We had the good fortune of connecting with Cass Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cass, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
That you have to truly know yourself and your vision/mission. If you don’t, others may start to define you on their terms.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m an independent music artist and songwriter with a love for cinematography. I love the way that music and film can intertwine and resonate with us in ways that impact our experience of the world. When I write a song, I actually keep a specific scene in mind – real or fictional, from which I’ll pull details, feelings and emotions and incorporate those into my writing. Currently I’m most excited about joining Love Pulse Music, a music industry collective of talented professional songwriters and producers who create music for tv/film and licensing. I’m also excited to be finishing up and planning the release of my first EP project, which has been in the works for a few years. I am where I am today because I continue to invest in myself and my career. I knew I wanted to move from Pittsburgh to LA, so I limited my expenses and worked two jobs to save up. I purchased all of my own studio equipment so that I could record myself at my apartment. I continue to take voice lessons to strengthen my singing abilities. I collaborate with other songwriters and producers to hone my songwriting craft. I go to shows to immerse myself in other genres of music. I ask questions to those who are further along in their music careers. I’m always learning and still consider myself a student. I’m also where I am today because of my relentless perseverance. Music careers are typically not the most stable of a career choice – full of high-highs and low-lows – moments where you feel on top of the world and other moments when you want to throw the towel in. Being a super emotional and empathic person, life’s challenges have a tendency to hit me hard. I think that the important part though is being able to pick myself back up off the floor after a low period and say to myself “Okay, this is tough, but I’m going to try again.” As for me and my story, I really just want my heart to be felt. I have a strong desire to emotionally- connect with people. There’s nothing like that feeling you get when you connect in a way that transcends words. I live for that! It’s like an unspeakable “I understand you” or “I love you” or “I’m listening”. Music is magnificent in that it has a way of naturally fueling that connection – it creates a space for conversation to occur, whether that be through the telling of stories through lyrics and someone relates to it, or through creating a physical space for people to come out to a show and have a conversation with someone they may not have normally been in a room with. My hope is that through my art, I am able to bridge the gap between strangers to show that underneath all the layers society puts upon us, we’re all just humans trying to figure it out.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It feels so long since I’ve been out because of Covid! I’m trying to rack my brain for what I used to do when the world was open. Many of my most-loved spots in and around LA revolve around music and the beach. So with that being said… I’d take my bff to Treasure Island in Laguna Beach – one of the most breathtaking beaches near LA with white sand and large crystal-clear waves. We’d also hit up Malibu – my friend showed me this secret entrance to a deserted beach spot there that’s super peaceful – it feels like you have a whole beach to yourself. We’d also rent bikes in Venice and ride the bike trail that goes along the beach to the OC – making sure to stop in Manhattan Beach to walk through the cute shops and grab a chilled beer at Brewco. We’d also probably take a drive up to Joshua Tree for a day or two and rent an Airbnb – stargaze, hike around the area, make a campfire, all that good stuff! If we felt like going out dancing we’d head downtown and hit up The Association on Thursday for their rnb and hip-hop night or head to Hollywood and check out Davey Wayne’s for their 70’s-themed music nights. For live music, we’d hit up the Black Rabbit Rose for their Tuesday night Jazz or The Study for their Monday night “Tha Juice Joint” – an open mic jam band. If time permitted, we’d head to San Diego’s mission beach to walk the boardwalk and grab some fish tacos (the best in California in my opinion)! If it’s during the summer, we’d hit up Santa Monica Pier for their outdoor movie nights – totally free and a lot of fun! We’d also head to the Melrose Trading post on a Sunday – grab a coffee, walk around while browsing through the vintage clothing and local artist’s artwork. And last but not least, we’d hit up Marina Del Rey for paddle boarding, kayaking, and boating. It’s always makes my day when you happen to see sea lions swimming right alongside or beneath you. There’s so many other events and things to do I can think of, but this list would be never-ending, so i’ll leave it at that!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shoutout to my friend & collaborator Shareef Addo. He’s been rooting for me from the get-go — coming to my shows, performing with me at shows, playing bass on my records, producing/creating records with me from scratch, and most importantly, always encouraging and reminding me to be myself. That kind of support is unheard of – it really means everything!
London Ellis Photography, Lindsay Miller Art, Gynisis Productions, Love Pulse Music, Grey Wolf Visuals