Sparta musician goes in a different direction with new album

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:55

SPARTA — There is a renewed optimism, and positive feel in the lyrics, vocals, and musical tracks in Sparta-bred artist known as Cassidy’s newest project, Bohéme, and her soon-to-be released album, Follow The Freedom. Cassidy had taken a hiatus from her musical career, to not only explore her other innate artistic gifts, but to regenerate her creative self. From there, she tapped back into her singing and songwriting, drawing out melodies, harmonies, and sounds from the early influences in her past. In addition to her renaissance in sound, Cassidy adopted the moniker Bohéme to commemorate this new chapter in her life. “Bohéme is the name I’m calling the project, Cassidy is my name,” she explained. “An actress takes movie roles and gets to reinvent herself. Here, I get to try a different genre or direction.” She likens the persona to her trek to distant places to pursue her love of the arts after life in Sparta. “I’m paying homage to the girl who was seeking out like-minded people.” Additionally, after she emerged onto the scene in the music business, the rapper Cassidy soon hit the charts, with the artists often mistaken for one another because of their same names. With Bohéme, there will be no mistaking the girl behind the voice. Once the lead singer of the popular female rock band Antigone Rising from 1999 through 2008, and then a solo artist, Cassidy took a break from it all and delved into painting, dancing, acting, writing (including a screenplay), traveling, and simply connecting with other artists. The revitalizing lull was also an opportunity, as Cassidy described, to “be a friend, be a daughter, and be a girlfriend”, and simply take the time to slow down and rediscover parts of her life which had been pushed aside in the midst of the shuffle during the last few hectic years of her career. “To get back on the musical path, I had to take the pressure off of the girl,” Cassidy said during the interview from Los Angeles, the city she now calls home. Within the acknowledgements of Follow The Freedom, she credits her brother for encouraging her to return to music. “To my brother Eugene who told me that I am a songwriter, that’s what I do, so do it already,” Cassidy wrote. And song writing is what she did, with the influences of her songs stemming from her Sparta days, before she hit the road to pursue her musical dreams in New York, Los Angeles, and London. “I needed to go back to the beginning, to who I was before the band,” Cassidy said. “And I found that girl was still very much there, and had been progressing the whole time. As soon as I started to be creative without having to prove anything, the songs started to come, and it was like the floodgates opened.” Her songs on the new album focus on the period of her life when she experienced fear, and uncertainty, and triumphed over both. The song titles are reflective of the emotional range of experiences, from “Follow The Freedom” to “Even The Mistakes” to “Thank You For Breaking My Heart”. Cassidy’s song, “Everything Sunshine” is featured on the American trailer, and ending credits of the film, Love’s Kitchen, starring Claire Forlani, and Dougray Scott. The style of the music on the album comes from the 1970s and 80s melodies, which Cassidy heard playing on the radio during her youth. “I always wrote these little blue-eyed soul ditties, like some cross between Minnie Riperton and Rickie Lee Jones, with some arena-rock sensibilities in the choruses,” said Cassidy. Cassidy hit the recording studio in Los Angeles, and to her surprise, Steve Perry from the group Journey was in her mixing bay. No stranger to sharing the stage with the likes of legendary musicians such as Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, and Rob Thomas, she said, “Before I knew it, he was there every day showing me tricks he used to get his voice to sound like that on his albums. Secrets I will take to my grave. He even came up with this cool idea for a backing vocal on “Follow The Freedom”. We threw a mic up and sang together.” Follow The Freedom will be released later this year; for more information and to sign up to be notified when the album hits the stores, go to Cassidy will be appearing on Voice of America in Washington, DC on Oct. 31, and on Good Day New York on Nov. 1. She and her band will perform the evening of Nov. 1 in New York City to benefit Housing Works, a non-profit that helps alleviate the crises of homelessness and AIDS. “Live From Home with Bohéme” will be held at 8 p.m. at the Bookstore Café, 126 Crosby Street in Soho. Tickets are $15 each, and can be purchased online through Cassidy’s Web site.