Written By Kelly Holm
Growing up in Orlando, Casey Conroy’s father would tell her and her sisters that “life’s not that serious,” a mantra that has stuck with her over the years and into adulthood. Now, that motto has become the inspiration for Conroy’s first EP, It’s Just Living.
“The EP had so many different versions over the past year,” Conroy said. “I kept learning more about who I was as an artist and what I wanted to say in my record, and over time we found this set of songs that really felt like a start-to-end journey.”
Some of the EP’s six tracks, Conroy says, were written three years ago, others were finished only a few months before they were shared with the world.
“In the end, I was just very adamant in wanting to create a clear listening experience that made sense, and I’m so glad we finally found it,” she said.
In the years leading up to the EP’s release, Conroy dropped singles on a regular basis, such as “Best Shoes,” “Niceboysweetgirl,” and “Trapped (The Quarantine Song).” But she’d been recording original music ever since the second grade, when her dad— himself a musician— set up the opportunity to immortalize a Hilary Duff-inspired song featuring all the kids in the neighborhood as background vocalists.
“It was really something… watching his relationship with music just lit a fire in me that pushes me to this day. The first album I ever remember loving was actually his,” Conroy recalls. “I used to have really bad stage fright when I was young, but I always knew I wanted to be an artist, so it was quite the inner battle. I knew I had to start somewhere, so I signed up for the local open mic at a place called Austin’s Coffee.”
And the rest is a visual history in vibrant living color, leading up to Conroy’s most recent single and video “California,” which premiered on YouTube Nov. 4. Clad in a teal ‘80s sweater with her hair in its signature ringlets, Conroy sits in a brightly-illuminated box as she contemplates in this breathy, guitar-driven ballad.
“I always wanted ‘California’ to be a super conceptual music video. That if you weren’t really sitting and looking, you’d miss the whole message,” she says. “The idea is that this white box, or room, that I’m sitting in is my own mind. And while I’m stuck in my own mind, I don’t even realize that this stark, lonely box is actually sitting in the vast, open, beautiful outdoors and because of the four walls and the roof, I have no idea of knowing.”
A few days before the official release, “California” earned Conroy the title of Facebook Artist of the Day, which she celebrated with a live-streamed performance of the song.
“I vividly remember the day my mom let me make a Facebook. I felt like the coolest person in the world,” she shares. “To flash forward and be Facebook’s Artist of the Day felt so unreal. I also earned a lot of street credit with my mom’s friends, which was cool.”
Conroy’s also launching an international marketing campaign to accompany the release of It’s Just Living, blanketing continents with its message of “never take life too seriously” and “it’s always impossible until it’s done.”
She hopes that the six tracks aren’t just the soundtrack to a night out, but are the kind of music you “do life with,” whether you’re celebrating, relaxing, or nursing a broken heart.
“I’ve been lucky enough to connect with fans from literally all over the world, which still blows my mind. For this EP, I really wanted to find a way to represent that, and connect with them even more,” Conroy said. “The idea of the campaign is, what does ‘It’s Just Living’ look like for you in Mexico, or in South Africa, or Australia. I want to show that this message is global and not limited by language or miles or circumstance.”
Every week, Conroy comes face to face with new challenges. She’s battled with the age-old temptation to compare herself with other musicians in an unhealthy way, but tries to redirect that energy inward toward self-progress instead, and to look toward others as inspiration rather than competition— though, she admits, it’s always nice to hear that she looks like Lana Del Rey. Among her favorite influences? Chris Martin and Kacey Musgraves.
“When I’m closing my eyes and dreaming it up, there’s definitely some headlining festivals, sold-out tours all over the world, and Chris Martin shout-outs in there!” she says.
She’s also in a major songwriting season, after devoting much of her recent energy toward the promotion and branding of It’s Just Living. Oh, and you can expect a lot of remixes and collaborations from her in the near future, too— not to mention lots and lots of live performances.
“I’m either writing, like, two songs a day or not writing so much at all. I’m so excited to finally get back into writing,” Conroy says. “A lot of my favorite songs I’ve ever written are just my thoughts unfiltered.”
Listen to It’s Just Living
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