Ryan Cassata is an award winning singer-songwriter, actor, performer, writer and LGBTQ activist based in Los Angeles. With features in Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and The Daily News, Ryan has made the most of his young career, which started when he was just 13.
As a musician with over 550 performances touring across the United States and internationally, including dates on the Van’s Warped Tour, SXSW and at the worlds biggest pride festivals, Ryan has been praised by The Advocate saying he’s a “Transgender singing sensation”, LOGO put him on the “9 Trans Musicians You Need To Get Into” list and Billboard put him on the “11 Transgender & Non-Binary Musicians You Need to Know” list. Light Up is his recent release.
We recently interviewed him for our magazine. Sharing it with our readers here.
Pro Media Mag : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
Ryan Cassata : I started performing at clubs on Long Island when I was 13. I had several bands, the most well known was called “The Fenetiks.“ After The Fenetiks broke up I started my solo career. A lot of clubs and venue owners gave me a chance even though I couldn’t guarantee ticket sales. They kept booking me because they believed in me. Someone that sticks out to me is a guy named Dob that kept booking me from the time when I couldn’t sell enough tickets to past when I could sell more than required.
Pro Media Mag : Who or what inspired you to get into entertainment industry?
Ryan Cassata : I was very inspired by my guitar coach Lou. Unfortunately he died in 2006 but he asked me “Is music going to be your hobby or your passion?” I realized shortly after he died that it was my passion and I needed to pursue it.
Pro Media Mag : Tell us about your recent music release?
Ryan Cassata : My latest release is called “Light Up.” It’s a indie pop/rock single about falling in love and being scared of it, backing away, and then coming back.
Pro Media Mag : What kind of response you have received so far from your tours and releases?
Ryan Cassata : I’ve received a great response from both fans and press. I hope that it gets bigger and better from here!
Pro Media Mag : What attracts you more, performing on stage or working in studios?
Ryan Cassata : Both are great. I can’t really pick. I love being in the studio because it’s so chill but I also love playing shows because I love to connect with fans and take the audience away from their struggles for a little bit.
Pro Media Mag : Tell us about your acting ventures?
Ryan Cassata : Currently, I’m acting and singing in a musical called “Cotton Candy and Cocaine.” I’m playing a trans man busking artist named Blazer. The role really speaks to me and I’m really honored to be a part of such a talented cast and crew. I also got to be a part of Powerhouse Theater this summer in a production of “This Ain’t No Disco!” A few years ago I was in a short film called Collective:Unconscious. It’s been a lot of fun!
Pro Media Mag : You are also an activist, you also got awards for your social activism. Tell us a little about that?
Ryan Cassata : I became an activist because there was really nothing else I could do. It was either become an activist or die. I had to make changes in my school to survive. I was told I couldn’t use either bathroom, I struggled with bullying and teachers not understanding, I had to fight for my name to be in the yearbook as my chosen name. It was rough but I did it and changed a lot. I started speaking in schools when I was just 13 years old an still do it 10 years later.
Pro Media Mag :What is your best role? Singer-songwriter, actor, performer, writer or an activist?
Ryan Cassata : I do it all and I love it all. I just want to touch peoples lives and all of those roles do that.
Thanks for the interview! I appreciate it.