DJ Cassidy was on a call with Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire when he first thought of the idea for his new live performance series, “Pass the Mic.” The show features a medley of epic performances meant to uplift audiences across the globe.
The idea came to him and he quickly went through his roster of music icons who double as close friends. “It has been so surreal,” he says of the reaction to his uplifting series. Volume One of “Pass the Mic” was filmed in DJ Cassidy‘s living room with a slight DIY energy to it. “I wanted it to have a very home feeling. The fireplace will be lit. The lights will be down low. We were so in quarantine vibe that I just decided to wear black silk pajamas because I didn’t want it to be too over-the-top. Which, I guess black silk pajamas are a bit over-the-top,” Cassidy says with a laugh.
Volume One featured the music icons of R&B from the ’70s and early ’80s like Verdine White of Earth Wind & Fire, Deniece Williams, Kool and the Gang, Ray Parker Jr., Phillip Bailey, and many others. With 16 legends all performing, connecting, and celebrating, Cassidy knew there was something special about “Pass the Mic.”
Volume Two celebrated Cassidy’s heroes of hip hop and since Volume Three of “Pass the Mic” was posted, Cassidy has had 92 artists join him to spread love through music. This involved phone calls beforehand, during, and afterwards. “To have these 92 hours of quality one-on-one time with my musical heroes was the most surreal experience of my life. I wouldn’t change that for anything,” Cassidy says.
One of the most surreal moments came from Volume Three, which focused on the R&B music of the late ‘80s, early ’90s, particularly 1987 to 1992. “Teddy Riley was at the foundation of the musical transformation of this era in 1987.” Riley is credited with spearheading his own group Guy, he has worked with artists like Keith Sweat, Heavy D & the Boyz, co-produced Michael Jackson’s Dangerous album, and produced and co-wrote the song “Teeth” with Lady Gaga. “We were talking on the phone for two hours one day and [Teddy] was telling me the most incredible stories about working with these artists. At one point we spoke over each other. So I said, ‘No Teddy, you first.’ And he said, ‘You just sounded like Michael [Jackson]. Me and Michael on the phone, excited about ideas, would always talk over each other and Michael would always say in his sweet voice, no Teddy, you first,'” Cassidy tells me, still awe-struck by being compared to Michael Jackson.
While still basking in the love and support that has come from the first three volumes of “Pass the Mic,” Cassidy admits that he has actually already started planning out Volume Four. He gives me no hints, as the element of surprise is what keeps this series exciting, but we can only expect an impressive roster of musical giants.
“Pass the Mic” airs live on Cassidy’s Twitch channel and you can find the shows on YouTube and all other social media platforms afterwards.