In the midst of a successful tour with Chris Young, former The Voice winner Cassadee Pope will be performing at the 41st All Ohio Balloon Fest.
The rising country star will take the URE stage Friday, Aug. 12 at 8 p.m. at the Union County Airport, 760 Clymer Road.
The singer-songwriter said she loves playing in locations she has never been before, especially small towns and venues.
“The crowds are way more thankful,” Pope said. “There is something so endearing about the small towns and venues.”
Pope got her start in the pop-punk band Hey Monday, but is currently opening for Young, a country musician, on his tour. She has been performing songs off her new EP, Summer. When she performs solo, she said she makes the set list longer by adding in some previous hits and covers.
Reading a crowd, she said, is how she chooses her set list. When performing at a festival, she tends to perform laid-back country tunes. If playing in a bar or club, she tries to throw in some rock covers to get people pumped up.
Pope said her favorite cover to perform right now is “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” which was featured in the ‘80s movie, The Breakfast Club, and made famous by Simple Minds.
“It’s a really fun song to jam out to,” Pope said.
She has only performed one Hey Monday song live since she made the transition to country. She said she knew that most of the people in attendance were Hey Monday fans, so she performed “6 Months.”
When that band broke up in December of 2011, she took a shot at going solo. In 2013, Pope made her way to NBC’s The Voice as a “Hail Mary.”
Pope sang “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia, a song closer to her pop-funk roots. All four coaches wanted Pope on their team, but in an attempt to try something different, she chose country superstar Blake Shelton as her coach.
“I stayed open-minded through the entire process,” Pope said.
Pope said she grew up listening to and singing country music so she was not in completely uncharted territory with coach from a country background.
With help from Shelton, Pope made the transition to country and covered songs by some of the genre’s top artists. Pope went on to be the winner of season three of the show.
Pope received a record deal shortly after her victory on the show and her first country album was released in October of 2013. It went to number one on the album charts a few weeks later.
“(Country music has) always been in me — it has always been deep in my soul,” she said.
Pope recently obtained her first number one single, a duet with Young titled “Think of You.”
Pope said she first met Young when they played a radio show together and a couple weeks later Young’s team sent over the duet proposal and the track.
Pope said he must have liked what he heard because the artists “don’t have any team members in common.”
Pope and Young found out their song hit number one during the iHeart Radio Music Fest this spring. Pope remembers fellow country artist Toby Keith congratulating her backstage and noted it was “really crazy” for her.
Pope’s new EP, contains four songs, three of which she co-wrote.
While performing with Hey Monday, Pope co-wrote all of the songs the band produced. She didn’t start accepting songs from other artists until she went solo. She attributed this to the well-versed songwriters within the country music community.
When Pope writes a song, she said she likes to draw from real-life experiences, movies and interesting storylines.
“I love writing about things I’ve been through because it’s more authentic,” she said.
The West Palm Beach native had the opportunity to film her new music video for the title-track “Summer” in her home state of Florida at Clearwater Beach.
Pope said the filming was originally going to be located on a sound stage in Los Angeles, the typical location for her music videos. They decided to relocate to Clearwater because the beach is mentioned in the song.
Pope said filming on location “was really special,” and that her mother drove four hours to be on set.
VIP and preferred tickets to see Pope perform can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com or the Marysville Journal-Tribune office. VIP tickets reserve a seat in rows one and two, and include a meet-and-greet with Pope. Preferred tickets are for rows three-20. Quantities are limited for both ticket types. For more information, visit allohioballoonfest.com.
The gates for the Balloon Fest will open at 2 p.m. on Friday and local band Jacked Up will be the opening act at 5:30 p.m.
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