The greatest thing about music is that it’s always changing. Every era in music has that one voice that changes a generation. The 1960s had the British Invasion inspired by The Beatles, the 1970s were influenced greatly by Kool & The Gang and The BeeGees, the 1980s saw the rise and domination of Michael Jackson and the 2010s will be forever changed by what’s about to come from DJ Cassidy. Before hitting the stage with Robin Thicke in Washington, D.C., he called in to talk to Mr. Peter Parker about his upcoming album and his mission to change the industry.
Cassidy may be a new name to your playlist but he’s been working hard on his new album for the past four years. Even more than that, he has been collecting inspiration for the album since he was 10-years-old. But what makes this deejay different than any other nightclub record spinner in the country? He’s completely undefined. He has studied every song, record, album cover and beat since he was in fifth grade and made it his mission to produce music that everyone can enjoy.
You won’t find Cassidy spinning the same Journey song at every birthday party. Instead, he’ll play Journey, mixed with Kool and the Gang with a beat from Michael Jackson and a bass line from P. Diddy and an added horns section that would make Louis Armstrong jealous. “[My music] called everyone to the dance floor and they put a spirit, an emotion and an energy in the air,” he admits during the interview. In an era when new music is rivaling the same sounds from the 1970s, this was the perfect time for Cassidy to make his move.
“I put my favorite 25 songs from [the 1970s] era in a playlist in iTunes, put them in chronological order and they all fell between the years of 1978 and 1982,” he admits. “I said ‘I want my records to be like these records’.” So he did it.
Instead of emulating his heroes and reproducing the same style as Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, he enlisted them on his album. DJ Cassidy brought in 22 of the most influential musicians of the late 70s and early 80s to reproduce the sounds live in the studio. For the past four years, Cassidy has reunited acts like Earth, Wind & Fire for the first time in over 30 years. This historic move has never been done before and he made sure not to use machines, autotune or filters… just raw talent.
But this isn’t a 1970s disco record. Cassidy used his influence in the industry to gather the most unique and inspirational musicians of this generation to add lyrics to his unparalleled music. His album adds the vocal stylings of John Legend, Kelly Rowland, Ne-Yo, CeeLo Green, R. Kelly, Usher, Jessie J and a slew of others to complete his one-of-a-kind musical movement. But it wasn’t easy. To get R. Kelly on his album, he flew to Chicago six times in 20 months, went to six of his shows, bought his book at a book signing and waited in line for hours to meet him and convince him.
Thankfully, his persistence paid off and his brand new album, Paradise Royale, will be released this May. His new single “Calling All Hearts,” featuring Robin Thicke and Jessie J, will hit iTunes later this month.
But don’t expect Cassidy to try and sell his songs like a greedy car salesman. “The songs have to speak for themselves.” And he assures us, they do.