Casi: On Homesickness and Creating Freely
In her latest single “Homesick,” rising electro-pop artist Casi sings about a deep yearning for home or something, maybe even someone, like it. This feeling, this connection to the Welsh landscape in which she was raised, is embedded in the texture of her sound — one that is expansive, artful and often haunting.
On the heels of the song’s release, Casi talks to us about what homesickness means to her, the time it references and the place responsible for her singular sound. You can also check out her guest playlist, Then and Now.
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Who is Casi? Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Casi. Hello.
When and how did you start making music?
I’ve been performing on stages from a very, very young age. It’s part of our tradition and is in my blood. Throughout childhood, I always loved writing Welsh language poetry and short stories. It later felt very natural to tell stories in the form of pop music.
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
My first musical hero was Tupac. I hadn’t experienced anything like it, and I’ve been an admirer ever since.
Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music.
Antony and The Johnsons. It was the first time I had heard fragility in an artist’s voice, and as a result, I felt immediately connected to her.
Tell us about your new single, “Homesick.” What inspired this song?
We have a word in Welsh called “hiraeth”. There’s no direct English translation. The Portuguese concept ‘saudade’ shares some similarities. It’s ‘homesickness’ in its deepest, most nostalgic form, a sadness over what is lost and a yearning for a Wales of the past.
Speaking of home, you mentioned growing up in “the most rural parts of Wales.” What was day-to-day life like there, and how do you think this landscape shaped your sound?
Wherever I go, I become part of that landscape. What I wear and how I feel is dependent on where I am. I’m very close to nature in Wales, and it’s where I feel most present. I sometimes wonder if we as people emotionally imitate the movement of our landscapes. Mountain peaks and deep valleys — it is felt.
Your music has a dark, haunting quality about it. What kind of environment do you create your best work in? Set the scene for us.
It varies, but at the moment, in silence, where I can hear words and melodies that are kind to me.
Recommend another rising band/artist you believe in.
Serpent With Feet. He’s phenomenal. I wholeheartedly believe in everything Denai Moore does too.
What’s next for Casi?
Imagine it’s one year from now. What was the best thing that happened to you?
The only thing I expect from life is to be able to create freely.
And finally, if your music was an animal, what type would it be? Please describe.
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