AN INTERVIEW WITH CASI: Celtic songstress embraces beauty

Welsh artist Casi played harp as a child, recently overcame her fear of creepy crawlies and has a beautiful new single coming out soon. Melissa Kasule caught up with the Celtic siren.

Casi Wyn had many interests as a child – from running and playing to history to poetry. But the Welsh artist was always drawn to music, competing in singing competitions from an early age.

“The intention had always been to be a performer,” she says. “But it was when I was about 10 years old and took part in this competition in Cardiff, performing in front of 500 people…in that moment I got an unexplainable feeling, it felt like some sort of a calling.”

Growing up in one of the smallest towns in the UK, Casi was surrounded by folk music and traditional Welsh hymns and she learned to play the most Welsh of instruments, the harp. But during her teen years, she also gained a love for pop music. “I listened to Kelly Clarkson and played Destiny’s Child’s album ‘Destiny Fulfilled’ back to back until I knew every single beat and rhythm,” she says.

This fusion of folk and pop is reflected in her music, which she describes as “quite colourful, emotional and passionate”. And this brightness is especially evident in the vivid music video for her song ‘Lion’ where she is covered in vibrant flowers – as well as all types of odd insects, bugs and creepy crawlies.

“I wasn’t freaked out by the experience,” she says. “It was beautiful. It’s nature…all fear dissolved.”

Working along director Maisie Cousins on the video, Casi wanted it to focus on “the idea of being paralysed, physically and emotionally, and the idea of bringing some elements of natural beauty. Something similar to where I came from”.

Casi has a brand new upcoming single ‘The Beast’, which was inspired by a scene from the Disney animated film Pinocchio. “It’s based on the idea of being half asleep and half awake,” she says. “And this idea of being stuck inside a beast or a monster. The feeling of being trapped inside something that is much bigger than you.”

She wrote ‘The Beast’ in her bedroom and it’s one of the favourite songs she has ever written. “It just came together so naturally and flowed musically and lyrically…I’m looking forward to this next one and how people perceive it.”

She adds: ‘‘Every voice is new and I have a different take on the UK culture – on what other artists are bringing and it will be very interesting to see how that works side by side next to something like grime.”

As well as wishing to achieve happiness and maintain her passion for music, art and the pop culture, Casi dreams to work one day with the Scottish producer Hudson Mohawke who has previously collaborated with Kanye West.

Expect some big things from Casi for the rest of the year as she will be coming out with more music via Chess Club Records and, as well as The Great Escape show, she will also will be performing at the South by South West Festival in Austin, Texas in March.

Tickets for The Great Escape are now on sale

Words by Melissa Kasule