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Cassadee Pope Says the 'Y'Allternative' Genre is 'What is Authentic to Me' [Interview]

Cassadee Pope can dominate every genre she puts her mind into. Before winning season three of The Voice with the help of Blake Shelton, Pope was actually the lead vocalist and songwriter for the rock band Hey Monday. The group released two studio albums and three EPs.

Pope decided to further explore her abilities as a singer-songwriter and released a self-titled 2012 EP and later went on to become the first female winner of The Voice on Dec. 18, 2012. After her win, she released her first solo country album, Frame by Frame, which hit the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart and debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart. It was only the beginning for Pope.

This time around, the singer combined her love of country and alternative, creating a genre she likes to call "Y'Allternative."

"It was kind of a natural process, that transition happened on The Voice," Pope told Wide Open Country. "I had written down a bunch of songs that I wanted to cover on the show and I didn't really think about genre, I just thought about what songs could showcase my voice the best."

Pope, who performed one of her childhood favorites, "Cry" by Faith Hill, on the 2012 The Voice finale, says The Voice was an opportunity to showcase her longtime love of country music.

"It was really cool to kind of get back to my country roots," Pope said. "I learned to sing country music, so looking at this album, I don't think about genres or categories or what it would fit into or where it would land. I just thought about what I can do that's unique and different and what is authentic to me. I just thought 'Well I'm just going to do a country pop-punk record see where it takes me.'"


The singer noted it was actually the fans who deemed her new album THRIVE, "Y'Allternative," a mix of country, pop-punk and alternative music — all elements that resonate with Pope.

"It's got the storytelling that country music songs have and the pop-punk sound — sonically," Pope says. "I went for the in-your-face approach production-wise with a lot of loud guitars with live-sounding drums, not many synths or fake instruments."

Pope showcases her powerful vocals in every song, especially in the album's title track, "Thrive," which was written by Pope, Andy Albert and Kevin Bard. The song shares a hopeful message to those who have gone through trauma, but are now thriving.

"I never would've seen this side/ Never hit this stride/ If I stayed tied down to you," Pope sings. "Guess I should probably thank you/ Maybe raise a drink to/ Everything I gained when I cut ya loose/ No, I didn't just survive/ Boy, without you, now I thrive/ I thrive/ Thrive."

As far as what's next for her music career, fear not, live music is in Pope's future. The singer revealed that a tour is in the works and she's planning to include new songs as well as re-imagined renditions of her hits in her live performances.

Despite her busy schedule, the singer also has other wonderful projects up her sleeve. She's partnering up with Mars Petcare Better CITIES FOR PETS, which is a certification program to help pet parents travel more at ease. The program launched at the Nashville International Airport. The singer was inspired to partner with Mars thanks to her very own pooch, Cuppy!

"I travel with Cuppy all the time, so when I got the opportunity with Mars Pet Care to be a part of them, I was like 'that's the perfect fit because I'm a musician that travels a lot and I have a dog that I'm obsessed with,'" Pope says. "Also because Nashville airport is really close to me, it's where I fly in and out of, and they just got the first certification. So I'm excited to take my puppy on a flight."

"[The Nashville Airport] has a dog park before you go into the airport where they can get all their energy out before you enter," Pope continues. "I know he will be taken care of and it will alleviate the stress before traveling. "

Perfect for that holiday rush, the program is a way to accommodate pets who travel and make their experience welcoming for both them and their owners. The Nashville International Airport has now prioritized the ease and safety of traveling with their pets by installing several amenities before and after the security checkpoints. This includes a dedicated dog park with outdoor green space with a hydration station and a waste station. An indoor relief area, enhanced visual wayfinding signage through the airport to locate pet-friendly amenities and two custom pet-themed murals where travelers can stop and take a photo with their pets!

Listen to Pope's new album THRIVE, out now on every online streaming platform.

Thrive Track List:

  1. Welcome
  2. Same Old Brand New Me
  3. Tomorrow Night
  4. What The Stars See (Ft. Karen Fairchild & Lindsay Ell)
  5. Say It First
  6. Break Too
  7. Thrive
  8. Just a Girl
  9. Mind Your Own (Ft. Stephan Jenkins)
  10. Some People
  11. Remedy
  12. Sis
  13. No Now