Some performers have such an effect that they have the ability to make your jaw fully hit the floor and the hair on your arms stand up so straight that it is both grounding AND disorienting. Cassidy Catanzaro is one of those performers. Cassidy is a musician, writer, actor, and artist who was also once the front-woman of Antigone Rising. Known for her power and range, Cassidy is also a Grammy-nominated songwriter. This Saturday, August 24th, Cassidy joins her friend and colleague Robinson Treacher for a night of unbelievable sounds and vulnerable storytelling through music. Recently, Cassidy took some time out of her tour to chat with us about her work and her upcoming performance at GCA.
GCA: Hi there Cassidy, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us before your concert here with Robinson Treacher on August 24th. We are so thrilled to see you perform some of your music for us in Holyoke. How is your current tour going?
CC: I'm excited to be playing in Holyoke again. Been way too long! The tour has been awesome. I was in and out of the country all year long. But now have started to slow it down and get into my studio. Time for a new album!
GCA: You obviously have a lot of experience performing as a solo artist but also as the front-woman of Antigone Rising. Can you talk to us a bit about the difference and similarities between these two shows?
CC: Well, before it was a full rock show and now I'm more able to tell my stories. The show is intimate, more singing, less screaming over the band, haha! I do plenty of those old songs I wrote for AR though. I still love them, they're all about my life and will always be a part of me.
GCA: In addition to being a great vocalist and performer, we know you are a songwriter. What came first for you, singing or songwriting?
CC: Well thanks, haha. I started singing as soon as I was able to talk practically. So the songwriting had to wait until I had something to say I guess. Or maybe until I thought what I had to say was worth hearing. I started writing poetry when I was in my adolescent years and then the music followed somewhere in my teens.
GCA: What is the experience like to write words and music for another musician to perform?
CC: It's an honor. I've written for incredible artists with massive audiences. When an arena is singing your song word for word you realize it doesn't matter whose performing it. It's out there in the universe and I just feel lucky and excited. I also love hearing a singer make my songs their own. What a way to connect to another person. When you can give a vocalist a place to emote and get to that place of total release. Most times they do it better than I ever could.
GCA: As a woman in the music business, are there any anecdotes or words of wisdom you don't mind sharing with other women who are working on their music career?
CC: I try not to make too much of being female in the industry, but it can be tough. It's always been hard to be respected and put on an even playing field regardless of your accomplishments. You'll often be put behind the dude on the bill even if you're technically more successful. They'll use his photo to sell the show- unless your Taylor Swift or someone massive that is. Basic boring sexism. But you learn to let that stuff go and just do your gig.
I find it particularly hard now though with women getting traction or booked on festivals based on having a ton of Instagram followers. And then you find out it's because they shoot themselves ass and tits first. Then you get the girl who wants to post a thoughtful quote or wear clothes that don't make her look like a stripper and her social media is a third of the size and no one will book her even if she's great. It's hard to compete with that and my advice to women out there is DON'T. The more of us that don't do it hopefully the more of us won't have to. Sell your talent, your mind, your Voice with a capital V. I'm not saying don't be attractive or beautiful. But the way it stands now, those of us that would rather not show our asses are a bit SOL.
And yet....she persisted. ;)
GCA: What's your favorite tour memory or story?
CC: Touring with The Rolling Stones. That was a great Summer.
GCA: You will be sharing the evening with Robinson Treacher and I know the two of you are friends and colleagues, what drew you to each other and what are you looking forward to about sharing this night?
CC: He's an awesome songwriter and I really appreciate his dynamic performances. He gives so much. We're both entertainers and believe in good songwriting and telling our stories like it's the first time every night. I love sharing the stage with him.
GCA: What do you feel is the most important thing when performing a song?
GCA: What's next for you?
CC: New music!! I'm so psyched. I know this will be the defining solo album. I built a studio in my hometown and I'm in there every free minute I have with my partner Mark Minoogian. I'm loving life right now.
Don't miss Cassidy with Robinson Treacher on Saturday, August 24th at 8PM. Door are at 7PM. Purchase tickets here.
RSVP to the Facebook event here.
Learn more about Cassidy at her website.
See GCA's full list of upcoming shows here.