Friday, August 21, 2009

Cassidy Haley OR I Love the Internet

Several years ago, Cassidy Haley met Adam Lambert on MySpace.

Both were LA musicians and had posted their original music on their MySpace pages for streaming. Cassidy and Adam liked each other’s music and became MySpace friends and then real-life friends. Cassidy was/is also a designer/creator of clothing, including leather jackets.

Fast forward to 2009. Adam performs on American Idol. He has a distinctive fashion style and his leather jackets get noticed.

During the Idol season, Adam mentions in an interview that his Idol jackets are from SkinGraft, a design house owned by a friend of his.

Adam’s fandom whirs into action to find out what this crumb of information might reveal about Adam's life before and outside of Idol. They learn that SkinGraft is owned in part by Cassidy Haley and they see Cassidy's picture on Skingraft’s web page. They squee!!! when they realize that they’ve seen him before, in pictures of Adam that had surfaced previously from Adam's old MySpace page and from the FB and MS pages of Adam's friends and family. They find Cassidy’s MySpace and Facebook pages. One bold fan “friends” Cassidy on Facebook and he surprises her by “accepting” her friendship. She reveals to the fan community that he’ll friend strangers, so hundreds of people friend him and discover his music and a small fan base is born.

On Sunday (Update: Saturday), Adam, via tweet, encouraged his followers to check out a music video by Cassidy. At least one Idol fan forum (ontd_ai, for all Idols but it's a particularly Adam-loving place) went to work encouraging its members to not only check out the video, but also buy Cassidy’s self-produced and just-released EP on iTunes. In less than 24 hours, the album went from nowhere to #3 on the electronic album chart. It stayed in the top 10 for a bit more than a day and is holding in the Top 25 seven days later.

Journalists have picked up the story, first internet bloggers (Lyndsey Parker for Yahoo Music blogs about Adam being an Idolmaker himself) and coming soon to the mainstream press, i.e. the Houston Chronicle. Lyndsay Parker's piece describes Cassidy's efforts to mobilize the fans to do the marketing for him by generating ideas for getting his music heard and taking on tasks themselves to get it done. Cassidy mobilizes them via Twitter exchanges like this:

Who knows how it’ll go for Cassidy’s music career from here. If he makes it big, it’ll be a crazy illustration of the intertwining of the real world and the internet world; they are not separate. Relationships on the internet are not meaningless; social networking on the internet can make big things happen in real life; a 140-character tweet can be as powerful as ad time on network TV (and it’s free). Meeting someone on MySpace may change your life.

Meanwhile, a 44-yr old mother of three living in California has a date with herself for the September day that her kids will go back to school. She plans to shut the windows and the blinds, have a drink or two, put on Cassidy’s EP that she bought on iTunes, turn the volume up to 11, and dance until she can’t stand up. How did she find Cassidy’s music? It's simple, but yet amazing. She went to nursery school with me and now we’re in touch daily via Facebook (after decades of barely staying in touch) and I watched Season 8 of American Idol and became an Adam fan, crazed enough to keep tabs on an internet fan forum where I learned about Cassidy. And Cassidy has six of her dollars and six of mine in his pocket. I love the internet.

I don't expect that Cassidy's music will appeal to others writing here, but I was all wrong about LJ and Dropkick Murphys (still puzzled by that) so what do I know. Try it:

And another one (Whiskey in Churches) here. This is dancier. And a little bit racier. (Possible trivia: Adam might be the headless man, but Cassidy refuses to confirm or deny, which I think has to mean it is Adam.)

Update 9/30/10: We learned a while back that Adam is not the headless man in Whiskey in Churches.


love johnson said...

Not exactly to my tastes, but has a Placebo type feel to it.

As for the marketing, promotion aspect of the internet, not so long ago, I read a long posting by Trent Reznor (the brains behind Nine Inch Nails, which is one of my favs)on the NIN website about how a musician/group can do their own thing without a record company. If I get motivated, I'll try to find it - very interesting reading.

LuvAdam476 said...

I am a Glambert from day one and a total die hard Adam fan. When Adam tweeted about Cassidy Haley, I checked out the video, then another, then bought the album from Itunes. Incredible voice and music! I have also ordered 3 CDs from Cassidy Haley from his ebay store. The music is amazing. Adam is a real sweetheart to endorse such a talented friend. Adam Rocks My World!
Cassidy is an untapped talent like Adam. The Glamberts and other Adam fans are supporting Cassidy Haley and pushing for Media attention for this talented young man. Want to keep the momentum going and hopefully get Cassidy noticed enough that a record labed will pick him up! Like Adam, the man does not disappoint!!

Petulance said...

As much as I love Cassidy...why is this article just pics of Adam Lambert? Not that I don't love Adam...but the article is about Cassidy...other than that..all hail Cassidy for DIY mentality and ability to be who he is in such crazy world! Rock on!

Petulance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

Petulance -- the pictures are of the jackets that Cassidy made (that Adam wore), so they go with that part of the story. Also, Cassidy's video is posted here.

wandering_gyrl said...

Hi I'm writing an essay on Cassidy Haley for a grad school internet/social media course I'm taking.

You mentioned Adam and Cassidy met via Myspace music. Do you have an article or quote where you got that info that I can cite?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Stephanie said...

Hi wandering_gyrl. Thanks for the question. I don't remember where I learned about the MySpace meeting. I believe Cassidy mentioned it one of his live UStreams or in an interview on the Shady Ass Benches radio show. I'm checking with others to see if anyone can remember and I'll let you know.

Are you hooked into LiveJournal communities ontd_ai and cassidyhaley? Have to be a member to see all the content there, but that might interest you.

Stephanie said...

To wandering_gyrl: I haven't had any luck identifying where Cassidy talked about meeting Adam via MySpace. My suggestion would be to contact him and interview him.

Stephanie said...

To wandering_gyrl: I've ruled out Cassidy's interview on The Shady Ass Benches show as the source for the story about how Cassidy and Adam met, so Cassidy must have talked about it on one of his Ustream chats (that are not recorded). But you might be interested in that SAB interview, nonetheless, because of the meeting of the "real" world and the internet world via social media. Here's a link to the RSS feed for the blogtalkradio site for Shady Ass Benches show. Cassidy's interview was on Jan. 17, 2010, and you can download an mp3 of it.