It was the middle of the summer last year when Casey McQuillen first came into play in my world. Fast forward to a year later and she’s still doing great things with her inspiring “You Matter” tours but has taken a big step in her career leaving Boston for Brooklyn. We talked about the move, what she’s learned sin,ce and of course American Idol since she’s a proud alum.
Kendra: We talked a year ago elsewhere and you were releasing singles and what not, but what’s gone on with you between then and now, and releasing your debut soon?
Casey McQuillen: It has been a crazy year! I moved to New York in January and have taken the opportunity to collaborate with some of the amazing writers and producers NYC has to offer. Though this has meant a pause in the EP release schedule, I think my fans will be happy with the final product. I honestly feel like I have written some of my best songs during this past year as well. This city is a very exciting place to live and work surrounded by some extraordinary artists. It was definitely the right move for me.
Kendra: You were also doing a lot of great things with your “You Matter” tours. Are those still up and running as well?
Casey: Absolutely! Of course, the summer is the off-season for the TYMT as most of my performances occur during the school year. I’m happy to say we will be taking TYMT tour on the road this fall and visiting brand new cities!
Kendra: Some years ago you got to join the American Idol family, and since then the show’s said farewell and announced its return. There are a lot of names going around as to who’ll judge. If you were auditioning today, what two judges would you want to see alongside Katy Perry?
Casey: I’d love to see Bruno Mars as a judge on American Idol. Not only is he a talented singer, but he commands every stage he steps on to. He got his start as a wedding singer (as did I) and I’d love to hear his take on how that job helped him train to be the international pop star he is today. Demi Lovato would be another amazing choice! She’s one of the most talented vocalists in the industry and would be a great mentor for the finalists.
Kendra: In terms of learning about the music industry and who you are as an artist, would you say you learned more attending Berklee or being a part of Idol?
Casey: I definitely learned more from my time at Berklee. I double majored in Music Business Management and Songwriting, and I benefit from that knowledge every day. While American Idol was a great learning experience, especially in terms of withstanding high-pressure performances, the day-to-day of the music industry is very different than the controlled environment of American Idol.
Kendra: With Beautiful being released this year, what else can fans be on the lookout for from you?
Casey: I have a ton of new material that we are working on right now and hope to get out to you ASAP! And I’m extremely proud of the new “Beautiful” music video that will be out this fall as well. Stay tuned McQCrew!
Kendra: You left Boston for Brooklyn, so if you had to make a mixtape that reminded you of home what five songs would have to be on it?
Casey: This is such a fun question! I’d have to say:
“Dirty Water” by The Standells– a Boston classic
“Talk to the Moon” by Ripe – This fabulous Boston band is full of friends of mine from Berklee, and this song brings me right back to college!
“Shark in the Water” by VV Brown – This isn’t technically about Boston, but about Cape Cod! I used to spend the summers in Chatham, MA, which is visited by great white sharks every year.
“Music” by JoJo – Boston native JoJo just released this song, and it is a beautiful testament to her time growing up in Massachusetts.
“Boston” by Brendan Fletcher – I clicked on this song on Spotify out of nostalgia for my home town, but it turned out to be a beautiful song by a really talented artist; go check him out!