‘The Voice’ Winner Is Leaving Country Music Behind

‘The Voice’ Winner Is Leaving Country Music Behind

Cassadee Pope became a household name when she competed on The Voice, becoming the show’s first-ever female winner. This major spotlight, her first solo EP, threw her into the world of country music after years as a rock musician. Now, the singer says she’s leaving country music behind after frustrations with the industry.

In an extensive new interview with Rolling Stone, Pope makes it clear that she is not interested in going through the motions of maintaining a country music career anymore. “That took like a half a year of my life,” she said of traveling the country and meeting radio station DJs and other press outlets in her early career. “I was so dedicated and determined to get in nice with everyone.”

She added, “Some people I genuinely liked, but others I was tipped off that, ‘Oh, this person expects a friendship or some sort of communication, so if you don’t give it to them, they’re probably not going to play you on the radio.'”

(Photo: Keith Griner/Getty Images)

Before her country music career, Pope was in the pop-punk genre, fronting Florida rockers Hey Monday. The band were signed to Decaydance Records, an independent record label owned by Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, among other partners. Hey Monday released a few EPs and one full-length studio album, Hold On Tight, in 2008. Now, she’s planning to return to her rock/pop-punk roots.

“Anyone who has seen me play (concerts), it’s a rock show,” she said. “Even when I was doing country music, I would make the guys go into halftime parts and just really rock it up. Because that’s my favorite thing.”

In addition to industry politics, Pop also cited controversies surrounding artists such as Morgan Wallen and Jason Aldean as part of her separation from country music.

“If this is a genre that I absolutely can’t let go of, I’m just kind of being complicit,” she said. “I realize every genre has problematic people in it. I’m not saying there’s not a frontman in a band who hasn’t been accused of something in rock music. But I guess rock is in my bones more. You’re not completely ostracized and shamed for speaking out.”

Offering some final thoughts on her new career direction, Pope said, “I have a tendency to either be late to things or to be early. But rock music has come back in such a forceful way that no one can really ignore it. Now I feel like, ‘Wow, I might actually be at the right place at the right time.’ Finally.”


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