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Rising Stars: Meet Emily Casamassima

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Casamassima.

Hi Emily, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
I’m a scatterbrained, open-minded free spirit figuring out how to do it all, but I’m grateful for all the experiences I’ve had thus far as an artist. I’m a singer-songwriter from NorthEast Pennsylvania. I took sketch comedy writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC in hopes of one day landing a job as a writer for a comedy show or better yet, creating my own sketch comedy show. I also love making up silly songs on the spot, though I have written a lot of bittersweet songs over the years.

A lot of my inspiration and influence comes from my brother Brian, who passed away in 2010. I picked up the guitar just a few months after that and taught myself basic chords and began writing my own songs on guitar. I grew up playing the piano by ear, took piano lessons for 3 years, and stopped lessons once I began writing my own stuff at 15 years old. I’m a commercial/print model for NYMMG and currently seeking some local representation here as well. Voice acting is next on my list.

I also have a fascination with the supernatural and paranormal and I’m a certified reiki practitioner. I just moved to Utah a year ago and I’m excited to be a part of the local artist community here in Salt Lake! The East coast will always be home to me but I love having the mountains and the city so close together. In my own 2 words: mystified nostalgia! That is what I’ve experienced here in SLC. There’s something to the mountains here-it’s energizing and mystifying. I feel closer to the music, to my brother, to my creative channel.

Being here has made me feel like I’m living in a time warp. The 90s were and still are a huge influence on my music and everyday life. (I was the toddler watching Nirvana, The Cranberries, Tom Petty and the heart breakers, R.E.M, Public Image Ltd, and Pearl Jam on MTV with Brian and singing along).

Before moving here, I had visited SlC a handful of times since 2015 and each time I’d always remember something random from my childhood, which to this day I still find fascinating and part of why I love being here.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not a smooth road but that’s what makes it exciting. I think it’d be boring if it were a smooth road. Each choice you make has consequences and I believe every decision, especially the little ones we tend to overlook, creates a butterfly effect and impacts the rest of your life and the collective in some way shape, or form.

I’m grateful for all of it though because I’ll never give up on my dreams. I count my blessings every day and live consciously. You’ve got to work at things, take inspired action and trust the process. I used to think I wasn’t any good at performing live at open mics, especially when I first started, but the rush I got from being on stage and putting myself and my music out there was the fuel that kept me going until it felt less intimidating.

I had to force myself to do it even though it was uncomfortable. Letting go and allowing things to unfold in divine timing was also one of my biggest struggles. I read so many books and watched countless videos about “letting go” and it’s something so simple, yet one of the hardest things for the mind to do. Once I figured out how to do that, I found I have fewer struggles/obstacles because I embrace any that are placed in my path now and know that it’s just lessons for my own growth.

I just zoom out of my current situation like you would on a map and look at the bigger picture as if from a Birdseye view-Then I can see that the struggles/obstacles are placed there for a reason and I don’t have to dwell for long and can smile and laugh and get through it while experiencing it fully. I mean, isn’t that part of why we’re here?

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My heart is with music and I’m just a channel. My songs create themselves. My writing process is inconsistent but usually, the tune will come first followed by the words. I also don’t make changes to anything, I leave it as it is and I feel that is what sets me apart from others. I’m raw and I’m not looking for perfection. I play only my original music and will only play one cover song- “Zombie” by the cranberries.

I’ve never played in a band or with other people before, but I’m open to the possibility. All my songs are played using some basic chords and I haven’t strayed from the few chords that I know but am baffled at the hundreds of songs I’ve created throughout the years with just that. I also like to use props when I’m performing my silly songs.

ie. I have a beard, glasses, and a flannel for my character “uncle Clyde” who sings about how he loves dunkin’ donuts and organic food, or depending on the day I might wear my spacesuit and funky alien platform boots just because. Also, in my mind, everything can be a comedy sketch.

Sometimes I feel like the universe puts certain experiences and people in my path for comedic purposes and it inspires me to create sketches out of them or it’ll inspires me to try out impulsive, zany things like randomly showing up at a karaoke night dressed in an 80s style windbreaker and an old man mask and sing (or in this case, SHOUT) songs in that character.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
I’d love to see the 80s and early 90s make a huge comeback so I can experience it as an adult.

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @Sunshine_pleiadian

Image Credits
@incabulus & Carlo Panti

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