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.