This Toronto pop singer's latest single cautions listeners to think before they judge.
Toronto-based musician Cassidy Taylor writes soulful, heart-wrenching pop songs- evoking folk, bubblegum pop and indie styles. Describing her sound as underground pop, the singer-songwriter borrowed from her influences to produce "Pretty", a single about jealousy, insecurity, and putting on false fronts.
"My current major influences include Bleachers, Lorde, and Taylor Swift to name a few," said Taylor. "Bleachers was a big influence on “Pretty” because of the anthemic elements and high energy in his records."
"Pretty" was written in August of 2020.
“It was really only written in a few days," said Taylor. "Once my producer, Yanni Caldas and I brought it to the studio, the basic ideas and major elements: instrumental hooks, drums, and synth parts were all there after one night. After that it was only refining and recording vocals that needed to be done. The only vocal part I wrote in the studio with Yanni was the bridge, but all of the other lyrics had been written on acoustic guitar prior to meeting with him. The song was done a couple of months before we released it."
Taylor and Caldas recorded and produced the single together.
"The song is in a sweet spot for me as a singer, so getting these vocals recorded was super fun," said Taylor. "I record all of my vocals with him and the most exciting part is always the challenge. Yanni pushes the limits in terms of what emotional performance he can bring out of me. We have this joke where after a good take he’ll ask me, “Can you beat that?”, and it brings out my competitive side. Most of the time, I end up doing something I didn’t even know I was capable of.
Though, in recording the vocals we had the toughest time with the chorus. There were some doubles that were almost “rapped” or “spoken” on top of the lead- and because I don’t rap, this was fun and different, but challenging to get right."
The musician's latest single exposes the real-life struggles hidden behind the often filtered, unrealistic portrayals we provide of ourselves.
"I knew I wanted to write the song about a girl who everyone else wants to be, but really, she’s suffering on the inside," said Taylor. "This story was based on a girl I knew way back in middle school, though it’s also gathered some influence from the concept of social media- the idea of presenting the best aspects of your life to the world but keeping the dark parts unseen."
Taylor's childhood memories reflect on her songwriting traits.
"When I was experiencing this personally back when I was a kid, it felt like I was watching it all happen from the outside, almost just observing, which led to the narrative quality in the lyrics."
"Pretty" comes with a message- Taylor wants her audience to cast an empathetic eye on the lives of those they deem 'perfect'.
"My hope is that it makes people think before they judge," said Taylor. "There’s so much you don’t know about a person at first glance, and I think a lot of people forget that and judge based on what they can see."
You can help support Cassidy Taylor by streaming her music. watching her music videos, following her socials, or by donating to her Bandcamp.
(Postponed due to COVID-19.)