What a difference a week away makes! Not only for my own peace of mind and well-being, but for the events and happenings in our area. We are now in wonderful Stage Three, folks, and openings, live music, concerts, shows, and fun are sprouting up everywhere as we try and make up for the time lost to the pandemic shutdowns.
The library is open, the Orillia Museum of Art and History is open, stores and galleries are open with no capacity restrictions as long as people can maintain physical distancing, restaurants are open for in-person dining…is this really real? Yes it is, so get out and enjoy it in this beautiful summery weather.
Also open, St. James’ Anglican Church on Peter Street North downtown has a collection of Indigenous art that you will enjoy exploring. Daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. from July 22 to Aug. 14, you can enter through the main doors and enjoy a special private collection of Indigenous art in the main church area. A freewill offering is gratefully accepted.
Of course, See You on the Patio continues each Friday and Saturday night, with live entertainment and music, Friday Art Walks, and, this Friday, a special Night Market at the Downtown Farmers’ Market location beside the library.
Speaking of live music, Orillia native, musician Cassie Dasilva, has a new EP, “Enough”, coming out this Friday and I got to hear all about it in a special interview earlier this week. Check it out!
OM: What’s it like being from Orillia? is there hometown support…and how did you get from Orillia to recording and being noticed by Universal?
CD: I worked my way into Orillia’s small but mighty songwriter/folk music community back when I was in high school playing small open mics and gigs around town. Orillia has such a vibrant arts scene, and it was crucial for me to have that community and encouragement from such a young age.
Though I’m now a pop artist, I definitely have Orillia to thank for my singer songwriter roots!
After high school I moved to Vancouver for recording school, after which I worked various production jobs, busked around the city, and gigged out there until moving back home.
Shortly after my move back to Ontario, I ended up at an industry jam night in Toronto, which led to my first label deal, a couple song releases in 2018, and ended in a parting of ways.
I’m now releasing music independently and living back in Orillia, and it’s been the most freeing, creative, exciting time for me as an artist. It feels like a full circle moment being back here and releasing my first EP independently, and I’m thankful to have such an amazing community of people here to draw from creatively.
OM: Can you give us a few words about the new EP, inspirations, the idea behind it, how you feel about it, and next steps?
CD: “Enough” is autobiographical, focusing on relationships. Most of the songs are about dealing with a breakup and the aftermath of heartbreak in a fairly pointed way, but then there’s a surprise love song at the end.
I think that might seem confusing to some, but since emotions aren’t linear, I didn’t want to constrain the project to being solely about a breakup. I explored heartbreak, hurt feelings, and unanswered questions, while completely happy and in love with someone new. I thought it was important that both ends of the spectrum coexisted on this project, because that’s how I’ve experienced things.
Prior to this EP, I’d only been afforded the opportunity to work with male collaborators, so I knew going into this project that I wanted to work with more females. I was striving to reach a place of vulnerability that I really only felt comfortable exploring with people who could share my perspective.
I used only female producers—Hill Kourkoutis and Robyn Dell’Unto—and worked with as many females as I could in every aspect of the project (every music video so far has been 100% female and non-binary-made).
I’m thrilled that I finally get to share this project with everyone! It’s been a labour of love and is my proudest accomplishment to date.
OM: And finally, of course, the question of the moment, how has COVID-19 impacted you? Did it delay things, or give you time to hone your craft at home?
CD: A mix of both! I finished recording this EP at the end of 2019, and had originally planned to release this project MUCH earlier, but of course, so much was delayed and my plans had to be rearranged.
It was frustrating at the time, but now I’m so glad that I had this extra time to really home in on the creative side of things, shoot music videos I’m really proud of, and just sit with the project.
Releasing an EP (albeit my first) during a pandemic isn’t the most ideal situation, but through my single releases this year, it’s been really neat to see how it’s giving some of my new listeners something to get excited about and something to help them escape from all of the craziness we’ve been dealing with.
OM: Thanks so much, Cassie. Is there anything you would like to add?
CD: I hope anyone reading this checks out the EP, and if you like it, make sure you follow me on socials and on whatever streaming platform you use. I’m only just getting started, and a little love and support goes such a long way for independent artists like myself! Thank you so much for the questions!
You can follow Cassie Dasilva at Twitter: @cassiedasilva; Facebook: /cassiedasilvamusic; Instagram: @cassiedasilva; TikTok: @cassiedasilva and through her website: www.cassiedasilva.com.
Look for her new EP, “Enough”, through all streaming platforms this Friday.
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