"Thirsty Thursday" Featuring Cassidy Lynn
For newer fans, how did your passion for music and career come about? My dad was a radio DJ so my house was always filled with music. When he moved away to become the GM of several Clear Channel stations, he left a lot of that music behind for my mom and I. Once they got divorced and mom was raising me as a single parent, that music became our entertainment as we didn’t have the money to go do much else. He’d also left a karaoke machine at the house and my mom would pour a glass of red wine on a Friday night and say, “Sing to me, baby girl!” I always loved to find songs that spoke to me, listen to them until I felt comfortable enough to sing them myself and then go grab the microphone on the karaoke machine and give it a try!
On top of that, my grandfather was a huge fan of Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry so I discovered the classics at a young age. His love for them instilled a deep love for the roots of country music in me. I’m proud to be a part of a genre with such a rich history. What song that you have recorded means the most to you and why? I’d say the most personal song I’ve ever recorded was on my debut self-titled EP that was released back in 2013. It’s called “House Built for Three” and it’s the only time I’ve ever written the story of mom and I “growing up” together; me as her only child and her as a single mom. You recently released your new single, "Wildflower," that you also co-wrote. Tell us about the writing process and where the idea came from. “Wildflower” was inspired by Pinterest quotes, oddly enough! My co-writer Sydney Mack and I had both been collecting quotes on Pinterest about wildflowers and happened to get talking about it during our first writing session together. We both noticed how many qualities about wildflowers felt like they paralleled the uniqueness of each one of our stories. About how they bloom wherever they’re planted and in their own time and how each one of us are meant to do the same. They say that comparison is the thief of joy and in a culture full of social media, comparison is inevitable. It felt like an important message to us to deliver in this song that we can all get exactly what we want out of life; maybe just not on the exact same timeline. How was the last year for you? What were your highlights? The last year has been filled with change for me personally, from a music stand point. With that change came an urgent desire to release music again for the first time in four years. The night we recorded the songs we’re currently releasing was one of the most rewarding moments in my career this far. Something truly magical happened in the studio that night and I cannot wait to continue releasing it over the next few months! If you could only perform one of your songs for someone who has never heard of you, what song would that be? I would have to say my current single “Wildflower”. It just feels like such a statement piece to me and something I feel deep in my heart that I also feel like so many others can relate to. I feel like everyone needs a reminder that their life is going to unfold on their timeline and that they don’t need to compare their journey to anyone else’s. Did you always want to be a musician or was there a specific moment that something happened that made you think "this is what I want to do with my life." If so, what was it? I always knew I loved doing it and asked my parents to move to Nashville when I was nine years old. I do remember the MOMENT it all click for me though. I performed in a talent show at a summer camp I went to when I was eleven. It was the first time I’d ever sung in front of a crowd. I’d sung in front of handfuls of people- family, friends but nothing like this. I think there were around 150 people there. I was so nervous I wound up with a fever of over 100 later that night! In the middle of my performance though, a little voice in my head said “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life”. I haven’t stopped working toward it since.
How do you drink your coffee? With three tablespoons of Sugar Free French Vanilla Creamer. Unless it’s fall; then it’s Pumpkin Spice creamer and Peppermint Mocha through the holidays. #basic What is your favorite sandwich? Jimmy John’s Beach Club- hold the tomato! What’s on your pizza? Do you fold your pizza or eat it straight on? Ranch or no ranch? As an Upstate New Yorker, we are BIG on pizza. And picky about it! Has to be thin crust. If it’s true NY style pizza, I’m good with just cheese and/or pepperoni. If it’s any other kind of pizza, I’m one of those weird people that likes pineapple on it. Hawaiian all day! Eat it straight on. Bring on the ranch! What's your favorite fast food chain? It’s a toss-up between Taco Bell and Chick Fil-A for me.
Everyone has a story to tell, but sometimes, that story evolves in ways unimaginable. For Upstate New York dreamer turned Nashville recording artist Cassidy Lynn, that path would evolve through the art of the ultimate form of storytelling, songwriting. This force to be reckoned with arrived in Music City with the spirit of Patsy Cline and the fierceness of Natalie Maines, hell bent on blazing her own path.
The pursuit of the artist thing led her to realize the importance of knowing how to write a song. After honing her craft at Belmont University, she landed her first notable pen, “Ball Cap.” The track hit #1 on Sirius XM’s The Highway fronted by Black River Entertainment recording artist Glen Templeton and was later released by Curb recording artist Dylan Scott.
The little song that could is much like the story of Cassidy, a child of the 90s who grew up on Tim McGraw, Reba, and George Strait. With humble beginnings in Upstate NY, a young Cassidy Lynn grew intrigued by the music industry thanks to the discs and karaoke machine left behind by her father, a radio veteran. Her mom, equipped with a great ear for songs, introduced the curious free spirit to the music of John Denver, The Judds, Alison Krauss, and The Eagles. At age 9, Cassidy begged her mom to allow her to move to Nashville to follow in the footsteps of LeAnn Rimes, but local community children’s theatre and choirs in her tiny town would have to suffice for the time being.
Cassidy spent her teen years laser focused on her goals while simultaneously nurturing her abilities, which led to landing her first real country gig at the age of 11. Her karaoke-backed performance at the Chenango County Fair led to the rest of her Upstate summers spent playing the county fair circuits. At age 16, her karaoke-band transitioned to actual musicians, and the tightly knit group soon became the freshest talent in the area landing them opening slots for all national acts in the region.
It was then that she made the decision to pour herself into her Northern fan base and delay her move to Nashville. A choice she is thankful for still to this day. “Those early fans voted me to win a contest through CMT where my music video was played on there for a stretch, they voted me to win a songwriting contest through NSAI and won me a spot (again through voting) to play Riverfront stage at CMA Fest in 2010. I don’t know many people here in Nashville with that kind of hometown support. I’m forever grateful.”
The move to Nashville was imminent and in her junior year of college she transferred to the prestigious Belmont University. While there’s no clear-cut path to making it, the promising talent quickly began to flourish in an unexpected way, in the publishing world.
“I grew up in the 90s when artists didn’t write their own songs and if they did, it was rare. All my life I’d wanted to be an artist so I never really realized the importance of knowing how to write a song. I wrote poems as a kid but I never knew you could write songs for a LIVING.”
While being an artist was always the goal, Cassidy set her sights on growing and prospering in songwriting for others. After graduating from Belmont, she held a position as an office manager for a Christian publishing company, but as soon as 5 o’clock hit is when the real work started, songwriting to pursue a deal. Her persistence and hard work led to effortlessly holding her own in writing rooms alongside the industry’s biggest heavy hitters.
After 5 years and countless publishing meetings and co-writes, the hard work paid off when she was offered her first major publishing deal. She explains: “There’s a fulfillment that I get from hearing someone else sing lyrics I helped them write that I never expected to feel. It still comes full circle for me when I get to perform songs I wrote (especially since I grew up singing covers) but I LOVE writing songs for other artists as well and helping them say what’s in their heart.”
The evolution of this self-proclaimed old soul and now accomplished songwriter has landed her in the perfect position to push forward as an artist. With co-producers David Dorn and Dan Wilson at the helm, Cassidy is celebrating the release of her brand new single, “Wildflower.” Cassidy proclaims: “This song makes me believe in myself and it seems to make people who hear it believe in themselves too.”
The future proves promising for the Miranda Lambert and Waylon Jennings influenced entertainer who has managed to carve her own unique path in the industry while seamlessly combining her resonating vocals with songwriting abilities well beyond her years.