CMW - Country Music Week

Interview: Cassadee Pope talks New Album, Dressing up as Khaleesi, her Puppy and more

Cassadee Pope being interviewed by Hannah Compton (Building Our Own Nashville) at London’s Bush Hall. Photo Credit: Ruby Gaunt.

Cassadee Pope is one of the UK’s favourite country artists and to a point that I don’t think she really realises just how much we love her music here. Having made her solo debut in the UK during an industry showcase with The Shires, Cassadee returned to the UK to be a part of C2C Festival 2017 and we have missed her ever since. We were so glad when Cassadee was announced to be part of Country Music Week. Having just released her singles Take You Home and One More Red Light, we were itching to hear these songs live and to possibly hear some new ones as well as some off her fantastic debut album Frame by Frame.

Cassadee played during the Sunday daytime hub event during Country Music Week as well as joining Jimmie Allen, Eric Paslay and Lee Miller on stage at Bush Hall as part of the Bluebird Café sessions.

We caught up with Cassadee just before her show at Bush Hall. As always, Cassadee was so much fun to talk with. A really lovely woman, Cassadee is as beautiful a person as she is a singer.


Cassadee Pope being interviewed by Hannah Compton (Building Our Own Nashville) at London’s Bush Hall. Photo Credit: Ruby Gaunt.

Hi Cassadee – Welcome back to the UK.

Thank you. I love it here so much; it’s so fun and the fans are just so lively and appreciate it when you visit, so you feel the love.

Last time you were here was for C2C Festival last year.

Yeah, that was the last time that I came over for work so it has been a while.

Last time I actually saw you though was at Black Deer Festival, how was that?

Yeah it was good. I was just there to support Sam (Palladio) and he wanted to pull me up on stage and sing a couple of songs with him. It was fun, it was the first time they put the festival on and it was incredible. It was nice, it was fun, it was clean, beautiful grounds.

And clean toilets..

Yeah, who would have thought? and at a festival it is rare.

So what prompted this visit?

Well I guess it was just time to come over. I had got some offers to play a few acoustic shows and it is right around the time that I am promoting my single One More Red Light and I am currently finishing up the album so it was a great time to come over.

Tell us about that single…

I actually wrote it about two years ago with some friends in my living room of old my apartment in Nashville. It was an idea I came up with because I just love the beginning stages of love you know? It is fun to get to know each other and have that feeling when the dates going well and you don’t want the night to end. I really wanted to write a song about that. The only version I had before the recorded version was a work tape that one of my co-writers sang on because I had to leave. We wrote the song and then I was like “I’ve got to go, just lock the door on your way out, I have no time to sing the demo”. It was actually my friend Emily Shackleton singing on the demo. We then brought it to the studio and the rest is history.

It is very country sounding. Speaking of; You started off with Hey Monday so even though you have been in country now for many years, what was it like to have that leap of genre change when Hey Monday was more rock? Was it the direction you always wanted to take?

Yeah! I grew up singing country music, a lot of people don’t know that. I would cover Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood so I had that in my roots. Going from Rock to Country was pretty easy. The songs that I was writing in Hey Monday was still telling stories. I had to adapt a little lyrically because some of my stuff was a little too abstract for country music but once I reeled it in and made it a little easier to understand if felt that this is where I belonged, it felt great.

How did the Hey Monday fans take to the change?

I am sure I lost some.

Oh but you gained more

I gained more exactly! It’s a really big accomplishment when I get a fan saying “I didn’t listen to country music until you went country and now I listen” so it feels really good to convert fans and open their minds a little bit because country music is super progressive now; its got a lot of different sounds and something for everybody.

You said you are working on a new album, are we allowed to know any details?

Erm, yeah. It will be ten songs; Take You Home and One More Red Light will definitely be on it. There will also be a third single that comes out with the album. All of the songs are just really personal. It is crazy not having a label or anything because literally I write a song, I want it to be on the record so I put it on and it will come out. There is no watering down, nobody in the way. It is going to be a very bold and revealing album. I will be a little nervous to put it out but also empowered.

We love creative freedom, that way we know it’s you.

Yeah, exactly!

It has been quite a long gap between the two albums so how has the time off been? You have released EP’s and a single but has it ultimately given you more time to prepare for this album?

Yeah! Last year really was a very transitional year for me. I came off the label, the publishing and management and everything but I also went through a big break up. It was a really crazy year for me and I wrote all about it and its all been documented – everyone will know my journey much more through the songs. I just needed to step away and use music as my therapy.

How was being Kahleesi for the night? (Cassadee dressed as Khaleesi from Game of Thrones for a special on the show Pickler and Ben.)

Oh my gosh it was so cool. Oh my gosh. It puts all of my other halloween costumes to shame. The guy, the hair guy made the wig from scratch -He is a drag queen so he totally knows what he is doing. Khaleesi was one of the options on the paper. They said “We are doing the halloween episode with you and you have to choose between all of these” and I was like Khalisee. It is my dream come true to become mother of dragons.

Tell us about your puppy….

Oh my puppy, my little baby is a bundle of joy. I love him so much, he is the perfect size, he is so cuddly. He is unamused constantly like his face doesn’t really change because he has got that french bulldog frown but he is really sweet and he gets on really well with Sam’s dog which is a huge plus.

Isn’t that how you met, dog walking?

It was kind of like what broke the ice. Sam was very slick and said “We should take our dogs to the dog park together” and I was like “Ok” and that was like our first hang.

So are you going to make the UK a regular stop now and if so what is on your bucket list venues?

Well we passed it last night so Wembley Stadium, that is a very very high goal.

Well maybe we will have a country music festival there one day..

Yeah, that would be amazing.

Is C2C on the cards next year?

No sadly it’s not. I am doing a great tour in the states but I am working on something really cool here and hopefully it works out.

Being with Sam though will hopefully see you coming over more often?

It has so far yeah! I was just here a few months ago at Bush Hall for one of his shows with Striking Matches which was great. I might be visiting him in Cornwall with his family.

Have you been to Cornwall yet?

I have

It’s lovely isn’t it?

Oh I loved it. It is so cool because we both grew up in beach towns, so we’re both kind of that kind of person that needs to be by the water. Culturally it so much older here and it is a lot more historical but both beach kids.

The beach in Cornwall is so different from other UK beaches, it is almost tropical.

It is almost tropical until you stick your foot in it and then it’s awful.

Thanks so much for chatting today, we are so excited for the new album and a return trip to the UK soon.

Thank you!

Cassadee Pope being interviewed by Hannah Compton (Building Our Own Nashville) at London’s Bush Hall. Photo Credit: Ruby Gaunt.

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