Songs I Grew Up On: Cassadee Pope

On the second-ever installment of “Songs I Grew Up On,” we sit down with Cassadee Pope as she tells us about the songs which shaped her in her childhood and created the musical voice that she has today. We first spoke with the singer-songwriter about her brand new album which came just came out and how excited she was to be able to share it and perform in front of live audiences again. She mentions how the pandemic made her reflect on her pop-punk music past and how she’s staying true to her country sound.

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1. “I’m With You” by Avril Lavigne

As one of the songs she remembers from her childhood, Pope explains how the song was “lyrically, melodically, sonically” one of the best songs she remembers hearing from her childhood. “Gosh, I must have been 10 or 11,” she tells us in remembering how much she enjoyed the bridge and how this song seemed to be the full package as she was first discovering the music she loves.

2. “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain

Cassadee recalls adding this song to the songs she grew up on because of its focus on power and support. Whether gay, nonbinary, or another marginalized identity, the empowerment that the song granted her, especially at times where she felt like she needed it most, was one of her main reasons for including the song. Even later in life, the song’s focus on uplifting others remains to be a source of inspiration in her own music.

3. “Give Me One Good Reason” by Blink-182

Cassadee recalls “Give Me One Good Reason” as her all-time favorite Blink-182 song and reminds her of what it’s like to “be a kid again.” In finding her country sound, early influences from alternative or rock were important for her to discover what kind of sound she wanted and how she would incorporate her own melodies with her lyrics. In listening to the song, “I matter,” she says. “My voice matters.”

4. “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston

From the 1992 movie The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” is not only brilliant cinematically but also musically vivid. The song was influential for Cassadee vocally, and although the song was difficult to understand and complex with key changes, the way the song starts, and the changes in energy throughout, it remains to be one of her favorites. The enigma factor of this Houston song is one that Cassadee admires and looks forward to incorporating into her own music.

5. “More Than a Feeling” by Boston

Pope places this song on her list from her parents’ influence on her early musical career. From listening to Boston songs with her family, she learned to love rock music and admire the vocals it took to make songs like “More Than a Feeling” truly great. Starting out with pop-punk in her own career, this song was important in teaching her how to write a good rock song and how best to find her own sound in a genre that demands it.

After learning about Pope’s five songs she grew up on, we learn about her tour for next year and hear about how excited she is to be able to finally get in front of audiences again. As audiences are eager to get back out and hear her sing, we can’t wait to see more from her music.

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