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by Jed Ocot
Ryan Cassata finds releasing his new music acoustically to be raw and liberating. The all-acoustic presentation is a more fitting representation of who he is than his preceding recordings. Jupiter follows his first two volumes, Oh, Alexis and In America, and tackles a more personal, honest, and darker look at the world as he knows it.
In “Sobering Up,” he sings, “we’re all addicts to something when we’re strangers to pain.” The track is about Cassata’s stepbrother who died of a heroin overdose at the age of 16. Drug use is also prevalent in the album’s title track. Here he mixes astronomy metaphors to describe the effects of using drugs. On “Liberation,” he gives an anti-addiction message to anyone who feels the need to turn to drugs. “Nothing can make you happy until you find joy inside yourself,” he says.
“Dear Lucas” is a heartfelt look at a childhood friend Cassata had while in music camp. His friend flipped out during their time there and was institutionalized for a time. The song is his way of saying that had Lucas reached out to him, he would have helped. Having grown up an Italian-American on Long Island, “The Mob’s Rolling Cadillac” is about the Mafia stereotypes that plagued his and many other families.
The multi-talented 19-year-old started getting attention after making appearances on Larry King Live and The Tyra Banks Show. Cassata came out as transgender in his early teens and has since become a globally recognized advocate for the LGBT community, rallying for equality and the end of bullying. He’s been featured in several high-profile magazines and was the youngest keynote speaker at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference of 2012.
More info at ryancassata.com.