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“Are You Out There” by Calvyn Cass

Blending Latin influences, Dance Pop, and even a hint of Salsa, Calvyn Cass ‘s new single, “Are You Out There,” brings the fun, the energy, and the love. Well, it brings the longing for that one true, sometimes elusive, love. Clocking in at just over three minutes, ‘Are You Out There,” is an action packed Pop song, that employs a few impressive tricks, throughout. Cass has shown an affinity for electronica in the past.  While his recent offering isn’t necessarily a deviation from his wheelhouse, it does rely more on composition than technology.

Calvyn Cass is a South African native, who relocated to Canada in the early 2000’s. He is a gender bending fashionista, and can be impossible to avert your eyes from, once they find him. He says his early life in South Africa was not without its struggles, primarily due to his sexual identity, and fear of rejection. He describes South Africa as a sort of traditionalist nation, in which a male was expected to embody strictly masculine traits. Cass says moving to Canada was a major adjustment, initially, but eventually gave way to him feeling more confident in his own skin.

Calvyn cites Destiny’s Child, Brian McKnight, and Celine Dion, among his influences. His voice leans towards a baritone, but on “Are You Out There,” we hear Cass employ all sorts of vocal tricks, including a sort of schizoid falsetto. The title is something of a giveaway, as what you presume is essentially, what is. Cass questions if the love of his life, is somewhere out there, wondering the same thing. It’s Calvyn’s delivery that really makes “Are You Out There,” stand out, in addition to the arrangement.

Calvyn has become known for featuring quality production on his tracks, and his newest release is no exception. The mix is strong, and the only complaint might be that Calvyn’s vocals are mixed just a tad low. It makes his lyrics a touch, indecipherable, and this song would be helped by a bit more discernment. In the past, Cass has proven his lyrical work to be descriptive, and even at times, profound. With an artist like Calvyn Cass, his words carry the same weight as his well-developed voice, so enunciation is essential.

“Are You Out There” is a decidedly positive indication that Calvyn Cass is heading in an interesting direction. He is charting his own course, and seems fully involved with the creative direction of his music, and his persona. The presentation of Cass, is tantamount to his work, as he himself, is a living work of art. His maturity, is rivaled only by his grace, and he is sure to make music that does justice to the enormity of his task. While Calvyn Cass may still be in search of who’s out there, he has already found the greatness, within.

Mindy McCall



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