We had the good fortune of connecting with Casey Cook and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Casey, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
So often you hear “I wish I had the guts to chase my dreams… I wish I had done this… I regret that I didn’t… etc…” We’ve only got one life so why not do something you love? I have always wanted to live a life that I am proud of, that inspires others, and that leaves a mark on the world. By working towards my dreams and goals, I do what I love every day and I am fulfilled. I had no idea what it would look like to be my own boss and it certainly has its challenges but it is my endless passion that will continue to fuel me every time.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I grew up performing in musical theatre earning leading roles throughout and singing in choirs, and decided I needed to pursue a career in music. I studied at Belmont University and did my last semester of college in LA and was hired by a music management/licensing company I was interning for. One day I was sorting songs in my inbox, and I just knew I had to leave; because I needed to be the one creating the music, not sorting it. Shortly after I left the company I began my artist journey. I took a couple songwriting classes at The Songwriting School of Los Angeles, since I didn’t have any formal training, and then I wrote with everyone and anyone I could in the city. I joined songwriting organizations, music industry events, played shows, went to shows, networked, took lots of meetings, and kept meeting more people. I released originals which led to collaborating with DJs writing and featuring my vocals on their tracks. I started writing for other artists… One thing led to the next etc, I never stopped… all while maintaining several part time catering jobs and doing what I could to make ends meet, and it wasn’t until last year that I started doing music full time.. It hasn’t always been easy. It’s been a constant grind, and still is. There’s no 9-5 in music. You don’t know when inspiration is going to hit you and you don’t know what kind of opportunity you could be in in the next hour. But that’s the beauty of it, is so much of it is out of our control and sometimes you just have to surrender to what is right now and live in that part of your journey. I’ve come to realize that more and more lately. I’ve learned it doesn’t get easier, you just get better at handling things. And trusting your intuition is the key. As a completely independent, unsigned artist I have faced many many challenges, had career changing moments fall through, but you learn to accept things and do better for the next time. You always keep going. You’re never done learning. At the heart of it, it is the magic in songwriting that makes you stay with it, keep the faith, and keep getting stronger and better. For me there’s nothing like writing an amazing song especially with great people in the room, when the energy level is through the roof. Or receiving good news about someone interested in what you’re doing.. Or getting a message that says “I love your song it got me through such a hard time, thank you” and you think, “this is why I’m here” and so you keep going. Probably one of the proudest moments was seeing my talents recognized on national tv as an NBC Songland finalist. It was an amazing experience that led to a lot of great opportunities, collaborating with up and coming artists/writers which took me to another chapter of my life of writing. I am extremely grateful for that opportunity. Having been in LA 6+ years now, still independent, and having a discography of songs I’ve written for artists in the pop and EDM scene is extremely rewarding.. As a songwriter you just keep writing and writing, and the real reward is watching them being released by various artists around the globe. I’d say my biggest lesson that I remind myself always is to celebrate victories; whether big or small. Crossing those milestones is everything. You look back and say “Wow 4 years ago I was dreaming of this part of my life. And now here I am doing it, even bigger than I imagined.” 🙂
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well pre-Covid days we’d do it all haha… I love so many of the LA neighborhoods, there’s seriously an area for any mood you’re in. Food wise it’s hard to say cause there’s a lot of incredible restaurants in pretty much every part of town. But I really enjoy Los Feliz, Larchmont Village, and Downtown Culver City – really quaint and great to walk around too! I am a sucker for a rooftop bar/restaurant so Mama Shelter in Hollywood is a fave as well as Perch in Downtown LA… For a nice beach sunset vibe I might suggest Venice Beach, (filled with interesting people) and Santa Monica – easy to have an adventure over there. If shows were still happening we’d for sure hit The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, Hotel Cafe for some live music in Hollywood, and maybe finish the night dancing at Davey Waynes… Man, I can’t wait til living life is something we can all do again… Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are SO many to shout out from high school days to college days to my adulthood… I have had countless conversations regarding what I want to do with my life… and how much strength, persistence, thick skin, faith, etc. it takes to chase your dreams and keep at it… Shout out to my Rhode Island crew, my college professors at Belmont University and at The Songwriting School of Los Angeles, and the many many many people/friends/collaborators/co-workers I have met along the way in Los Angeles over the past 6 years adding to my artistic journey. Thank you all.
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3tG47C60La9mzGXfsIHTBl Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/casey-cook/1462805332
Venues in photo: Black Rabbit Rose – Hollywood, California Hotel Cafe, Hollywood, California Ester Dean, NBC Songland, NBC Studios NRG Recording Studios – North Hollywood, California