It’s no secret that the last few years have changed the entertainment industry. While new technology has revolutionized the way that creators share their content and users consume it, many fans still yearn for the live music experience. DJ Cassidy has found a way to merge the best of both worlds, mass-producing intimacy with some of the world’s biggest hip-hop artists. He sat down with The Source to talk about his upcoming live ‘Pass the Mic’ experience at the upcoming Pegasus World Cup in Miami on January 29 as well as what he hopes the future role of the DJ will be in a Web 3.0 culture.
The pandemic put a pause in life as we knew it, especially in the entertainment industry and some experts have called this an “opportunity for a reset.” While Cassidy pointed out that technology has changed the DJ experience from a logistical, social, and cultural perspective, he also notes that certain elements should remain the same.
“I think that the number one aspect of DJ-related performances that is likely to change post-pandemic is interactivity between the performer and other artists as well as interactivity between the performer and the audience,” he says. “Speaking for myself personally, creating the ‘Pass the Mic’ series in my living room enabled me to invent new ways to interact with artists and interact with my audience. At first, of course, those new ways were exhibited in what became my television show and now of course I am translating those new methods onto the live stage. The series enabled me to create a way to present everyone’s favorite songs in a new way, to showcase everyone’s favorite artists in a new way, and to connect those artists and those songs to audiences in a new way.”
Cassidy has managed to create group cohesion, not just with the artists that he has on stage, but also with his fans as well andalthough Cassidy notes that it’s hard to articulate exactly what that new way is, he does emphasize that he has tried for the past year and a half to really investigate what he believes makes it so special: the intimacy of the whole experience.
“The songs and artists connect to the viewer in ‘Pass the Mic’ through a very personal light. At the end of the day, I’m just a fan like the viewer, so my reactions to the artists are similar to what I imagine the viewers’ reactions to be. I’m in awe of all the artists. They’re my idols. They’re my heroes. They’re my favorite singers and rappers of all time,” he notes. “So as I begin to translate to the live phase, I want to do everything in my power to keep the personal nature of those experiences between me and the artists, because if those personal interactions are maintained, then the audience will feel it too.”
He also stresses that the ‘Pass the Mic’ live experience will be different from any other DJ-related experience of the past.
“As with all my ‘Pass the Mic’ television specials, I am even more tight-lipped about the specifics of past the ‘Pass the Mic’ live, but what I can say with certainty is that there will always be the element of interactivity, there will always be the element of surprise, and there will always be the element of intimacy. I always say that despite the personal nature of the ‘Pass the Mic’ series on digital and television, the show is always simultaneously larger than life. That’s an interesting dichotomy if you think about it: how is something so personal and so intimate also so grand and so over-the-top? I’m always examining what I believe makes the show so special and what I believe makes the show so unique. I think that that’s a major component. Realizing that and realizing that I’m part of what makes the TV show so special is an interesting contradiction. I really am striving to maintain that contradiction in the live experience. I want it to feel intimate and personal. I want the audience to connect with me and my guests in an intimate and personal way as they do with the television series, but yet I want it to be grand and over the top and larger than life too.”
While Cassidy is keeping tight-lipped about the specific of his live performance this weekend, he will say that Miami is just a precursor of what’s to come in 2022 as he takes ‘Pass the Mic’ live on the road.
“It’s really going to be a one-of-a-kind experience and I say that phrase with conviction even though I’m sure it’s overused. In this case, it’s the truth and I couldn’t be more honored to have three of my favorite hip-hop superstars of all time joining me on stage. It’s just an honor,” Cassidy says, humbly brushing off any mention of himself as a cultural icon before continuing. “This is the most exciting way to set off this next chapter. It really doesn’t get more iconic than them three and together I’m very confident we’re going to create something special.”
DJ Cassidy will host his first live ‘Pass the Mic’ alongside Ja Rule, Lil Kim, Mase, and more at the Pegasus World Cup on Saturday, January 29. More information can be found at https://www.pegasusworldcup.com/.