A DYNAMIC EQUAL RIGHTS VOICE AND POPULAR FESTIVAL PERFORMER, TRANSGENDER SINGER/SONGWRITER RYAN CASSATA WRAPS HIS TEENS WITH THE INFECTIOUS ‘JUPITER, IT WON’T BE LONG,’ VOLUME THREE OF HIS COMPELLING ACOUSTIC SERIES
Since coming out as transgender in his early teens, motivational speaker and singer/songwriter Ryan Cassata has become a powerful, globally recognized advocate for equality, bullying and related LGBT issues for one simple reason: “I didn’t want any kids that were in the position I was in to feel alone in their journey.” Gaining initial renown for his appearances on Larry King Live, The Tyra Banks Show and ABC’s “Heads Up,” the multi-talented 19 year old has toured the U.S. frequently, addressing thousands of high school, college and university students on the importance of acceptance. His advocacy has earned him features in several prominent magazines and he was the youngest keynote speaker ever at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference of 2012.
A charismatic live performer as well, Ryan often brings his acoustic guitar along and performs shows for the audiences after his speaking engagements. His evolution as a singer, songwriter and recording artist these past few years has been as extraordinary as his onstage appearances. His latest release, the quirky and infectious Jupiter, It Won’t Be Long: The Acoustic Sessions, Volume 3, is the third in a series of releases featuring Ryan’s powerful vocals and acoustic guitar. He launched his recording career at 16 with his debut EP Distractions and the full length The Theme of Humankind. After recording his follow-up, The Rhythm (which featured his friend and producer Kenny Truhn on electric guitars, bass drums and backing vocals), Ryan launched the acoustic EP series this past year with Oh, Alexis and In America.
Finding the all-acoustic presentation to be raw, liberating and more true to himself than his previous ensemble recordings, Ryan launches Jupiter, It Won’t Be Long with the playful one minute tune “I Don’t Really Wanna Go To College” before fulfilling his goal to make this a more dark and honest reflection of some of the things that have affected him personally over the years, including stark looks at drugs, crime and things that make us think the world is coming to an end. “Sobering Up” is a hard edged tune about his stepbrother who died of a heroin overdose at 16. As Ryan proclaims, “We’re all addicts to something when we’re strangers to pain.”
The title cut uses all sorts of astronomy metaphors to describe the effects of drug use, while “Dear Lucas” is a heartfelt reach out to a friend in Ryan’s adolescence who flipped out during music camp and had to be institutionalized for a time. “It’s me saying that I would have helped him had he reached out,” the singer says. Balancing darkness with light, “The Mob’s Rolling Cadillac” is a story song about the mafia stereotypes that are part of growing up an Italian-American on Long Island—and the way crime families perpetuate that lifestyle. An anti-addiction song, “Liberation” finds Ryan offering hopeful advice to young adults who think they will find themselves by doing drugs. “Freedom is in your mind,” he says. “Nothing can make you happy until you find joy inside yourself.”
The youngest openly transgender artist to play a date on the Warped Tour (in Los Angeles this year), Ryan is an increasingly popular force at some of the world’s most prominent gay music festivals, opening for artists such as Karmin, Salt N Pepa, Frenchie Davis, Chris Crocker, Tom Goss and others. In addition to headlining at renowned club venues in his adopted hometown of San Francisco (Sacred Grounds Café, Mutiny Radio Café, 50 Mason Social House), Los Angeles (the legendary Whiskey A Go Go) and other cities, he has performed on shows with The Click Five, Austin Gibbs, Jeff LeBlanc, Madina Lake, Kevin Seconds, Allison Weiss, Ace Enders and others. He also composed the soundtrack for “Loop Planes,” an award winning indie film that screened at forty film festivals, including the South By Southwest Film and Music Festival (2010), the Tribeca Film Festival and the International Israel Women’s Film Festival (with The Runaways).
“When I go onstage, I’m up there to play songs for people that are real and true,” Ryan says. “It’s an opportunity to go wild and I’ve developed a lot of different set lists so that every show is different. The one consistency is that I absolutely love performing more than anything else. I like to entertain people. My main goal is to take people away from the bad things they’re going through and bring them happiness for the 30 minutes or so that they allow me the opportunity.”
RYAN’S FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ryancassata