Cassidy Taylor reaches the final of The Shot
By Darren Lum
Cassidy Taylor is truly overwhelmed by the support from her hometown of Haliburton as she works to make it in the music industry. It’s been uplifting at her most challenging times, she said on the phone last week.
“I would have never thought so many people would be so supportive of it. It’s really cool to see that this whole town has my back and everything. It’s really nice. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting such a response, but it’s been bigger than anything I’ve ever done. It’s really cool,” she said.
The 19-year-old said the support “makes it all worth it.”
The Haliburton Highlands Secondary School alumna, who recently passed her exams to finish her two-year diploma in Music Performance and Technology at the Metalworks Institute a few weeks ago is going to need that support to win the final at The Shot contest at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre on Aug. 17.
Produced by Music & Artist Development Experience, The Shot is a music
contest that connects artists from all over the country with judge-mentors who help them develop their craft to work in the music industry. It was started by creator and executive producer C.J. Allen in 2014.
Taylor is part of a final eight along with Bailey Jordan-Neil, Greg Rider, Jasmine June, Michaela Cahill, Tessah Dunn, Paige Warner and Rachel Hickey, who will perform for the judges deciding the final four. From there, performers will sing again and an audience vote (in-person and online via streaming) will decide the winner. Taylor said there will be a voting link up for a limited time after the performances.
Taylor’s biggest supporters, her parents Denise and Jason Glecoff, will be there.
“I wouldn’t be able to go to school if it wasn’t for them and I don’t think I would have had the courage to really have gone this far in my career without them. Honestly, I owe them everything,” she said.
She said she believes her spot in the finals was owed to her emotionally rich performance during the semi-finals when she performed her original song, “The Bad Ones.” It’s one of her favourite songs.
“It means a lot to me. It’s one of those songs I was super excited about when I finished [writing] so I think that really helped show the audience and the judges who I am as an artist,” she said.
While repeating the lyrics, “I could get used to you. You could get used to me. Become my habit, but I know the bad ones come easily,” she explains this song is about realizing you’re loving someone for the wrong reasons.
“It’s about kind of getting used to that too much and realizing you don’t really love the person, you kind of love what they’re doing for you,” she said.
She and the other performers learned they advanced right after their performances.
There wasn’t much time to think about the result other than being happy. However, looking back she thought she could have performed better technically, but believes writing exams the week of semi-finals played a part.
“The stress kind of really gets to your body and everything. It messes with your [physiology]. It messes with your muscles and everything. It’s really hard to relax,” she said.
Taylor appreciated The Shot’s focus on development: its workshops on vocal and stage skills, including interviews rather than singing performance. She said her mentor music professional and one of the competition’s judges, Jessie T, helped her a lot.
“She helped me find a way to use the guitar to connect with the audience as well. I found it was more of a shield before because I’m so used to playing the guitar all the time. It was more of a comfort thing for me, but she flipped that and put a different perspective on it for me so that was really cool,” she said.
The contest atmosphere has been unlike anything she has experienced before.
“It’s really cool. All the contestants are really supportive of each other. It’s something you don’t see very often in competitions,” she said.
This has enriched the experience and she hopes the connections she made could lead to future writing collaborations.
“Music is never a competition for me, so it’s nice to see others feel the same,” she said.
The top prize will cater to the professional needs of the individual.
Taylor would love to win, but feels she has gained a lot. She’s made friends and connections and has benefited from her mentor. It’s all part of her plan to sing professionally.
“All I want to do is play music for the rest of my life so if this can help me do that then, yeah,” she said.
Watch the show live via stream starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17 at www.facebook.com/singfortheshot. Check out Taylor’s website for information about her and how to get tickets or vote for her at www.cassidytaylormusic.com.