Having caught the attention of all four judges on Season 12 of The Voice, singer-songwriter Casi Joy blends traditional country and pop to create her style of music. Beginning her music career at the tender young age of five in the Midwest performing in the country Opry circuit, Joy knew that music was her calling. She was signed when she was just fourteen years old by Radio Disney.
Like so many other country artists, she moved to Nashville in 2015 to pursue a career in music and released her first EP, Love on Repeat, followed by Covered in Joy in 2018. Her latest single upbeat country single, “The Money.”
Can you tell us a little about “The Money” and the story behind the song?
This song hits pretty close to home with me as I wrote it while I was hard up for cash. The music business is not always lavish and wealthy like it’s often portrayed on social media. I remember a time when we were having trouble keeping up on our bills, and it seemed like every other phone call I got was some type of bill collector. I remember thinking to myself, “I just wish I would get a call from someone I actually know.” It’s so hard to go along with the common saying “It’s not about the money” when for so many of us, life can hardly function without it. We work so hard to have nice and fancy things, but when it comes down to it, the things in life that actually matter don’t cost much at all. As I was pondering this idea, the melody of the song popped into my head, and I got the itch to start writing. Even though financial strain is hard on people, I wanted to write a song that brought levity to the issue and make it fun. I pretty much had the first line or so written right away, and it really blossomed from there.
Talk us through your songwriting process and how you bring songs to life.
I write all of my own songs, and it happens differently every time. Sometimes I’ll do a co-write where I have an idea of something that I’m trying to convey to my audience, or even myself, and we work together to figure out the song. But, usually, an idea will pop into my head, and I go straight to my voice memos on my phone so I can record a rough idea of the concept, so I don’t forget it. From there, I usually go to my guitar or piano and try to flesh it out more. Sometimes a melody will hit me first, and I mumble through it as words come to me sporadically. Sometimes, it’s the other way around, and I will have a compelling lyric in my head, and not sure how the melody will come out. I remember one time having an idea come to me while I was out with friends at a bar in a cave. I had to stop everything I was doing, run to the bathroom to record a voice memo (check out my song “Red Lips“). Creativity can strike at any time!
What was your thought process behind the music video? Where did the inspiration come from?
When I wrote “The Money,” I always knew I wanted the music video to be comical, authentically me, and capture a lighthearted take of the hardships that money brings. Laughter is the best medicine! With that idea, I was reminded of “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski and how he didn’t care about money or fancy things; he just wanted his rug back. While it was a fun prop to use, and to give a nod to the cult classic film, the rug in my video symbolizes the trials people go through to live a comfortable life, and ultimately the discovery that the most important things in life don’t even cost a dime!
How did you first get started in music?
I started singing when I was five years old, and my parents let me join the local talent show. I was not very good, but I fell in love with the stage and performing. Over the next few years, I would continue to work on my singing skills. The Opry Circuit was where I got my start professionally when I was ten years old. My parents and I would hop in the car every weekend to drive around the midwest, taking me to my shows. That’s where I learned about classic country music, how to talk to an audience, and how to play with a band I’d never met within an hour. I had to learn a crazy amount of lyrics every week. That skill has definitely allowed me to have such an eclectic song base for my show/sets today. Sometimes I think my brain is full of solely lyrics! That way of growing up hustling, and the fact that my parents championed it to the max, has influenced me to fully embrace the twists and turns of the music industry. I’m always thinking on my feet, and that has come in handy, especially this past year!
You received a four-chair turn on The Voice and secured a spot on Team Blake. What was it like working with Blake and having the experience of being on a show like The Voice?
Being on The Voice was a dream come true. Then, I got to work closely with one of my favorite artists growing up, Blake Shelton. I also got to work with Luke Bryan as Blake’s surprise mentor. I couldn’t believe it even while it was happening. I feel like I learned a lifetime of information and experience from being on The Voice—such as how to keep my voice healthy and what’s expected of you in the music business. I definitely miss getting my hair and makeup done regularly, ha! The whole process is pretty hectic, and the days are long, but I really got a front row view into what the industry looked like for artists at that level. It made me want it even more. One of the most important things I learned was the amount of work ethic it would take to perform at that level in the industry. It’s pushed me every day to work harder and harder until that level of production is for my own shows.
When did you first start playing guitar? Were you self-taught, or did you take lessons?
I was always around guitars growing up in the industry, so I would pick it up and learn a chord here and there over the years, but, really took it seriously around eighteen and taught myself. The rock band I was in had just broken up, and I was always in charge of melodies and lyrics only, so I had to learn to play guitar if I were to continue writing songs on my own. I really learned how to hold my own with a guitar from the time I spent playing on Broadway in Nashville. Players on Broadway have to play for tips, so if you want your twenty bucks, you will happily learn to play any song. If you can entertain a crowd on Broadway with a guitar, you can entertain a crowd anywhere!
Could you share with us some of the females who have influenced you along your journey?
As I mentioned above, I was brought up in the midwest country Opry circuit, so most of my influences come from the classics such as Patsy Cline, Tanya Tucker, Brenda Lee, Tammy Wynette, Dolly, Loretta Lynn, etc. Anytime I was in the car with my dad, I would be listening to rock music, so I love Pat Benetar, Bonnie Tyler, and Blondie. As I have grown as an artist, I am continuously influenced by females from different genres in the business today. I love Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Billie Eilish, Beyonce, and more, but I will always have roots attached to classic country music.
What do you hope your fans take away with them when they listen to your music?
My sole mission with my music is to spread JOY (which also happens to be my actual middle name, I didn’t just make it up). Whether that means comforting someone that is going through a breakup or experiencing loss, or just getting people out of their chair to dance. For me, music has always been a place I can go to feel comfort or that I am not alone in my thoughts, and I hope that my music can do that for others.