Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: CALVYN CASS

Offering a narrative on the universality of internal struggles, the singer unveils his new track.

New Noise Calvyn Cass Silver Lips Black Jacket

Photography by Cheyenne Shamei

New Noise Calvyn Cass Silver Lips Black Jacket
Photography by Cheyenne Shamei

We have all been through those intense emotional breakdowns. And, even while surrounded by friends and family, they can feel isolating and world-shattering. Well, singer Calvyn Cass is here to let you know that you are not alone with his new track “White Flag”. Featuring a production-heavy bass, the singer manipulates his vocals to offer a true reflection of the highs and lows of emotional torment. Ranging from monotone to emotive, the song takes us on an introspective journey through the singer’s personal experiences that he shares in the hopes of allowing listeners to relate to him, all the while referencing back to the pop genre – which he cites as his biggest inspiration.

“Even in the darkness they aren’t alone,” explains Cass when asked what message he was trying to convey to those who hear his song. “Stuff will always happen that will make you, me and them feel like no one will understand and life is against them. I want them to hear the song and remember their quiet battles don’t have to be fought alone. There are people in their corner waiting to catch them when they fall and love them more than they realise.

Accompanying the soul-baring tune comes its avant-garde visuals. While Cass is wrapped up in a heavenly white ensemble and a pearl necklace we hear the introduction play, but, much like the song, we are then transported to an alternate world, one in which the singer is clad in a PVC bodysuit and a spiked-red collar as the intense sounds of the chorus set in.

Having acknowledged the feeling of being different from an early age, it is clear that Cass has always been destined to channel his individuality into the creative and impactful work that he does. And, with the events of the pandemic inspiring the singer to return to his craft, we can expect more emotional pop tunes from him very soon.

Check out our interview with Calvyn below….

Hey Calvyn! How’s this past year been for you? Has it affected your creativity?
It’s been the best year in my creative life honestly. Music has been drawing me in since I was a kid but I allowed the noise of other people’s opinions to poison my passion. This last year everything paused and so did the naysayers. It was just me in my bedroom, rediscovering my inner voice. Not the voice that tells you that you can’t but the one that has a lot to say and share. He woke up this past year and I’m really excited to have him back.

What’s your earliest memory of music?
The furthest back I can remember were the power ballads. I love Celine Dion so much. Her massive belting notes gave me chills even as a little boy. I wore out my parents’ CD of falling into you. As a performer, the first memory of loving being on stage was when I played an elf in my school play. I was maybe 6 years old. My mum put eyeshadow on me for the look. I just loved the whole experience of dancing, singing and dressing up.

You moved from South Africa to Canada, how do you think inspired your music?
The way people live in every country is unique. From little sayings to the way people tell jokes. Very quickly I learned that I had to adjust in order to connect with everyone in my new environment. Most people get tired of having to adapt for other people’s comfort. I’d say my life experience has taught me that empathy is a necessary ingredient of being happy. I don’t want to be a one-trick pony only ever insisting on my closed-minded views on things that matter the most. I want to tell as many stories as I can from as many perspectives as possible. I think as more of my music comes out that that will become more apparent.

Your sound very much focuses on culture and life, what made you focus on this?
Culture to me is defined by the behaviour of a collective group. Those can be countries, sporting events, home environments. I think you would have to look closely to understand what that means to me and how it’s represented in my music. For me, the culture of growing up in my home versus the culture of peoples homes I’ve dated in the past was affected by our different upbringings. My first single was about loving someone who didn’t love me back. When I talked to that person about how I felt, he said he did love me. He just loved in a different way than I’d grown up to expect. “White flag” could be broken down similarly. The way I show support to someone may be too invasive for what they find appropriate. I could really go on and on but I think the gist of it is that empathy and culture are correlating components. If I’m addressing life experiences then it should be relatable to as many people’s lives as possible.

New Noise Calvyn Cass Mirrored Image
New Noise Calvyn Cass On Grass

Photography by Cheyenne Shamei

New Noise Calvyn Cass Mirrored Image
Photography by Cheyenne Shamei
New Noise Calvyn Cass On Grass

Congratulations on your latest single, talk us through the production process?
Thank you so much. This was a song I wrote and then totally scratched and then wrote again a few times. I work as a top liner on tracks created and produced by Sounds Sphere. When I heard the beat I was immediately captivated. I knew I had to have it and write it because I felt like it’s going to be a bop. I might be tooting my own horn though.

My writing process always starts with a phrase or hook first. Basically, I get to know the music first and as I listen to it I go with the feeling it gives me. We go on few dates, I buy dinner, it’s a whole thing. In all seriousness though, I’ll walk my dogs and listen to a beat my headphones and just scribble notes of lines that pop in my head. Then I’ll run home and quickly lay a couple of lines downs. Whatever is happening in my life can definitely influence what comes out but I try to move it away from being too close to home. “White Flag” had so many layers to me and I didn’t want it to be just my story only. Looking at the world around us right now and in this last year, tensions have been high. Navigating the concept, which I know has been done by artists before me, was difficult because I don’t want to be compared to another artist or another song. I wanted to embrace the reality of the past year and how we behave with the people we are closest to. They get the best and worst of us and in those dark times, everyone needs to hear that they have support. I have found the flow of what I feel is honestly me and what I want people to know about me as an artist with “White Flag”. I hope people hear it and like it.

What do you want people to take away from your latest song?
That even in the darkness they aren’t alone. Stuff will always happen that will make you, me and them feel like no one will understand and life is against them. I want them to hear the song and remember their quiet battles don’t have to be fought alone. There are people in their corner waiting to catch them when they fall and love them more than they realise.

You love experimenting with your music, where is the strangest place that you have found inspiration?
When I’m struggling to find inspiration I’ll search for a word. I look through pamphlets, read street posters around the neighbourhood, people watch and sometimes read a billboard. You name it and I’ve probably prodded around there to find a hidden gem. I work with people too so I often have conversations that will spark an idea. I have a friend that spews out the one-liners and will pause, look at me and say “you should make that a song.” Sometimes they’re really good too.

Who would you love to work with?
As an artist, I would love to work with Lil Nas X, Demi Lovato, Olly Alexander, Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears to name a few. They’re all insane talents and using their platforms to be the voices shining a light on important topics. As a songwriter, I would love to work with Adele because we are best friends in my head. When I saw her in concert it solidified my adoration for her. She’s captivating and a majestic musical dream I could only hope to be.

What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
This year I plan to keep moving and putting out a lot of music. Most of what’s coming was written last year while I rode the coaster of life. There will be a bit of hurt but I believe in making beauty from the sadness. Some of it’s mine but a lot is from people around me. I hope to make enough noise that even the naysayers can’t look away. I’m excited for people to hear my new music and vibe with it. This new song is just grazing the surface of what’s to come.

NEW NOISE: CALVYN CASS

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