Cassandra’s “Drinking Games” is About Avoiding Careless, Thoughtless Relationships
“2020 has motivated me to never wait on my dreams. My passion for creating has never been stronger and I am excited to continue motivating myself to create better, deeper song topics, while pushing the limits of pop vocals.”
CASSANDRA is an artist bringing a new perspective to the pop music scene. Using lyrical depth and melodic intrigue, her mission as an artist is to inspire others to find their inner fire and motivation while staying true to their own values. With strong vocals and a range that spans over four octaves, she is determined to stretch the limits of pop music. Throughout her life, she has been involved in many genres of music and currently studies classical vocal performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts.
“Every city I’ve lived in has taught me something about myself and the world around me.” Born in Rockville, Maryland, growing up in Duluth, Georgia, on to Binghamton, New York, for middle and high school, to settling in Jacksonville, Florida, with your family. Did music help you adjust to each new place?
Absolutely! Staying busy with my music, academics, and athletics helped me adjust to each new city because I didn’t have time to focus on the awkward adjustments that come with being the “new kid.” I also found friends in music and sports, so I was able to find communities around me wherever I went.
You shared that every song you create will include heart, value, and family in it. How has your family, including your musically talented mom, influenced your decision to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter?
My family is the most supportive and motivating force in my life. Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe my emotions when I speak of my family! They know how much music means to me and makes me feel alive, so they encourage me to follow this career because of that. They often say the phrase, “Feed the passion.” As long as they see my undying love and desire to pursue music, they continue to encourage and support me. They’ve celebrated every win and mourned every loss with me. It warms my heart to know that my family is the foundation of my support group and is behind me as I pursue this career.
Never Stop Dreamin' (feat. Evangelos) - Single by Cassie Pinataro
Listen to Never Stop Dreamin' (feat. Evangelos) - Single by Cassie Pinataro on Apple Music. Stream songs including…
At age 12 you started classical voice lessons. In 2014, the following year, you released “Never Stop Dreamin’,” your first pop single. That year the top female pop songs on Billboard included Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” feat. Juicy J, Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” feat. Charli XCX, Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” and Ariana Grande’s “Problem” feat. Iggy Azalea. Who are your top female inspirational musicians of all time?
My top female inspirations are Ariana Grande, Carrie Underwood, Dua Lipa, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga in no particular order. I find that these women not only have beautiful, powerful voices, but they radiate the strength, energy, and creativity that inspires me. I hope to learn from them and be a similar role model for younger girls as I grow into this career.
I find that training my voice classically helps give me a fully developed instrument. I want to sing well and sing well for a long time. Studying classical voice has given me the opportunity to understand the anatomy of my voice in a way that allows me to sing all genres with the optimal longevity in each one. My teacher, Lisa Saffer, at the New England Conservatory has helped me reach new heights with my classical singing and is incredibly supportive of my pop career!
Read you are also taking pre-med courses at Tufts University in your free time. How has working as a medical researcher led you to wanting to create innovative ways to treat burn victims?
Unfortunately, the pandemic has made it such that I could not remotely continue my studies at Tufts, but I am grateful to be continuing medical research. Burn victims can suffer unbelievable, life-altering wounds. I’ve met some of these survivors and I’m inspired by their resilience and courage. Helping them find a better quality of life is what motivates me. It stems from the same values as my music, in that I want people to be inspired to regain their happiest life, and I hope that my actions in life can encourage that. Working under Dr. Sigrid Blome-Eberwein, I’m excited to continue presenting my research at medical conferences such as the North American Burn Society and the Northeast Region Burn Conference.
“I want fans to feel inspired by who they truly want to be. I hope to be a strong, unifying influence that encourages people to look inside at what they want to be in life.” Encouraging others to find their happiest selves without being influenced by the media. What are some ways to reduce the effects of media on your life?
So many online personalities appear to have perfect, happy lives in media. Many in the social media audience are convinced that the online person’s exaggerated way of life is the key to happiness, but that’s not reality. Some of the online personalities have worked for years to achieve the reality that they are sharing in small snapshots. Others have created a “reality tv” scripted version of their lives. Neither presents a realistic vision of what each audience member can expect from real life. So, to be truly happy you have to take social media with a grain of salt and focus on the real people and relationships in your life above all.
You love to play tennis and were nationally ranked at one point. How has playing sports helped you as a musician?
Playing sports parallels playing music in many ways. To me, the tennis court is a stage, and every match is a two-hour performance in which I have to unify strategy, tactics, physical performance, and my mental game. These are the same things I have to do when I perform music on stage, and I’m hoping those twelve years of experience will help me deliver exciting musical performances.
Following your heart and staying true to your values. “Doors open and close all the time, but if you’re not looking for a door, you’ll never see one.” What are some of the greatest obstacles that artists face at the start of their careers?
New, independent artists face many obstacles, but some of the most difficult problems stem from knowledge and contacts. I started this journey not knowing much about the music business and feeling that I had no pop-music friends or peers in my life since I had been following classical voice for years. Fortunately, one of my songwriters, Bryan Ruby, was a close college friend of my brother’s and I also began cold-calling people to work together. This helped me expand my network of musicians quite quickly. Between this and studying the music business in my own time using Rick Barker’s podcast and advice from experts such as Evan Price, I have become a more informed musician and can confidently say that I have a team of writers, producers, and PR agents working with me at this time. Perseverance and determination to create opportunities for myself helped create this and I’m excited to expand my team and knowledge of the industry.
During quarantine you discovered your passion for writing pop music. In the past few months, you have released two new songs, “Wicked Ways” and “Drinking Games.” How do these songs showcase your own inner security to help empower others to find theirs?
“Wicked Ways” was an artistic statement about the glorified image of being heartless in order to feel powerful in love. In my opinion, treating love like this creates an emptiness inside that makes it harder to truly love, and real love is empowering.
“Drinking Games” is about avoiding careless, thoughtless relationships. Having the inner strength and self-love to know you’ll be better off on your own than to getting into a relationship that doesn’t match your values will empower you. Both songs shine a light on the idea that choosing real, stable relationships will make you a happier person.
What can fans expect in your next releases later this year?
My EP, Made for Me, will release over the next two months followed by a fun summer dance-pop EP! These EPs will continue to explore the idea of finding real relationships and finding true happiness. I’m excited to work on my sound and create empowering music for others.
Until then, any new recipes to share?
Yes! I’m sharing my newest recipe in my February mailing list which you can sign up for in my website.
Home page of CASSANDRA, a pop artist from Jacksonville. Cassandra is an artist bringing a new perspective to the pop…