Getting To Know... Casey McQuillen

After following up her much-loved 2022 debut album 'Skinny' with a string of impactful efforts last year, Brooklyn-based artist Casey McQuillen is now back for 2024 to deliver her euphoric new single 'Talk In My Head'.

Capturing more of that warm and riveting alt-pop aesthetic she is known for, 'Talk In My Head' makes for a wonderfully bright and immersive listen. With her rich and soaring vocal performance layered across a glittering production from start to finish, she is returning to the fold with one of her most alluring offerings to date.

So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with her to find out more about her origins and what has been inspiring her most lately.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

I don’t know if this counts, but the voice! I just absolutely loved to sing as a little kid, and did so as much as I could!

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

I wasn’t exposed to a wide variety of music; I don’t come from a musical family, so we just listened to Top 40 radio (and my mom’s favourite, Josh Groban). But this was the era of CDs, so I would buy the CDs of artists and bands with one or two songs on the radio, and delve deep into their album tracks. When I was in highschool, Pandora came around, and I was introduced to so many talented singer/songwriters that way, including the amazing Jon McLaughlin, who I ended up dueting with years later on our song ‘In & Out’!

What was the first album you remember owning?

I remember that Aaron Carter’s album ‘Aaron’s Party’ was the first album I memorised top to bottom! I could sing every word of every song. I have always been so enthralled with lyrics, and memorising entire albums is one of my earliest musical memories.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

Wow. I just looked through my saved songs on Spotify, and that is actually such a hard question to answer! I’m going to go with “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. I have felt exactly what she describes, and connect so deeply with her honesty and self reflection. I listened to her so much when I was a young songwriter, and I feel like her writing influenced mine so much that when I hear that song, I both personally and professionally relate to it.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

When I write by myself, I usually just sit with my guitar on my bed, start a voice memo, and play and sing until the feeling I want to express begins to take shape. Otherwise, I jot down ideas in my notes app or voice memos as they come to me throughout the week. When I write with others, I’ll compile a list to present to my co-writing partner to see what speaks to them the most.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

I just saw Griff in concert, and she was fantastic, so I’ve been spinning her stuff a bunch!! I love Wild Rivers, and they’re always at the top of my listens. And I’m obsessed with Renee Rapps whole album!! She’s such an unbelievably talented vocalist, and she proved she has the songwriting chops to match.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

TAYLOR SWIFT. Taylor, I’m going to screenshot this, and I hope that someday, we’ll be backstage before I go out there to open for you and I’ll show this interview as proof that it’s ALWAYS BEEN YOU!

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

I try to write from a really vulnerable space, and I am moved and honoured every time I hear from fans that they felt seen and comforted when listening to my music. I spent years writing these songs with the same intensity and commitment to honest self expression, but without a fan base to share them with. Now that I have a community to share my songs with, I appreciate every single person who listens <3

And what is the most frustrating part?

This industry is using metrics more and more to make artistic decisions, and it bums me out! I think a healthy artistic ecosystem is led by the artists, not the algorithm. It’s a tough tightrope to walk!

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

On my first US tour ever, I was opening for an amazing singer/songwriter named Stephen Kellogg, who was so experienced, knowledgeable, and kind. He told me that if I were to achieve my professional goals, I’d have to accept that I couldn’t make everyone like me. When I finally got my art in front of millions of people, there were going to be people who didn’t like me or my music! In this job, you get way more eyeballs on you than most humans ever experience, and while it mostly leads to beautiful connections, and can also lead to weird, mean, or objectifying moments. His advice helps me focus on the sea of positivity instead of the moments of negativity.


Casey McQuillen's new single 'Talk In My Head' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.