This month on Behind the Board, we visit Cadence Grace – a powerhouse of a Board member, a gal who can juggle more things in the air than most people would believe possible, head up committees, write up articles, design and execute graphics, manage web-sites and mail-outs, and is more computer savvy than the rest of the board combined. She’s fluent in basic, java script, linux, and can even swear in fortran. On top of all this she’s also running a successful music career by writing for radio and the movies and still finds time for performing with a new three-girl super-group, Runaway Angel . Whew! When does she have time for being a CMAO Board member? Personally, I don’t know… but every time she’s assigned a task, be it technical or artistic, it’s done on time and in an artful way.
Let’s go back and learn a little bit about her.
She’s used to small towns and large families. Born in Whitby and living in Ajax most of her life, she has 6 siblings – one older sister, two younger sisters adopted from China and two younger half-brothers. Sounds a little like ‘Brady Bunch’ for the new millennium. Her Father ran a family wholesale grocery company and her Mom was a stay-at-home-Mom. She grew up listening to her Dad’s extensive record and cassette collection and developed a love of traditional artists. Nowadays, she listens to Katy Perry, rap and hip-hop, as well as the oldies. “My Dad instilled a great, deep love for Todd Rundgren and Bob Dylan in me. I remember loving the Everly Brothers. I would insist that my Mom play their tapes on repeat. On long car trips my parents would let us pack this travel box of 20 cassettes and we could pick the cassettes out of my Dad’s vast collection. I was really into Motown, The Beatles, Hall and Oates, etc., and musicals like Phantom of the Opera and Cats. And my all time favourite country artist is Reba McIntyre, hands down!” Well, a diverse palette produces an interesting artist.
Her start in the business came from an audition – “An audition I attended, where they were looking for a girl to record some songs for an Avril Lavigne-like project. I recorded the songs, and had a bunch placed in film and television. I interned at Universal Records, and then went on to intern at Sound of Pop records, where I was eventually signed. I signed an admin deal with Ole and continued to release music to film and television”.
She makes it sound easy, but it wasn’t. As another colleague puts it, “Cadence fiercely pursued a career in music from a young age and achieved success early-on through her record deal with indie label Sound Of Pop, and Sound of Pop’s admin deal with Ole Music Publishing. To date, Cadence has co-written or performed on tracks that have appeared on over 15 TV shows and movies across the globe on networks like MTV, CMT, CBS, Lifetime, Food, Disney, Family and more.” See, we told you – she’s no slouch. While pursuing a full-time career as an artist, Cadence completed an internship at Universal Records Canada in Publicity and obtained a diploma in Music Business Management at Durham College.
Cadence is now an accomplished independent country music artist who has spent the last five years developing her writing craft and performing skills, while embracing all the lessons learned when operating without help from a label. Now skilled at graphic design, event planning, social media, tour management and more, Cadence has become a jack-of-all-trades.
She hopes to bring this knowledge and experience to the CMAO board with a passionate effort towards membership interaction and growth to help cultivate a strong organization. In her own words, “I hope to bring the truly amazing talent in Ontario to a wider audience. I hope to pair with other organizations across the province and the country to create a strong network of support and resources for all musicians, writers and industry members, where we can truly foster and develop the changing, but amazing face of Canadian country, and music overall.”
Lofty goals, but Cadence Grace is just the girl to reach them.
But before this, she waitressed for a very, very long time. She currently is the caregiver to her Nana, and she and her fiancee Bill own a Black Lab Shepherd “faux child” named Callie. She loves the movie “Pay It Forward” as well as the TV show “24”, Morgan Freeman and Tina Fey. Her favourite colour is Red. Speaking of fiancee Bill, she calls the moment they got engaged: “One of the most memorable of my life!” That’s understandable…. and work-wise: “In this industry the most memorable moment, so far, was probably finding out that Runaway Angel made the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase”.
Well, if you’re going to Canadian Country Music Week you might get to hear Cadence, along with Ann Chaplin and Stacey Zegers, as Runaway Angel performs Friday evening, September 5th, at the West Edmonton Mall. The blend of these voices is incredible, the songs are great, and it‘s well worth the effort to catch their performance.
When mentors were mentioned, Cadence had one important name spring to mind. “Yup, he was the best. His name was JC Smith and he helped me learn everything I know about the business. He encouraged me to always be myself, to always push myself to try new things, and be daring when it comes to approaching the music industry. He approached everything with honesty and integrity, and he instilled the same ideals in me. He helped me get my first publishing deal, helped guide me through learning how to co-write, and helped encourage me to believe in myself and my artistic abilities when I had periods of heavy self-doubt. To this day, he is a wild, truly enigmatic and amazing person whom I greatly admire and look up to.”
Lastly, Cadence has a few pieces of advice to pass along. If you’re trying to break into this industry, she says, “Be prepared to work but, if you truly love it, the work will feel as amazing as the great moments. When your hard work pays off, it is the most rewarding feeling there is. Always set your bar high and try to exceed it, but never beat yourself up if you fall short. Just keep trying.”
And lastly: “The best weapon you can have in this industry is the ability to adapt and to persevere”.
Thanks, Cadence, and may you adapt and persevere and serve many years on the CMAO Board of Directors.