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December 9, 2021 47 mins

In this very special episode Sammy sits down with singer/songwriter Cassadee Pope! You may remember her from the band Hey Monday or winning season 3 of The Voice! Sammy and Cassadee talk about her new album Thrive, her experiences being a female artist in the country music scene and so much more. Cassadee also shares some very personal stories about her own journey with mental health and therapy!

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:02):
Hey guys, and welcome back to this week's episode of
the Let's Be Real Podcast. As always, I'm your host,
Sammy Jay, and welcome. Thank you so much for taking
the time to listen. This week, I got to chat
with the incredibly talented Cassidy Pope. Now you may know
her from the band Hey Monday, or from winning Season
three of The Boys, which I actually voted for her,
so glad you won, um, and she actually came out

(00:25):
with an album called Thrive and it is quite incredible. UM.
We have a really down to earth chat about what
it's like being a female artist, especially in country music,
what it was like winning the Voice. She goes into
some stories that I haven't heard her talk about anywhere else,
mental health, the importance of therapy, and she shares a
lot about her personal dreaming, which I'm so grateful she did.

(00:47):
I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. Cassidy, I am
so excited that you are on my podcast. I'm excited
to Before we start, I have a quick story to
tell you. Okay, when you were on the Voice, I
was what I remember so clearly, it was my obsession

(01:13):
with a voice, and I remember I voted for you.
I was when you first auditioned and you performed torn.
I was like, oh my goodness, and I just remember
watching the show so vividly. So this is very full
circle for me that you're on my podcast now. Thank you.
Thanks for voting. I appreciate that. It's like, that's level.

(01:34):
I mean, I think things worked out pretty well. It's
because of you, because of your vote. That vote, man,
that that one vote, that one vote me and my
brother did when we called in sent me over. It's amazing.
Thank you. It feels like a I mean, I was
a different person, Like it was just a whole other
life was insane. I mean, before the pandemic feels like

(01:55):
a different life. I agree, like nine lives. I feel
like it's kind of like a cat it is. It is. Yeah,
last year was like I don't I think it was
just a blur. You know, we got through it, but
it was a blur, right. I That's the thing. I'm
like randomly remembering these weird little memories. I'm like, oh wait,
that wasn't that long ago, but it feels like ten

(02:16):
years ago. Yeah, it's And this year I feel like
has flown by because things have opened back up and
It's like, my endurance isn't what it used to be.
So if I have like one thing to do on
it on a day, I'm like, all right, I'm gonna
get on the couch and rest after that one thing
I had to do today. Oh yeah, I'm I'm a
freshman in college and I'm living on campus, and my

(02:39):
social battery I'm already like an introvert. But when you
add a pandemic onto that, my oh my, yeah, my
social battery is like negative zero right all the time.
It's weird socializing with people in person. Yeah, I actually
found that I think I might prefer the internet, UM

(03:00):
that thing with people like I think it's I think
when we embrace it, it can be really amazing. Like
last year getting to UM, I did a bunch of
meet and greets, FaceTime meet and greets with my fans,
and I was able to have UM writing sessions with
people in l A and New York and not have
to travel, And I actually felt like my world in
a weird way opened up more because I embraced the

(03:22):
WiFi and the interwebs like what it could offer us.
So you know, it's sometimes you just have to lean
into it. Oh absolutely, And I think it's also it's
really weird because I'll be watching a movie and I'll
be like, there are so many people together, they should
be wearing masks. Why aren't they social distancing And the
fact that my brain is wired that way now, I'm like,

(03:42):
it's bizarre. Oh my goodness, very bizarre. What is this.
There's something about being in person and having that connection.
It's it's so different like traveling doing something. It's it
was a whole to do and I kind of missed that.
I mean, I think like in doses, both things are great,
like being able to be remote when it's convenient and

(04:03):
being able to travel when you want to. It's like,
that's that's ideal. But when you're forced into one thing,
it's that that it's not very fun. Oh absolutely. I
have a morning class at eight thirty and there's a
zoom option, and it has been so fantastic embracing that
zoom option because I don't I who wants to walk
across campus at like it in the morning. Not me. Yeah.

(04:26):
Now you can stay in your pjs and sip that coffee. Yeah,
stay in bed, that's the way to do it. So
much art has come out of this pandemic, and it's
like for everybody, it's given us time to really reflect
and just think about what we've done, where we want
to go. And something that I've been struggling with and

(04:48):
learning to cope with is not having your identity be
around my career, around one thing, but having an identity
outside of that. When the pandemic first hit, before we
knew how long it be, zoom writing sessions started. What
was that period like for you as an artist not
being able to perform live and kind of being still

(05:09):
with yourself. It was definitely a struggle. I mean I
I do the same where I put a lot of
my self worth and how busy I am? What what's
going on for me? Are people paying attention? Is it
a busy time or is it just like one off season?
You know? And um, I think at first it was
a jolt and it was like, oh my god, like

(05:30):
what's going to happen? And I don't know what to
do with myself? Um. And then because it was a
worldwide situation and I was not the only artist who
was having some quiet season, um, it kind of brought
me comfort in a way that like, Okay, we're all
in this together in very different levels. But um, we

(05:51):
are all like losing our tours and not able to travel,
not able to see our fans in person. So it
was weird. And then I sort of, um, like I
said before, kind of embraced the situation and was like, Okay,
if I can't go anywhere and I can't tour and
do what I love, I'm gonna do the second best
thing and write on Zoom. And that's and I wrote

(06:13):
the whole album on zoom um and wrote with people
for the first time that I ended up just loving
writing with actually found my producer through one of the
writing sessions on zoom, So it ended up, you know,
becoming a very positive experience. But it was very bitter
sweet because I wasn't getting, you know, the aspect that
I love the most in my career, which is playing live.

(06:35):
That's what's so awesome. You wrote an entire album from
your home, and I think we're at this place where,
like you said, it's all about perspective and we can
choose to look on the negative side of things or
really turn something into a positive or make the best
out of any situation. And yeah, I think something that's
really special about this album Thrive is that you're not

(06:57):
limiting yourself. You know, there are for a while, there's
you did country, you did rock, you did punk, but
you're really just merging all three creating your own lane,
which is very hard to do as an artist, especially
being a female artist. You're in in the country music industry,
which is also a very male dominated industry, and I
think paving your own lane is so special. What was

(07:19):
that process like? Yeah, definitely, I mean I was going
I was about to go in the studio in April
um and and cut some songs that I loved that
felt very country radio friendly, felt like a very safe
UM route for me to take. And then once the
pandemic hit and it sort of forced me to think

(07:39):
about things a little bit deeper and and honestly, like
talking to my management team about it, um I had
just done a Hey Monday reunion show at the end
of twenty nineteen, and they were like, we've never seen
that side of you, so we're fans, uh. And then
so once we started having those conversations, they were like,
you know you you can do is authentically like you

(08:01):
come from that pop punk world and you grew up
singing country music. So they're both authentic to you. What
if you just leaned in more into the pop punk
thing and see where it takes you? UM, And it
was really an intentional thing going into each session. UM.
You know, the songwriters that I was writing with, we're
all briefed by my publisher on the direction I'm going

(08:23):
forward and UM the vision I had and so, and
just going in with songwriters that helped sort of aid
me in that direction to UM was really great. But
but just going into every session with you know these
probably I guess nine years of UM songwriting experience in Nashville,
but merging you know, my pop punk roots and it

(08:46):
was just a really natural process. I didn't feel like
I was compromising anything. I didn't feel like I was
chasing anything. I had a goal in mind, but it
felt like a goal that I I could achieve very easy, elite,
you know. So I UM had a lot of fun
making this record. And I went in the studio with
the band and I was you know, my I was

(09:09):
just right up there at the control board like constantly,
you know, co producing with with Nick Wheeler, my producer,
and Karen Fairchild, my co producer, and it just felt
like a very from start to finish, a very hands on,
precious kind of process. I want to read you something
because I rewatched your audition for the Boys and Christina

(09:30):
Aguilaric said something that kind of foreshadowed what's happening now.
She said, you have a little country in there that
you could do something with. You have something that's popped driven,
something that's a little rock, and you can kind of
do it all. Wow. I don't remember saying that. Jeez,
that's cool. That's what you're doing now, you know what.
And I that's that's actually crazy hearing that from her,

(09:53):
because she's like the same she can. I feel like
she could do it all too, So that's that's pretty cool.
And and like the fans that I've all kind of
coined the genre, um calling it the alternative, which is
really fun. So I'm kind of taking it and running
with it and makeing merch and stuff. Absolutely you should, yeah, absolutely,

(10:14):
And I think that's one of the things, like doing
something that's not what everyone else is doing can be
really difficult, especially being an artist, being a young female artist,
there are so many pressures of what you should be
or what you should look like. Um, was there a
certain moment besides the Hey Monday reunion, where you're like, man,
I really miss this side to me that I haven't

(10:36):
been fully letting UM show through my music. Oh that's
a good question. Um. I think when I'm on stage
and I am playing either Hey Monday song or just
like one of my UM newer songs that leans a
little bit more rock, or covering a rock song or something,

(10:58):
I do have that like I get that itch, or
I used to, and now that I have this album,
I'm not really feeling that way anymore, but I would
get that itch like gosh, like how fun would it
be to just kind of go back to that and
and like go crazy on stage and not worry about
being to this or to that, not being country enough,
or even in the rock realm. You know, I never

(11:19):
felt weird enough or tortured enough or anything like you know,
all of our favorite rock stars were always these, uh,
tortured soulds, you don't fit the mold of what they say. Yeah,
And I I never felt that way in any any
platform I've been in UM, which is really led me
to this point of like, oh, I think I just

(11:41):
I'm a bunch of things and I don't know where
that's gonna land me. I don't know if that's going
to bring me all the awards in the world or
it's gonna get me a Grammy, But I I know
that it's me, and I know if people like it,
then they like me for who I am. So that's
kind of that was why I was like, Okay, I
think I'm down to just kind of see where this goes. Yeah,

(12:03):
I mean, you were just being Cassidy, and that's all
we can all do at the end of the day
is just be ourselves because there's only one of you
and there's a reason for that. And I think something
that's really interesting with your writing. It's just very authentic
and it's use a storytelling, which I feel like in
a lot of songs nowadays, it's very it's meaningless, you know,

(12:25):
they're just words together that sound nice with the pop
feed and no shape to anyone that does that sometimes
like that that's a great vibe to be in, you
know what I mean. Yeah, it's super catchy. Yeah, but
it's having those lyrics and being able to tell a
story with your music can relate to more people. What
do you love about storytelling? Because that's what music is. Essentially,

(12:49):
I'm always really surprised at the songs that I feel
are really specifically personal to me, how they connect with
so many people. Um, I've put out songs that I'm like,
this is a very very specific situation that maybe not
many other people have been through, and then I put

(13:10):
it out and it's like, oh, well, like obviously I'm
not alone here, and it's like a very you know,
therapeutic process. Because while I really appreciate fans who say
this has helped me through this or that, they're also
helping me to not feel so crazy and alone in
my feelings. So, um, that's always been surprising to me.

(13:30):
With like storytelling is is as a songwriter, we're kind
of taught to make it appeal to everybody. Don't make
it super gender specific or like a cultural culturally specific song,
or you know, the people and a small town aren't
going to relate to this like city song or whatever
the reasons are. We're always told as songwriters to try

(13:53):
and make things connect with everyone, and that's why we
get the super water down lyrics and the really catchy songs,
but they don't really say much because that is it,
and it works that is that is something that works.
But it also works when people get specific like Taylor
Swift and Adele and Harry Styles and you know, I

(14:13):
think that that that's uh, if it's done right, that
that blows up just as big as the very um
safe songs. Absolutely, And I think something that I love
your title Thrive because I feel like we've been surviving,
but we should all we should all aim to thrive.

(14:34):
What was the process? What is your writing process generally?
Do you have a concept of mind? Do you start
with the lyrics, the melodies, the title. It's different every time.
I mean the biggest difference writing this album, of course,
was it was on Zoom. But um, it didn't really
change as far as the process of Like for Thrive,
for instance, I brought in UM the first verse, and

(14:56):
I brought in the what I wanted the hook to be, like,
I didn't just survive without you know, I thrive and
we went from there. Um And some sessions are like
I have a whole chorus, Uh, some sessions I have
just a melody. There were a few that I just
brought a concept in. I didn't have any lyrics or
any melodies to it. I just had the concept so

(15:19):
it just depends. And the thing that I think is
really great about when you have a publisher who really
knows your strengths and your weaknesses is they will put
you in a room with people who catered to where
your weaknesses are. And that's something that I really appreciated
through this process because I I did want to really
focus on storytelling and being honest and and kind of

(15:41):
staying the course and not getting too distracted about other things,
UM like who it would appeal to. And once that
sort of like solidified itself and that was the process,
it really just was like just flowing and every session, UM,
something I'll amazing would come out, and but I always

(16:02):
I always brought in something UM, so that I think
that was a good like launching pad for all the sessions.
What would you say the biggest thing you've learned about
yourself writing this album has been I've learned that I
I carried a lot of shame about a lot of things, UM,
from like breaking someone's heart to UM feeling spiteful to

(16:29):
um you know, something happening when I was younger that
I look back on and as an adult and I'm like,
I actually didn't know better because I was really young, um,
whereas before I had a lot of shame about these things.
And so the writing process was was again therapeutic because
I kind of let myself, I let myself kind of

(16:52):
feel like like a victim a little bit. And I've
never really been into that, Like I've always taken a
acountability for my decisions and um never wanted, never wanted
to people to feel bad for me. So I tried
to sound stronger in my songs, and this time around,

(17:13):
I just leaned into the real feelings of shame and disappointment,
embarrassment and hurt and feeling like a victim and all
those things. So like, yeah, I just I guess the
thing I learned about myself was that I was almost
um trying to protect myself for a very long time,
but in reality, I was just UM keeping everybody at

(17:34):
arm's length. I think that's so interesting that you say that,
because we go through things through life and we have
shame towards and a lot of things we shouldn't because,
like you said, we're all on a journey and we're
all growing and it's part of the experience. And I
think being able to turn something that you were shameful of,
but vocalize it really takes that shame away from it.
Would you say you felt that way through writing? Yeah,

(17:56):
I think talking about it definitely does. I mean, anytime
you're talking about a trauma or something that that hurt
you in the past, every time you talk about it,
you're releasing it more and more each conversation. So I
definitely feel like this album is is heavily rooted in
my journey with mental health to like just being very

(18:19):
vocal about things that are really uncomfortable to talk about,
that people stigmatize and make us feel weird when we
express things, and and just kind of like throwing that
all away and just um, you know, I hope I
made people uncomfortable with some of these songs. I hope
it made people think be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Yeah. Yeah,

(18:40):
And that's like that's what my favorite artists do for me,
is like they make me uncomfortable in a good way.
So we're growing. If we're uncomfortable, I think we have
to take one quick break, but when we come back,
I want to talk more about the topic of mental health.
The best advice you've received in therapy pushing ourselves to
be more uncome triable and to grow your experience on

(19:02):
the voice and so much more. We'll be right back,
and we're back. Julian michaels a song called Anxiety, and
it was the first time I ever listened to where
I was like, I feel attacked. This is too accurate
to my entire life, Like she put words to a

(19:24):
feeling I couldn't even describe, which was truly that's what's
the power of music, I feel like, and um for
people who have listened before, I've been so honest. I've
struggled with anxiety and o c D my entire life
and I used to be so scared, but no, it's
working on yourself and being a better person. By having
these open conversations. We're not giving it the power, right, Yeah.

(19:47):
And I feel like people do see therapy as this
last resort. You gotta hit rock bottom before you go.
We have to wait for a crisis, and it's like, man,
I did that and it was awful, and so I
wish I had done some work because I had plenty
of things that I knew would mess me up, like

(20:07):
my parents divorce and my dad leaving us, and you know,
being in the industry since I was like twelve. Um,
a lot of weird people in and out of my life,
taking advantage and stuff, and just being a young kid
around a bunch of older people in the industry. And
I if I had just seeked some help and started

(20:28):
sort of confronting some of the things I was feeling
at an early age, I mean, I wouldn't be here
right now, so I would be I'm not going to
say like I want things. I wished things turned out differently,
but it would have been it would have been really
helpful to have some tools being eighteen on the road
just mayhem, like be like a tornado traveling eighteen year

(20:52):
old tornado girl traveling the world, Like, yeah, that would
have been useful. And it's a lot putting yourself out
there and your song in in the spotlight and touring
when you're eighteen and meeting all these people, what would
you say the best tool you've learned is in your
journey in therapy? Because I have quite some tools in
my toolblocks. I'm just curious. I always love asking people

(21:14):
what they've learned. Yeah, totally. I mean, there's there's so
many things I learned. Um, I A big thing was
not taking everything personally, UM, because I was always so
concerned with what people thought about me. If they canceled,
I feel you right, Like, if they canceled on me
last minute to hang, I'd be like, oh, it's because

(21:36):
I said this one time and they're mad at me
and and like and then I sort of once I
started therapy, I realized how like borderline narcissistic that is
of like, you know, obviously it's it's insecurities too, but
why would my first thought be that them canceling on

(21:58):
me is about me. It's it's usually not, and it's
usually because something came up or maybe they just don't
feel like it's not about me. It's that it's something
they're going through. And so that was really helpful because, Um,
once you feel that, and once you really like accept
that don't take things personally, you aren't as affected by
other people's decisions. And that's power. That's like where you

(22:22):
take it back, um, which is which is really nice.
And then I think to just, um, seeing how things
from my childhood affected me as an adult, that stuff,
even though it can't it can't change anything that's happened,
it still is like seeing it through the lens of
you know, the reason you dated these people or the

(22:44):
reason you made these bad decisions. Like think about that
that stuff that happened as a kid and your parents
fighting or your parents divorce or whatever it may be.
Um that that directly affects you now as what you're
making your decisions, and it's like internalized trauma that you
haven't let go of yet. And so that while it

(23:06):
again it doesn't like cure me, it's it is to
be self aware is it's so important. It's so powerful,
and to be able to know that, Okay, this is
why I did this, and how can I move forward
to not repeat those same actions? It's huge. I'm actually
reading a book by Oprah and Dr Perry called What
Happened to You, which I'm trying to get more into reading.

(23:28):
I'm really trying to better myself all around. I'm trying
to meditate and just everything, and I'm really enjoying this
book and it kind of goes into what we're talking about,
what has happened in our past, how our brain stores it,
and how that reflects in the actions we do, which
is super interesting. Our brains are crazy. Yeah, I I um,

(23:48):
I started trauma therapy like four months ago, and I, um,
there were so many moments where I'm like, I don't
know why I'm so triggered by when somebody says this
to me, or when my boyfriend does this, or you know,
when my mom says this. And doing trauma therapy is
the most bizarre process because it will literally pop into

(24:12):
your brain something that was said or done to you
as a kid, and you're like, that's why I don't
handle this phrase well, or I don't handle it well
when somebody, you know, if my boyfriend walks ahead of
me in a social setting and I feel abandoned like that,
that kind of those small moments that really trigger me
and just to know where they come from is so great.

(24:35):
And then like targeting those memories and reprocessing them to
not affect you as badly is a game changer like that,
That kind of therapy has been amazing for me. And
it's not even like, Okay, this happened in the past,
but then you can work on how to because you're
aware of it, how to make that not trigger you
so much in the future. Yeah, it's taking the power back,

(24:58):
which is so powerful, and I feel like I don't know,
I could go on about therapy for hours. I highly
recommend it. It's it's just if you want to be
grow as a human, you don't have to have issues
to go to therapy, which is a weird stigma with it.
Obviously you want to go into therapy for yourself to
feel better and um improve and and just know yourself better.
But the collateral, like the positive collateral from that is

(25:22):
so amazing, Like your your relationships to get better. Um,
you might you might lose some relationships. The more you grow,
the more you might grow away from people. And that's okay,
that's not a bad thing though, it's not a bad thing.
It's actually really great because you're the more you step
into yourself and who you really want to be, the
more you become aligned with people that will help you

(25:44):
with that, you know. So it's it's just all around,
like it helps everybody around involved, like you and the
people that are that you're in relationship with. And I
know you said you you're in Hey Monday before the voice,
but you said you've been in the industry since you
were twelve. Yeah, what were you doing at twelve? I know,
it's it's been a long journey. Um, I was. I

(26:06):
took voice lessons from four years old, and then my
voice coach would get all of her students together to
go play at fairs and festivals and really got us
on stage young, which is great. And I think I
was playing some fair or festival in West Palm Beach
for Radio Disney and um, a couple of sorry continuing,

(26:27):
and we have talked about Radio Disney for a second, Okay,
I mean it was like put on by Radio Disney.
I wasn't exactly like a Radio Disney artist, you know,
but there were there was this couple who were managers
who worked for Radio Disney who liked me, and we're like,
I think I was like twelve or thirteen at the time,
and they wanted to help me with my career. And

(26:48):
so from that day forward, I had managers and I had, um,
you know, gone to different music conferences and sang acapella
for people and trying to get record deals. And by
fifteen I had my first record deal with Drive Through
Records and yeah, and I was on there for a year.
Didn't work out because I was writing pop punk songs

(27:11):
and they wanted like really obscure indie music. Um, and
so I just got off that and then just kept
kept that process, basically going, oh my goodness. So I
worked for Radio Disney for four years. Oh I love
Radio Disney, but I just I feel like I didn't
quite make it fully into the Radio Disney realm. It

(27:33):
was more of like these managers worked for Ray Disney
and then they left Rady Disney to just be managers.
I see. So, but you've been in it for a
long time. Yeah, I relate to that. I've been. I started.
My first interview was when I was thirteen. Oh my god,
that's amazing. So I've been Yeah, five and a half years.

(27:54):
I've been working and I've loved every second of it.
But it's really interesting. I'm sure you can really late
like when you're working at it at a young age,
I always gravitated towards people that were older than me,
and I had trouble kind of finding my group with
people that were my own age because I was always
focusing on my career and like what's next. You said

(28:14):
you were touring eighteen. Do you think you missed out
on anything? Or are you like me? And that's just
kind of the path that we were given, and you
were kind of like mentally older than the age you
always were. Yeah, I agree, that's I The more I
talked to my friends who went to college and stuff,
the more I felt. I feel like I I got

(28:38):
some insane life experience very quickly at a very young
age that you know. And I'm not saying college is bad.
I think it's great. Um, it's different for everybody. It's
different for everybody, though not everyone is meant to go. Yeah,
and I and it's always there. I got my high
school diplolmost I could always go back. But um, but yeah,

(28:58):
I definitely feel like it was the right path for me.
It was I all I wanted was to get on
the road, and I my parents were really supportive. I
mean my mom was the most supportive. And um, I
just had this opportunity staring me in the face and
it wasn't even a question. I was like, I'm not
going to college when I've got a follow up boy

(29:20):
tour to go on, Like I'm going to do that
and think about school later. But I was in a
very rare position where I had a record deal and
I had big tours lined up, Like I totally get
the the sort of um conflicting feelings of do I
go to school or do I pursue this when there
isn't a deal and there aren't tours already lined up

(29:42):
and stuff, So I do I do. See how unique
my experience was. And then the Voice came along. Okay,
a few questions, how is that? How do you deal
with that kind of pressure on live TV? People literally
voting to determine your fate, Because when you think of
it like that, it's really weird. It is. And and and

(30:03):
you know, I came off the road touring and competition
was not in my vocabulary. I've never been competitive as
far as my music goes. Maybe when I was a
kid and like before i'd like matured, I'd be like,
that doesn't count. Yeah, I want to beat here and whatever.
I want to be the best karaoke singer. I don't know,

(30:25):
but I but in my adulthood going on tour and
being being on tour with your friends, it's like a party.
It's so much fun and it's not competitive. You go
up and you sing during each other's sets, and you
sleep on each other's buses, have sleepovers, and it's just
really fun and not competitive at all. So going into
the Voice was terrifying, and I could see how other

(30:48):
people were super competitive, and they were walking up and
down the halls doing their crazy runs and stuff just
to kind of intimidate each other. And and the pressure
was so stide, like, oh yeah, since the voice. I
I have a hard time with live television. To be
completely honest, I I do it and I think I

(31:09):
do a great job, but inside I am a complete
and total mess. I am a mess. I remember when
it was like when they were like about to announce,
like who is the winner? And I remember I was
like me and my brother were like a boat to there, like,
oh my god, what's what's gonna like they build it
up and Carson was like it was just I was like,

(31:30):
just say it already. And I know they do that
on purpose, but like, what is it like actually being there?
And then you're like, I don't my goodness, Yeah did
it feel like hours? It did? It felt so long,
and it was like I didn't feel like I had
it in the bag at all. Because Terry McDermott, who
was the runner up, he he just like stole everybody's

(31:52):
heart and I loved him so much. He's he's a
great guy and Scottish and sings eighties classic songs like
What's not to Love? You Know, has a cute little family,
and I just I just was like, I almost at
that point, was like, I hope he wins, because I
really well, I thought that he had the better voice,

(32:13):
and I thought that he deserved it more or something
because he's been in the industry way longer, and like,
I don't know, I just I'm a self sabotage person.
So I was like, yeah, give it to him, and um,
so yeah, it was really really awful. And now I

(32:33):
I watch it here and there, but I have a
hard time like keeping my heart right down and and
feeling normal. Okay, Cassidy, we have to take one final break,
but when we come back, let's talk a bit more
about some of the crazy experiences on the Voice. I
also want to talk about your own music and your
perspective on social media and so much more. We'll be

(32:55):
right back, and we're back. I would say after your season,
only watched like one other season because it was just
too much for my anxiety. I was like, I can't
do this. By the way, this is a side note,
your outfit and your audition was iconic. Ah where was

(33:18):
that blue dress from? And those red and those red
boots those I remember seeing that when I was telling,
I was like, I want that. Oh my god. I
couldn't believe they let me wear that. I was like,
here's the weird outfit that I like. And I was great.
And the dress was I think from um Forever twenty one,
and then the shoes were, Oh my god, I think
Shoe Dazzle or one of those like online shoes places.

(33:40):
I was super broke, so I the dress I had
in my closet for forever. The shoes I remember like
getting them and like calling whatever the company was to
cancel my membership because I couldn't afford another month of it.
And they kept me on the phone for an hour
and we're like, are you sure you want to kid?
I'm like, I just I broke, can't afford this. I

(34:01):
just I can't afford this. I just wanted these pairs
of shoes. Yeah, And so it was kind of hilarious
that that those that was the outfit that I wore
to audition for the point. Do you still have the
dress and the shoes? Yeah, oh yeah, I've kept it
all good as you should. And that audition song, What
was it like getting the four chair turn? Because how

(34:23):
do you keep singing during that? I know, I know
we're going back memory lane, but why not? No, It's
it's a good question because it is actually something that
the producers talked to all of us about before the
blind auditions. They were like, we understand the pressure and anxiety,
and if you have a chair turn, we understand like
the relief you're going to feel. But if you stop

(34:43):
singing and you like dropped the floor, you drop your mic, whatever,
and you just get so excited that you made it through,
We're probably not going to air your audition because that's
that's not going to be good TV to like see
somebody just oh, I got a chair turn, I'm gonna
stop singing. So that was motivation for me because like
I did not for the I did not for one
second think I was going to win this show. So

(35:05):
I was like, I got to make sure they air
my blind audition because I'm not gonna last very long
and I just need all the exposure I can get.
So that's what I was thinking. When they turned, I
was like, you gotta keep singing, you gotta get this
to be aired. I don't know how you do that,
Like that's something so incredible, and you have all these
like incredible, like iconic artists. That's you really think about
the whole show. It's so intimidating. It is the most

(35:29):
intimidating part is when their backs are turned to you.
And then once they're turned around and you see them
interacting and like reacting to your your voice, then it's easier.
Like I've never sung to people's backs before, so it
was weird. Yeah, it's it's a weird power dynamic too. Yeah,
I will say maybe this is controversial. I don't know,

(35:50):
but I think your season was probably one of the
best seasons of the Voice Thanks. It was so new,
it was still like it didn't feel like repetitive. It
was so fresh. It wasn't people trying. It was just
people who loved music, and everybody had a different vibe.
Like I remember looking around and being like, I don't
know who's gonna win because we're also different from each other,

(36:11):
and that's that's what was special. And then they would
have us all singing together for these numbers and it
was like amazing because we all just sounded different but
harmonized with each other. And it was. It was a
really special season. Yeah, and then you released Wasting All
These Tears, which I remember seeing that music video like
because I was in middle school. I told you I

(36:32):
I followed you for a minute and I was remember
being in middle school. That's amazing remember seeing that video
and I was like, whoa, this girl went off. Well.
I one of my like dreams as a kid when
I would like envision a career in music was like
I get to be I get to act in music videos,

(36:55):
like my own songs. Like I'm not an actress, but
I get to like play one for like a day
with the dresses and the lights and the whole vibe.
That is one of my favorite parts of what I do, too,
is is being in music videos and getting to like
live out my childhood dreams. Absolutely. That one was definitely
one of my favorites of just the there were so

(37:17):
many different setups. It was like, you know, full day.
It was so extra in the best way. Yeah, And
and like the indoor swing with the with the rain
was just crazy. I couldn't believe that they figured that out,
and I just felt like this isn't this is a
major label video shoot? Cool? Was that the moment where
you felt like you made it or whatever whatever it

(37:38):
quote made it means? Have you ever felt that or
do you still feel like you're working on that? I
still feel like I'm working on that. Yeah, really, Yeah,
I've got a Grammy nomination. Girl. I am so I am.
I'm proud of the things that I've accomplished. I am grateful,
But I don't you know you're capable of more. I

(37:59):
know I'm capable of And I also don't really know
the I don't have the thing that I that. Once
that happens, I'm I'm good. I feel like I've made it.
I mean, a big bucket list moment is to host
and be musical guest on SNL. But manifest, let's manifest
Cassidy out there. I I it would be the coolest thing. Um,

(38:21):
but I don't even then I'd be like, Okay, what's next?
Like that was so awesome, I'm so happy? What else
can I do? Maybe if I played a stadium and
I sold it out and I headlined, maybe that would
be like, oh, I made it, Because that's to me,
the most tangible success that you could have is is
like people coming out to see you play and that

(38:44):
many people. So maybe maybe that maybe like a stadium
tour would be like here we go, I'm good. I
totally agree with that, and I totally understand that because
you always want to work towards something better. But then
I go because I struggle with him like okay, but
then in my focus sing on what's to come? Or
am I just not living in the moment, which is
a really hard balance to do. Yeah, what advice do

(39:07):
you have for me? Or you still going through that yourself? No,
I it's a it's a journey. It's a journey, and
I think I think everything is different, you know. I
think like if you feel like a big weight it's
been lifted and you've accomplished something and you want to
sit in that for a minute, like, I think you
should listen to that instinct and sit in it and
and celebrate. And then I think, too, if there's like

(39:28):
our gut tells us so much. So if you feel,
oh yeah, if you feel like okay, great, I did that,
But is it enough to really like take a few
days off to just enjoy it um or can I
enjoy it? Because while simultaneously continuing to work forward. That's
usually where I land, it's like, Okay, I can I
can enjoy this and celebrate while staying productive. We're also

(39:52):
we're in a world where social media everything is defined
and you're defined by that outward success of what other
people say of your projects. But the end of the day,
it just matters how you feel about it and if
you're proud of it. That's so much easier said than done.
But what has it been like because social media when
you were like on the Voice was not nearly as
prevalent as it is now, and it's I've struggled with

(40:16):
a very uh toxic relationship with social media because it's
so easy to compare yourself to people, how many followers
you have, all this and that, um, And that's what
a big part of the music business has become about
how many followers you have. How have you dealt with
navigating that when you're just an artist and you care
about the art. I've um over the past year and

(40:37):
a half really paid attention to what sets me apart
instead of how can I be as popular as this person?
I love that mindset, Yeah, because because I'm not, I
don't I love I think it's beautiful when women show
their bodies I think it's amazing when men show their bodies.
I think it's like you're you know, you have agency

(40:59):
over your body what you do with it. So I
have no problem with that. I personally don't feel comfortable.
I don't want to say ever, because I might tomorrow
I'll be like, you know what fun I'm gonna wear
a bathing suit on Instagram, but as of late, I don't.
I'm not a bikini selfie poster. I feel that, and

(41:19):
I think it's great when people do it, but I
do see that gets way more engagement than anything I post.
But then I'm like, well, you know, people want to
look at that kind of stuff. Maybe there's more people
that want to look at women that look amazing in
a bathing suit, are comfortable enough to show their bodies

(41:43):
more than seeing me play like turning my chemical romance
song into a country song acoustic. You know, I don't
know what the mainstream audience wants, but I can't focus
on that. You can't focus on that because social media,
like as big as it is, it doesn't account for
everybody in the world. It doesn't and it doesn't define

(42:06):
your success or your talent. How many likes you have yeah, exactly.
So I I've I see it. I pay attention to it.
Sometimes it gets to me, but most of the time,
I'll like be like, I'm want to look at my
feed and just see how it looks. And I'm like,
that looks like me. That looks like me. I'm a
I'm goofy. I'm an artist. I I am a musician.

(42:29):
I love my dogs, I love my boyfriend, I love
my family, I love my friends. That's what you're getting
on my page, You're not. I don't. Sometimes I'm like,
I love my makeup today. I opposed to selfie as
you should. That's completely self indulgent. And I lean into
that when I feel like it, you know, But my
page looks like me, and that's I have to I
do intentionally, Like I have to stick with that, you know,

(42:52):
because of the pressure. Oh absolutely. And I think something
I'm realizing as I'm getting older, being a girl, being
a young woman, being a woman, it's so hard. Yeah,
you have the interesting perspective of like country music that's
such a male dominated industry where so much of the
songs are so sexist. What was that like being a

(43:16):
woman in that industry and what was the biggest thing
you've learned about someone you don't want to be and
who you want to be moving forward. I think like
aligning myself with there are people in Nashville that are
like minded and like agree with a lot of the things.
You know, Oh, of course it's not everybody, it's not everybody.
So I've just aligned with the people that I know

(43:38):
are are working for change, and they're advocating for artists
of color, at anybody of color in the country realm. Like,
there's so many producers and songwriters that just don't get
the time of day. So like just just aligning with
those initiatives, aligning with those people that really want to
make that happen. Um no, and when to speak up

(44:00):
and when to step back, you know, all that stuff.
But like, I think the thing that I've struggled with
more than you know, the dudes that sing the songs
that objectify women, really was mainly just like my experience
with a country label, because there is this pressure put

(44:22):
on you to be digestible, to be um cute, um,
you know, don't like roll off the plane at six
am after you went on at four five am flight,
roll into the radio station without makeup, on, like you
better get ready in that airport bathroom, have the blonde
hair with the extensions. Yeah, yeah, all of that, Like

(44:44):
just you know, don't don't show your tattoos all the time,
like cover them up sometimes. I remember one, like one
promo shot, I caught them editing out my tattoo on
my arm and I was like, what are you gonna
how are how are you gonna explain it when I
go to people in person and they see a tattoo
and not in the picture. And also like I remember

(45:04):
that too from your audition, Like it was like very distinctive.
It's not like a little like little whatever, you know,
it's it's what is it by the way? Um? Well,
and and it's hand tattoo too, like you can't cover that.
But yeah, it's all music related. There's like it's harder
show I guess. Um there's a bird singing, which was
my first tattoo. That was my first one the day

(45:25):
after I turned eighteen. Um, this one is the This
is from the follow up boy tour I was on
where like when on on like a world tour for
a year basically eighteen which was amazing. Um. And then
this is from my great Grandpa. I would call him pappy,
but when I was too young to pronounce it, i'd
call him happy and Hey Monday. Well before we were

(45:48):
Hey Monday, we were Blake Um Blake showcase for Columbia
Records on my pappy's birthday and he had passed at
that point, but we got signed, so I was like, oh,
he's looking out for me, so like a happy face.
That's Blake and you had Blake Shelton. I know it
wasn't that weird. Blake's my middle name, so wait what,

(46:08):
I know it's like a cosmic thing. If you have
a kid, you should name it Blake, just to make
it even more full circle. No, I know that would
be that would make sense. Passity, thank you so much
for coming on my podcast. I know you're so busy.
I know you're writing, I know you're doing, but this
conversation just means so much. Thank you. Thanks for having

(46:31):
me and like being down to talk about some some
deep stuff. It was awesome. I'm like, you're so wise
for your age, Like I am still blown away that
you're what are you eighteen nineteen? Just for nineteen? Oh
my gosh, Yeah, You're gonna be just fine. Thank you
so much, Cassidy again for coming on this week's episode
of Let's Be Real Podcast. I hope you guys enjoyed it.

(46:52):
Subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already, and follow
me on Instagram and it's Sammy J. That's I T
S S A M M Y J A y E.
I love hearing your comments. DM me always if you
have any questions or if you just want to chat.
My d m s are open and I will see
you guys next week with another very special episode. Bye guys.
Yeah
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