Weilding a set of luminous, crisp pipes straight out of the cast of High School Musical, Ryan Cassata crafts immaculate singer-songwriter pop, drawing on emotive pop forms from Blink-182 to Vance Joy to Taylor Swift. With an almost quirky purity, Cassata’s intimate, sing-along ready love stories capture the full-bodied emotional moments in a young person’s life. The 23-year-old YouTuber, who came out online as a teen and to the world shortly after has been speaking publicly as a trans activist since he was 13. However, his music resume rivals his activist one: he’s already released eight albums and EPs including the score for award-winning documentary Songs for Alexis, toured the country hitting SXSW and the world’s biggest Pride festivals, and become the first trans artist to ever perform at Warped Tour.
Cassata did just that, and has since become a true force in the industry — penning op-eds in The New York Times and Huffington Post, earning support from SiriusXM, BBC Radio 4, LOGO’s New Now Next, The Advocate and more, as well as appearances on CNN, The Larry King Live Show and The Tyra Banks Show. “I haven’t let being trans or queer hold me back in the music industry and I’ve been open and visible throughout my whole career so far,” says Cassata. “It all feels like a dream come true to me. I remind myself of how hard I worked to get here, going back to memories of the early days of playing open mics and burning CDs one by one to sell at shows. I try hard to keep myself in the moment so I can enjoy every minute of it.
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