Cassidy King has dropped a new single “Polaroid.” The track is the follow up to her earlier song “Professional Smiler” which racked up over 400K views since its release in September. With “Polaroid,” a grainy voice note sample gives way to a sultry verse accented by airy guitar and glitchy production. This lo-fi backdrop culminates on a bridge of trumpets before her transcendent vocals captivate on the hook as she admits, “I just wanna be somebody. I don’t wanna need nobody.” Of the track Cassidy notes, “‘Polaroid’ is about realizing you have every right to let go. That it’s ok to separate yourself from toxic relationships, whether that be familial or romantic. You’re under no obligation to maintain a relationship for the needs of someone else, if it’s breaking you in the process.”
Similar stories unfold in small towns around the world, but this one happened in Chardon, OH., a place Cassidy King proudly calls home. Prior to tallying millions of streams and views online, the singer/songwriter discovered herself in the face of family turmoil, coming to terms with her sexuality as a queer woman, and identifying a genuine path as an artist.
Despite a lifelong passion for music inspired by everyone from Fiona Apple, to Ani DiFranco, to Paramore, finding herself in a recording studio never seemed like a possibility until a friend tweeted a video of Cassidy singing in the dorm room stairwell. It went viral, and she seized opportunities to start recording. Launching personal Twitter and YouTube channels, she quietly attracted a following with a particularly powerful “10 Toes Challenge” video, which detailed the day her dad left.
Even as the music was garnering attention, Cassidy still faced challenges making ends meet and she spent part of 2017 homeless. “I lived out of my car for five months,” she explains. “Occasionally, I would sleep on a friend’s couch. I kept a laundry hamper in the backseat with all of my stuff. At the same time, I still wasn’t comfortable with my sexuality and who I am. I went through a ton of shit. I was completely isolated, but music and social media allowed me to see how many people out there deal with the same things.”
Through that Cassidy continued to build a devout audience and fashioned an emotionally charged sound steeped in alternative candor, R&B mystique, and indie spirit. Along the way, she found herself housing, headlined House of Blues Cleveland multiple times and appeared at MGK’s EST FEST. Surrounded by a new support system, she served up the poignant and powerful “Professional Smiler” in the fall of 2019. The accompanying music video—co-directed by King – featured her alongside a same-sex love interest for the first time“
As she prepares her 2020 EP alongside Mike Tuccillo [c, Ingrid Michaelson], Louis Bartonlini [Doja Cat, Caleborate], and Josh Sadler-Brown [Stanaj, Dylan Hyde],and regular collaborator Tahgi Turner, Cassidy ultimately lets herself shine through the most in the end.
“I don’t have a filter,” she leaves off. “I’m spontaneous. I’m a goofball. I don’t care what others think. I’m someone who’s always trying to be a better version of who she is. I’m just Cassidy King. What you see is what you get. I try to show listeners vulnerability. They’re not alone. What they’re feeling is valid. I hope my music can be a voice for people when they need it. I want to help.”