Hello Cassidy! Tell us about your upcoming debut album, ‘New Sensation’, and what listeners can expect from it.
I’m really excited for people to get their hands on my debut album, ‘New Sensation’. I’m very proud of this album and think it is a true representation of my life over the past 3 or 4 years. It feels very much like a diary to me as everything on it is authentically me. This album is 80’s inspired with a modern twist.
How have iconic female artists like Lzzy Hale and Joan Jett influenced your music and style?
I’ve been listening to artists like Lzzy Hale and Joan Jett practically since I was born. I was lucky enough to be raised on rock music as my father Steve Janevski (Wicked Smile) has been in rock bands his entire life. Halestorm was probably one of the first bands I fell in love with. I remember showing kids in my class the ‘Apocalyptic’ music video in year 7. I’m a huge fan of her as a front woman, she inspired me so much as a youngster. Joan Jett is someone that paved the way for so many women in rock, so I am forever in debt to her. I play a Joan Jett cover on tour this year. It’s one of my favourites and a lot of fun.
Can you share how meeting Paul Laine influenced your growth as an artist?
I am so grateful to have met Paul. He is a huge inspiration to me as an artist and also as a person. I have always been a fan of Danger Danger and now The Defiants. Paul is one of those people that is just a freak of nature. I feel really lucky to have had him mentor me in my career. When Paul and I met I was 11 or 12 years old. I am now 20 and I feel like he has seen me grow up. He has taught me so much in singing and songwriting but also in overall life lessons. Paul’s had a massive impact on not only my growth as an artist but on my life in general. He’s one of those lifelong friends now, which is a pretty cool thing to be able to say.
How does music empower individuals and raise awareness about social issues like bullying?
The power of music is incredible. Sometimes I like to think about how you associate certain songs to particular events in your life. I remember so many pivotal moments in my life through music (as do most people). For me as a songwriter, I also have the luxury of being able to write a song about those events. I’ve dealt with bullying first hand, so this cause is extremely important to me. It was a lifeline for me at that time. I felt like no one understood me, so music was what I turned to. I think a lot of people share that feeling when they’re going through things.
What reactions have you received from students during anti-bullying performances?
When I’ve spoken in schools previously about my experience with bullying, the response has been overwhelming. I’ve had so many kids approach me to tell me their stories. I find that so special, that through me sharing my experience, people feel that they can connect with me on a deeper level by sharing theirs. Alternatively, people in my high school began to do a 360 when they heard about my experiences. I had some of the people who I would describe to BE the bullies approach me and try to express their sympathies which I found quite comical.
Tell us about your involvement with ‘Metalheads Against Bullying’ and its impact.
Metalheads Against Bullying is an organisation doing amazing things for people all over the world. I was thrilled to have been given a platform in which I could share my story with others who had been through similar things. The sad thing about bullying is that it doesn’t stop at high school. It continues into adulthood. It’s sad really that people feel that it is important to ridicule people in this day and age. With the addition of social media now, it’s hard for some people to escape it. Metalheads Against Bullying is really important as it provides people with a sense of community and family. People are able to feel at home being a part of that organisation and that’s what I really love about it. What I wish for is that hopefully one day the cruel people in the world look to change their ways and lead a happier, healthier lifestyle. It’s better for us all.
How have international experiences shaped your perspective on music and your connection with your audience?
Performing internationally has really blown my mind. Being only 20 and having been to many places around the world to do what I love is just crazy to me. I am so blessed to be able to do what I love every day and to have people support me in any way, shape or form is a privilege. Meeting people around the world who connect to the music I write is one of my favourite things to do in the world. I can’t wait to continue to do that with my debut record.
How does being endorsed by Fender influence your sound, and why is it important to you?
Fender rocks! I have been a HUGE fan of the brand essentially my entire life. My first electric guitar my dad bought me as a kindergartener was a Squier. I feel so grateful to be endorsed by such a powerful brand in the industry. So many of the greats that influenced me have been endorsed by Fender and that’s a pretty awesome thing to think about. The family at Fender have been awesome to me. I will always be a Fender girl.
How involved are you in the creative process of your music videos, and what do you aim to convey through them?
I am very involved, thankfully. I feel very lucky that both the record company and my videography team on the music videos have been very supportive of my visions for the clips. Sometimes I have a specific vision for the clip when I’m writing the song (this happened with ‘Danger’). Other times, it’s something that I really have to think about in a bit more depth. I am really excited about the music videos that are going to be released alongside the album. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into them. I think they’re the best one’s yet.
Share a memorable onstage experience or lesson learned from performing with established musicians.
I really feel privileged to have performed with so many world class musicians. Performing with Danny Cecati of Wicked Smile is always a pleasure. I remember getting up on stage together to sing a crowd favourite (‘Stronger’, off Wicked Smile’s debut album) at our first festival in the UK last year. We played to a packed-out room. I remember looking at him and just smiling from ear to ear. That was really an incredible moment for both bands. To be beside Danny, Dave (the guitarist in the Cassidy Paris band) and my Dad was a surreal experience.
Share a memorable or unexpected experience from your international travels.
There are so many, haha! Unexpected is definitely when fans go out of their way to do anything super kind or generous. Last year in the UK we had people baking us cupcakes, giving us presents, asking us to sign Instagram posts they had printed out themselves… some absolutely awesome stuff that I just never imagined. I don’t really like to refer to people as our fans because I think of them more as our family… and it’s because they are just so unbelievably awesome to us.
What does the ‘new sensation’ you represent in the rock music scene mean to you?
New Sensation has a few meanings (it’s what I liked about the album title). I was thinking about that feeling that you get when you meet someone for the first time. Whether it’s that instant spark, connection or some sort of feeling of attraction. The other meaning is linked to the new generation of rockers. I think it’s important for people to get behind the next generation of rock music, so I really wanted this album title to put forward that message to audiences.
How can technology and social media positively inspire young talents to play instruments?
Technology plays a huge role in this. I am so inspired by some of the musicians I discover online. There are so many different social media platforms that music can exist on. I remember it inspiring me to want to pursue a career in music just a few years ago. That aspect of social media really excites me for the future.
What sets your music apart, and how do you plan to evolve your sound while staying true to your roots?
I would describe my music as 80’s infused with a modern spin. I think this sets me apart from others in the scene as there’s not a lot of young artists doing this. I hope to pave the way for other artists. What is important to remember is that I am inspired by all these artists I grew up with, but I do not want to be them. I grew up listening to these bands, I idolised them. I learnt so much from them. I want to be the first ‘Cassidy’. To out my own spin on things! Something different in the scene. Something never done before.
What are your goals and dream collaborations as a musician in the coming years?
My goal is to inspire a new generation of rockers. I think my music has the ability to ignite something new within people. I can’t wait for people to hear this new record. We have all worked SO damn hard on it. It feels like a part of me is going out to the world… and I’m proud of that. I have so many dream collaborations… hopefully in the future I get to see them through. I’ll keep those one’s a secret because I heard if you make a wish and tell someone it won’t come true 🙂
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