By Nicole Mitchell
Cassie Taylor has been a musician for all of her life—touring as a bassist with her father, Otis Taylor, from when she was 16. Stepping away from the spotlight in 2015 after the birth of her child, Taylor spent her time creating in other ways. She’s currently a full-time photographer and creative in Kansas City. But this weekend, March 5 and 6, she’ll be stepping on the stage once again.
Taylor has been working on new music for the past few years. Compared to her older music—such as her 2013 album Out Of My Mind—her music now is quite different. “When I produced my album in 2012, it was a product of the industry at the time,” she said. “The way that you made albums was to tour them. I really stripped them down and focused on the core. Production-wise it’s a lot different.”
Taylor describes her new music, which she plans to perform at her upcoming concert, as more artistic. “It’s not necessarily meant to be consumed live,” she said. “It’s meant to be a listening experience. It’s meant to capture some of my thoughts and feelings and to be an outlet.” She goes on to explain that her new music is more representative for who she is as an artist and less as a commodity.
It wasn’t until after the insurrection on January 6, 2021 that Taylor started working on new music. “A big part of it was that I was crying every day,” she explained. “I needed an outlet and a release, and it was great to be able to reach out to other studio musicians and say, ‘Hey, do you want to collaborate on this?’”
Taylor mentioned that her song titled “As Seen on TV” is a reflection of where we are as a society today and how our media is consumed. “There is a verse about Trump and how he is a rapist and a mother fucker,” she said. Writing about topics like Trump and the insurrection on her new album helped Taylor save herself from depression.
While politics and social commentary are a big inspiration for some of Taylor’s newest music, that’s not all that has inspired her to create. “I went to a local record store last week and remembered how much I love and resonate to soul music from the 60s and 70s,” she said. “This next track of songs is definitely a lot funkier; it’s a lot more soulful.”
As a daughter of a blues musician, Taylor hesitates to say that she’s completely leaving that style in her past. “I hate to say that I’m stepping away from blues because it’s the foundation for all American music, but it’s definitely going a little bit further from the 145,” she said.
Despite talking about emotional topics in her newest record, Taylor hopes that her new music is something fun for listeners, too. “Music can be the universal unifier in a way, where we can pour our emotions and soul into it, and we feel less isolated in a way because someone else relates to it, but it can also sometimes be ‘Get drunk’,” she said. “I love the duality of that in music.”
As for releasing her music, Taylor said that streaming platforms—such as Spotify and Apple Music—are a big factor as to why she’s returning. “The pandemic taught me a lot of lessons and now I’m excited to return to music on my own terms,” she said. “I’m so excited to use this technology to create meaningful music and reconnect with my fans.”
The in-person concert will be intimate, with no more than 15 people in the studio at a time. The livestream will be hooked up to the soundboard to create a clear sound for those viewing online. “I grew up in the studio, and I often take that for granted,” she said. “It’ll be an awesome sneak peak into how that happens.”
Fans can expect Taylor’s new album to come out in mid-2022, with hopes of a tour following shortly after. Those interested in attending the show can purchase tickets online for an in-person or virtual livestream performance here.
Nicole Mitchell (she/they) is a writer and social media manager who graduated December 2020 with a degree in strategic communication. A few of her favorite things include cuddling with cats, listening to Bon Iver, making lattes, and running her book club (even though sometimes she forgets to read the books.)