A Winnipeg teenager is in tune with becoming a singing sensation.
Cassidy Mann, 15 — who released her debut, self-titled EP featuring four original songs in June — is a nominee for Single of the Year at this year’s Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards for her song Say You’ll Miss Me.
And despite being too young to drive or vote, the St. Norbert-based singer/songwriter, has a musical maturity beyond her years, according to her producer.
"Lyrically, Cassidy has the life experience of a 15-year-old, but her approach to singing, and specifically her writing skills, resemble someone twice her age," said JP Laurendeau, who is the founder and owner of Brokenground Productions.
Laurendeau — who runs a studio out of his St. Norbert home — likens Mann’s style to a "young Taylor Swift" but also praises her originality.
"She doesn’t necessarily fit in with all the generic pop stuff that’s going on right now, where everyone sounds the same in that cookie cutter way," Laurendeau said.
"She writes songs that appeal to people of different ages. A lot of artists try and over-complicate their lyrics, but there’s a simplicity to how Cassidy writes. She’s a very honest artist and I think she has great potential in the industry."
As well as getting airplay on a couple of local radio stations, Mann is busy hitting the right notes when it comes to broadening her musical horizons.
The University of Winnipeg Collegiate student played this summer’s Winnipeg Folk Festival as part of the Galaxie Young Performers Program and is tuning up to play an hour-long set at the Manitoba Dragon Boat Festival in September.
"I’m really excited, as it will be an outdoor concert and my longest show so far. Maybe my friends will join me on stage," Mann said.
Music has always been a big part of Mann’s life. She’s been performing since she was six, writing since was nine, plays guitar and is currently learning the keyboards. She listens to anything from country to classic rock.
So how does she feel when she takes to the stage?
"I get pretty nervous before a show, but I give myself a pep talk. On stage I feel invincible and vulnerable all at once. There’s no other feeling like it, because everything else just goes away," she said.
"At the end of the day, I write songs about my life. I want people to know my songs are relatable and honest."
The sixth annual APCMA’s will be held in Winnipeg on Nov. 3 and 4 as part of the Manito Ahbee Festival.
Mann hopes Winnipeggers will show their support by signing up and voting for her online at www.aboriginalpeopleschoice.com. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. CST on Aug. 18.
For more information, visit www.cassidymann.com. To learn more about Laurendeau, visit www.brokengroundproductions.com.
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