Friday, December 21, 2018

Ryan Cassata's revelatory "Daughter" is a transformative touchstone

Ryan Cassata is a young man on a mission. It is one thing (as a singer songwriter) to aspire to right catchy songs that people like but it is quite another thing to write very personal songs that are not only intended to be sonic art that has your own specific signature but also ends up shaping peoples minds and educating them and most importantly inspiring and embracing people who might be personally living in the margins of their family or society. 

The alt folk pop song Daughter is about transformation, about Cassata transitioning from female to male and his father's long, long process of acceptance. The song chronicles him coming out on international television (the Larry King Live and Tyra Banks show). This journey has landed Cassata on Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed, the Huffington Post and the cover of Vanguard Magazine (this year). 

Daughter rides on hand clap sounds, sprite acoustic rhythm, and bouncy melodies drenched in a folk pop sound painted with an almost Country porch rock patina. I like the fact that the emotional deep message is dressed up (with a bow) in this accessible pop package. A sound that appeals to many and to kids and more importantly I love how Vice President Mike Pence will probably bob his head to it, realize what it is about and then feel very uncomfortable. Pence or the religious right will be a tough audience to change. Besides slowly transforming small minds, the song is trying to combat troubling statistics that Cassata reveals in press notes that 41% of Transgender people have attempted suicide. Many times their reasoning is because their families do not support them. 19% of transgender people have experience violence/abuse from a family member. Ryan Cassata is trying to change those sobering, mind numbing statistics.  Be sure and read more about this remarkable young man (below) after you watch the video.

Robb Donker


 Ryan Cassata is an award winning singer-songwriter, actor, performer, writer and LGBTQ activist & motivational speaker based in Los Angeles. With features in Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and The Daily News, Ryan has made the most of his young career, which started when he was just 13. As a musician with over 550 performances touring across the United States and internationally, including dates on the Van’s Warped Tour, SXSW and at the worlds biggest pride festivals, Ryan has been praised by The Advocate saying he’s a “Transgender singing sensation”, Paper Magazine put him on the "50 LGBTQ Musicians You Should Prioritize" list, LOGO put him on the “9 Trans Musicians You Need To Get Into” list and Billboard put him on the "11 Transgender & Non-Binary Musicians You Need to Know" list and premiered his most recent music video for "Daughter." He has also been heard on Sirius XM Radio, BBC Radio 4 and other radio stations around the world. In films, Ryan was the main focus in the award winning documentary “Songs for Alexis” which screened at such seminal film festivals as Frameline, Raindance, Toronto Hot Docs, and DOC NYC. His co-lead role in indie film "Collective: Unconscious," which received praise from Rolling Stone Magazine & The New York Times, won him the "Best Breakout Performance" award by the Victoria Independent Film Festival. He has also been featured in several musical theatre productions including a workshop production with New York Stage & Film's Powerhouse Theatre at Vassar. Ryan has a guest-star role on upcoming Facebook show called "Turnt" and has appeared in commercials, indie docs and even a Buzzfeed video. He began his activism career at age 13 after joining "The Safe Schools Team" and gave dozens of public speeches near his hometown on Long Island at schools and conferences. He continues to give speeches all over the USA to continue to spread the message. He is the first recipient of the Harvey Milk Memorial Award, became the youngest keynote speaker to ever be selected for the largest transgender conference in existence, and has made appearances on several shows including The Larry King Live Show, and The Tyra Banks Show. Ryan Cassata has written articles and/or poetry that were published in Huffington Post, The New York Times, Original Plumbing Magazine, Indie Music Bus, IndieWire, Strange Fire Music Blog, Rock The Pigeon Music Blog, and many more! Currently, Ryan is in the final stages of editing his memoir and writing and recording a new album of original music as a follow up to his most recent full-band production album SHINE which is available on iTunes & Spotify. Committed to educating through music and speech to wipe out ignorance, Ryan continues to share his inspiring message of hope & acceptance with numerous schools and universities across the country via his social media platforms and at venues across the nation.

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