After spending the last five years dedicated to building a career in music and honing her skills as a songwriter, Cassie has found her own voice as an artist. A lover of words, she is taking the intimacy of folk songwriting to the masses by wrapping thoughtful, meaningful lyrics in glossy pop melodies. "As an artist, you have such a big platform and I don't see the point in going up there and saying nothing. I think that if you're going to use your voice, it should be to say something that's valuable or that resonates with someone."
Cassie's passion for words began at a very young age. From the age of eight, she was expressing herself through poems and short stories. "Writing helped me express the emotions that I had difficulty expressing any other way. All of my feelings about my parents' divorce, being rejected by boys, and being the middle child who never felt listened to – I wrote about it all. It was the only way of expression that I knew," she says. As Cassie learned how to play piano, her words were introduced to the world of music and her stories were channeled into lyrics. Before she started high school, she had taught herself guitar and filled her fuzzy pink notebook with her first songs.
Cassie's passion for music grew as she honed her songwriting skills in her folk songwriters group and during acoustic coffeehouse performances in her hometown of Orillia, Ontario. As her high school graduation approached and she was faced with acceptance letters to business schools and the Berklee College of Music, Cassie instead took the time to get to know herself. After a year off in Whistler, B.C., she decided to explore all sides of music by enrolling in production and audio engineering school. "With knowledge comes more creative control. I didn't want to be on the outside of my music, I wanted to be inside the studio, pressing the buttons," says Cassie. Her decision to enroll in Vancouver's Nimbus School of Recording & Media would expose her to an entirely new world of music and spark a fury of creativity.
Cassie spent her school year immersed in music – when she wasn't in recording studios or studying, she was gigging at open mics and cafés. It was during this time at school that Cassie's admiration for pop music blossomed. As she started experimenting with different genres, she found herself straying from her folk roots, creating EDM top lines, writing country songs, and becoming fascinated by the structure of pop songs. "In recording school, people don't always take pop music seriously for some reason, but I'm so intrigued by hooks and writing something that people want to sing or can't help but sing. I'm very lyric oriented and I want my lyrics to reach the most people. Pop is a way to do that."
After graduation, she dove head first into Vancouver's music scene and made the decision to fully pursue the life of a working musician. Cassie quit her multiple day jobs, determined to financially support herself by playing gigs and busking in the streets. "I had made the decision to commit to my music, even if that meant standing on a street corner," she says. In addition to performing, Cassie was building contacts in the music industry including supporters at SOCAN who would eventually put her up in the L.A. SOCAN house during the first of several songwriting trips to California. As she continued to explore the structure of pop songwriting, she collaborated with award-winning writers and producers like Joshua Bartholomew and Lisa Harriton ("Everything Is Awesome") and Ryan Stewart (Carly Rae Jepsen). The feeling of having respected writers taking her talent seriously motivated Cassie to dedicate herself to her own music, writing, co-producing, and recording folk-pop songs on which she contributed vocals, guitar and piano.
It was during this period of self-reflection and focus on her craft that Cassie began to develop a new, evolved sound. "I sat down and thought about what I wanted to make. I took the time to figure out what inspires me and what I wanted to sound like." She shelved the folk-pop songs. "I fully believe that with songwriting in general, sometimes you have to let the songs out before you can fully move forward. Those songs still mean a lot to me but that chapter is over."
After another season of performing in festivals and making songwriting trips to L.A., an unplanned Canadian Music Week industry jam would end up being the moment of opportunity Cassie had been working for. Her impromptu performance caught the attention of Universal Music Canada's CEO and by the end of the year, she had a recording contract with the country's leading music company. Working alongside producer Mike Wise (Ralph, W. Darling), Cassie has recorded the music that captures her artistic vision: authentic lyrics and irresistible pop hooks that speak to her generation. "I wanted to add some realness to the pop world," says Cassie. With her debut release out this fall, the 23-year-old is embarking on the journey of her dreams.