Mohawk College Music: Cassidy Cummings
The country-pop singer is travelling to Nashville to pursue her dream of making it on the radio.
Cassidy Cummings accidentally found music.
"I actually first started in- you know how in elementary school they make you take choir? I had my third-grade choir, and my teacher had actually mentioned to my parents that I had a really great voice and that I should pursue singing if I like it," said Cassidy. "So I got into lessons, then eventually I started playing instruments and songwriting, doing the whole thing, and I ended up realizing that music is what I wanted to do."
Although pursuing the art as her career, the singer-songwriter grew up in an unmusical family.
"I actually have a very non-musical family," said Cassidy. "My family always jokes like, "We don't know where you got this from". My Grandpa though, he can play the harmonica pretty well. He's a farmer, so I get the country side from him. My uncle is a self-taught guitarist, but no one is musical like me at all, definitely not in my immediate family. They try, but it's not their thing."
Cassidy is heavily inspired by the women of country.
"I really like Kacey Musgraves. She's been around for a while but she's starting to get pretty big. She brings the traditional sound in a new and fresh way, and she's a really talented songwriter. I also love Chris Stapleton, he's amazing. He was a songwriter for 20 years or something before he started creating his own stuff," said Cassidy. "I love Maren Morris too, she's more of a pop-country artist, she's got a great voice. She's really out there, kind of unapologetic, it sets her apart from everyone else. Of course, Shania Twain. Can't go wrong with her. I'm really into the women in country, because there aren't many of them."
The Mohawk College graduate is a year out of the three-year contemporary vocal program.
"I graduated from Mohawk last year," said Cassidy. "Here it's quite the mix, there's the producing side, the performing side, the theory side, stuff like that. I took it all- I'm a country-pop artist and a singer-songwriter. I specialize in the writing, making my own music, and being the vocalist."
Cassidy chose Mohawk College because of their variety.
"I chose Mohawk because a lot of the other programs are jazz based. I do sing jazz, but I'm a country-pop artist. If I chose to go to another school, I wouldn't have the flexibility to do what I actually want to do. Here it's a little bit more open- they have the bluegrass ensemble, they have the country ensemble, they have a bigger variety," said Cassidy.
"I sing more than country, like blue-grass and R&B, but country is really where my heart is."
"I think going to school is a really great way to network and make connections," said Cassidy. "This is where my band came from. This is where I met my bassist, my drummer, my guitarist, it's a great way to find people that you love playing with. Besides that, I think it's what you put into it. No professor is going to force you to go out and find gigs or make connections."
Although new to the city, Cassidy is impressed with Hamilton's music scene.
"I feel that Hamilton is really changing into a very arts forward city," said Cassidy. "A lot of the venues seem to really support and promote local musicians. I find that the bands are also super supportive of each other, like if one has a gig they'll be like, "Hey, do you wanna be on this bill with me?" Or, "Do you wanna open for me?" Everyone is super supportive."
Cassidy hopes to someday hear herself on the radio.
"I want to be able to make a living off of music and be able to create my music and have it- my biggest goal is to be on the radio," said Cassidy.
"I just really want to be able to say my vision, and have other people relate to what I do. When you listen to a song, you relate to those feelings and emotions, and find comfort in thinking, "Hey, that person is feeling the way I'm feeling." I want to be able to do that for other people because I know what that feels like."
"I go under my name, like Kacey Musgraves or Maren Morris," said Cassidy. "I have a band, but we perform and record under my name. Right now we're in the works on recording some of my original stuff, like some singles and probably an EP after that. It's exciting!"
Cassidy is working on expanding her discography.
"Right now, I only have some demos out," said Cassidy. "Personally, I don't like to release anything that isn't completely produced and career-ready. It's a little hard around here because there aren't as many pedal steel players or country guitarists, so I have to find the right fit. I'm planning on taking some trips to Nashville to network and find similar artists to myself."
Mar. 29th 2019 w/ The Naires, @ The Doors Pub, 56 Hess St S, Hamilton, ON