Marie

Could you share the story behind your latest song and what inspired its creation?

I released my single “Hot Mess” in September of this year. I wrote this song as a message of empowerment and resilience for those who have ever felt overwhelmed by life’s chaos .When I first started writing this song, I felt stuck and a little lost. I wrote “Hot Mess” to remind myself that this is just a temporary state in time. I decided to embrace this feeling of chaos and just go with it! This song has a fun beat to remind everyone who is in a similar point in their life to just roll with the crazy parts. It will pass! I am so grateful that I was able to work with renowned producers Dan Konopka, Chris Love, and Garrett Long on this song.  In addition, the talented guitarist Gene Micofsky has added his musical expertise, elevating the song to what it is now. My team definitely made this track come to life and portrayed my message in such a powerful way! 

How do you approach the process of songwriting, and are there any specific themes or emotions you tend to explore in your music?

I use songwriting as a way to process my feelings and meditate on how I’ve been doing. In the past, I’ve written songs about grief for lost loved ones, mental and physical health, and relationships. I usually have a hard time finding spaces to talk about these themes in my personal life, but I’ve found music is always a safe space to celebrate any thoughts or emotions that need to come out! 

As an indie musician, how do you navigate the balance between creative freedom and commercial appeal?

I think the fact that I’m so involved in every aspect of my music production really helps. I’m directly in charge of creating music, graphic design, social media, etc.  I have a creative vision and work on marketing that specific concept that highlights my brand. There’s also a lot of media outlets out there that target a variety of different genres, which helps in being authentic to who I am as an artist. 

What do you find most challenging about being an independent artist in today’s music industry?

I think the most challenging thing is knowing what to prioritize! As an independent artist, you are in charge of your own marketing, music production, bookings, and so much more. It’s sometimes hard for me to figure out what I should give more of my time and energy during the ups and downs of this music journey. Do I focus on promoting music I already released or try to make something new? Sometimes it’s hard to navigate, but at least I never run out of things to do! 

Can you talk about your experiences collaborating with other artists or musicians? How does it influence your creative process?

I love collaborating with other musicians! It teaches me so much about my own music style and challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone. I’m grateful to have had many opportunities to work with musicians, from producers who specialize in genres different from mine to talented instrumentalists that bring my tracks new life. On my most recent single, “Hot Mess,” I worked with many different producers and musicians. They each brought their talents and expertise to the track, expanding the sound to new heights and pushing my vocal ability to something I’ve always wanted to achieve. My music wouldn’t have evolved to what it is now without the opportunities to work with others. 

What role does technology and social media play in promoting your music and connecting with your audience?

I think the digital climate of the music industry has made it so much easier to connect with others! I met my producer through a virtual platform and would not have met him otherwise. Streaming services and social media has also allowed me to create frequent high-quality content and rapidly distribute it to my audience. I often meet people in public who comment on my songs from streaming platforms or instagram reels. I think the digital age has made it possible to reach more people and inspire them with my art. 

Are there any particular artists or genres that have had a significant impact on your musical style?

I grew up performing in jazz choirs as well, so the musicianship of artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and George Gershwin have really shaped my vocal style. I’ve also always been influenced by classic rock, like Led Zeppelin and Donovan. 

Indie musicians often have a close relationship with their fanbase. How do you engage with your fans and build a dedicated community around your music?

I’m really fortunate to have a great local music community. I have a lot of friends and fans that I met through the DC music scene. They’ve been really supportive when I want to try new things at live performances or when I release new music! A lot of the content I create for streaming platforms and social media is commented on by local fans I see during live performances. I also think being in control of everything I post and create allows me to have more opportunities to interact with fans!

Could you describe a memorable live performance experience or tour that has had a lasting impact on you and your music?

When I first started writing songs, I was primarily using it as a tool to grieve for my Dad. My dad was always a big influence on my music taste and was a big supporter of my singing and performing. When he passed, I couldn’t access music as often. One of the first performances I ever participated in was a songwriters competition at a local DC bar. I performed two songs I had written about my dad and won the whole competition! This experience showed me that even my vulnerable moments can be shared and celebrated. 

In an era of streaming platforms, how do you feel about the changing landscape of music consumption and its impact on independent musicians?

I think streaming platforms have changed the music industry a lot, but have also made it a lot easier to connect to fans and new listeners. I feel like it’s easier to share with friends and family across the globe! However, sometimes it feels difficult to navigate algorithms to get on curated playlists. I think virtual music consumption is helpful, as the world has your art at its fingertips. However, it also increases the pressure of creating something unique that sets you apart from all the other music out there.