Cassidy King has released her debut EP, Not So Picture Perfect, on October 23. The EP is a collection of writings inspired by the first person she ever fell in love with and the love triangle that ensued. The triangle started with Cassidy at one point, her love interest at another and the woman’s boyfriend the third. It created an unknown competition between two lovers that inevitably ended in heartbreak. She notes, “to this day I’m still not sure if I truly loved her or just loved the way she hurt me. She was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me but through her I learned that love is beautiful because it’s not perfect and maybe that was the point.”
No So Picture Perfect includes “Wasted”, “Safe Places”, “Abigail”, “When I’m Gone”, “Ashes” and “Polaroid.” The videos have been visually mesmerizing and present a visual metaphor of real life events.
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Not So Picture Perfect?
CK: Not so Picture Perfect was definitely the most emotionally challenging record for me so far. Where I come from being vulnerable is more equated to weakness than strength so I’ve definitely struggled with putting out a story that is so close and personal to me. It’s giving such a vulnerable piece of me to people, it’s about battling myself in a lot ways and the hard lessons I had to learn.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
CK: Most of the songs come from things that I write on the notes app for my phone. They’re normally one liners or poems that are quick descriptions on how I feel at the moment. I’ll even take a voice memo of me venting sometimes and turn that into a song later. By the time I get into the studio I have so many different types of ideas on my phone that it all happens really naturally. I personify the emotions I feel from situations to make them easier to understand and ultimately cope with.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about working with Tyc and Mike Tuccillo. How did you meet? What did each bring to the project?
CK: I feel really grateful. Ty and Mike both worked so incredibly hard and they both bring such a different feel to each song. We spent an average total of 8 hours for each song just on mixing alone over the phone. I met Tyler through a close friend of mine. Tyler only lives 5 minutes down the road from me so it was way too perfect. I met Mike through my manager Kevin. I trust Kevin a whole lot so I already knew so many great things about Mike before working with him prior. The first time I met Mike, he took us all to the best vegan restaurant I’ve ever been too so I knew he was a keeper right then and there. We recorded “Safe Places” at his studio in LA during November of 2019.
FEMMUSIC: I understand at one time you were considering a life in comedy. What made you decide to switch to music, and when did you know it was the right choice?
CK: I’ve always been drawn to self expression since doing theater in high school and have wanted to tell a story in whatever way I could. Music has been helping me tell that story in ways nothing else could and I know it’s right because it feels right. Life is always subject to change with the ways you see and express yourself and I’ll always be open to new ways of expression. As I grew, music ended up paving the way for me to say the words I needed to.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
CK: I feel like my answer to this question changes quite frequently. There’s j so many songs that I hold close to me for different reasons. One of them being “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit. That song was shown to me by my sister 12 years ago and that song still feels the same to me every time I hear it. It feels timeless. Another one I have to say is the “Girls like Girls” music video by Hayley Kiyoko. It was the first music video I ever saw portraying a love story with two girls and it really helped me be comfortable in expressing queer love stories through my own lens.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
CK: I wasn’t always accepted for who I wanted to be. I was raised in a very conservative area and was taught from a very young age to feel wrong for who I was. Walking into music, I still had a lot of unresolved internal battles that had caught up to me. Those battles made it difficult to get a hold of my identity because I was avoiding my sexuality and my feminine masculinity. I spent the first 20 years of my life trying to mold myself into what I thought the perfect “woman” looked like while knowing I was never going to be it. There was this certain box I thought I had to fit in and that whole idea had taken a huge toll on the music itself because I wasn’t being honest. I was so far removed from who I actually was but the only reason I overcame that situation was having to go through it. The hard way. I had to find self love in a place where it was unfamiliar and near nonexistent. It took time and patience. I had to learn myself before I loved myself. Sometimes you have to go through things like that. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have fought so hard to become who I am. I learned to love every piece of me because I had to fight so hard for it. That box I spent so much time trying to fit in to doesn’t even exist. There are so many different ways to feel beautiful as a woman and a big part of my beauty comes from my masculinity. Now matter how challenging it is, you should be allowed to feel beautiful in whatever way makes you most comfortable.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
CK: Definitely Hayley Williams. I feel like I could learn a lot from her even by just having a conversation.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
CK: I would love to see the physical image of an artist become less important in their musical journeys. So much depends on that nowadays and we’re losing touch with what makes music beautiful in the first place when we throw shame at our differences. Our vulnerability is our are strength, not our weakness
Last month Cassidy King released her single “Wasted.” Her previous singles include “Professional Smiler”, and “Polaroid.” King is an Ohio artist who is building an indie pop niche of her own.
“I’m always trying to be a better version of myself. I’m just Cassidy King. What you see is what you get. I try to show listeners vulnerability. They’re not alone. What they’re feeling is valid. I hope my music can be a voice for people when they need it. I want to help.”
Today she releases “Safe Places.”
“‘Safe Places’ was inspired by a poem I wrote about dating a girl who wasn’t fully ready to commit because she had a boyfriend. She was with us both at the same time and we had no idea. I was overwhelmed by the feeling of him taking credit for every smile that ran across her face. He was the human she could display and I was the being she was hiding. He was the shell, the face, and body but I was underneath the surface making her feel. To everyone in her world I was just a friend because our love always had to be hidden. The infatuation I craved by chasing a straight girl ended up turning into a love that tore me apart because I could never fully have her. I felt myself breaking more and more everyday because I kept hoping she would wake up one day and choose me but to this day she’s still with him.” https://www.instagram.com/cassidyyking/?hl=en