(By: Angela McLean)
We have a new artist for you to add to your radar – Vancouver-born songstress Cassidy Mackenzie. Releasing her debut single “Wish” today (Feb. 22), Mackenzie is already a star in the making, boasting a unique sound that blends together pop, electronic and R&B influences. The result is high-energy, radio-ready tracks that touch on love, loss and lust. If you like what you hear on “Wish,” keep an eye out for Mackenzie’s breakout EP ‘One Look,’ due this spring.
We caught up with Cassidy to get the inside scoop on finding the one, working with Carly Rae Jepsen’s producer and the song she’s most nervous for Grandma Mackenzie to hear.
Happy release day! How does it feel to be releasing your debut single?
I’m unbelievably excited about it. It’s kind of surreal too. I keep thinking about it being like, oh wow, this is happening!
What inspired “Wish” and how did you know it was the one to make your debut?
I recorded six songs in the summer and this was actually the last one. Ryan Stewart, the producer and co-writer, and I listened to it and we were like, holy crap. You could tell that this was the one. It’s about a really surreal moment that happened the night before we wrote it, so it was also in the moment and real and honest. It is a very special song.
Ryan has worked with stars like Carly Rae Jepsen and Bif Naked. What was the best piece of advice he gave you?
He is so cool about everything and said to go with your gut and trust yourself and the vibe that you want. The whole process that he took me through was super inspiring and a big lesson.
You’re studying music at Belmont University in Nashville. How has that helped prep you for where you are today, and where you hope to be in the future?
I’m in my third year right now and it’s been insane. I would not have been able to do what I did with Ryan if I hadn’t gone to Belmont because the classes I take like songwriting and music business have given me valuable information and skills. I highly recommend music school if you want to go into music.
What kind of artist do you want to be?
I want to be known as an honest artist, if that makes sense. I think everything that I have put out there and will be putting out there going forward, especially in the next year, is very 100 per cent true to who I am and I want to continue to do that throughout my career.
You’ve started working on your debut EP, ‘One Look.’ What can we expect from it, and when?
It’s definitely very similar to the vibe of “Wish.” It’s just a bunch of poppy, electronic songs that tell stories similar to “Wish” in the sense that they revolve around the theme of desire, relationships and heartbreak. You can expect that in the next 3-5 months.
Is there a particular song you’ve written that you’re most excited, or nervous, for people to hear?
There is a song that should be the second single coming out called “Practice Kiss.” It was one of those songs that I wrote—maybe my grandma shouldn’t hear this [laughs]—but it’s, next to “Wish,” my favourite song off the EP and it’s about being with someone while thinking about and being hooked on someone else. It was one of the more interesting topics that I’ve written about. I’m nervous to share it, but it was fun!
Let’s talk “wishes”! “Wish” musical collaboration?
There’s too many! I’d go with The 1975 or Taylor Swift.
“Wish” music video co-star?
Can I dream big? Avril Lavigne.
“Wish” artist to cover your song?
Ooh! I’d say Halsey. I love her.
Thank you, Cassidy. “Wish” is available on iTunes and all streaming platforms now.