Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Cassandra Pinataro! Together we discussed their relationship with music, Berklee, self-love, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?

Fantastic! Thank you for having me. 

2. Your social media handle is: @youknowcassandra. Could you share in what context humans know you? 

Humans know me as a pop artist, songwriter, Miss America local titleholder, opera singer, student, friend, and family member! 

3. Mustard wonders what your relationship with music was growing up? 

My mother began teaching me to sing when I was 4 years old. She has a beautiful voice and realized I loved singing and performing when I was little so she invested time in building my voice until I began vocal lessons at age 11. I’m so grateful for that. 

4. Who (or what) influences you?

My family, friends, and teachers influence me to be the best version of myself and to always strive to develop my passions.

5. In high school you began to dabble in songwriting. Can you recall some of your earliest songs? 

My earliest song was co-written and recorded when I was 13 years old. It was called “Never Stop Dreamin’” by Cassie Pinataro and it is still available on Apple Music! 

6. What is your songwriting process? How has it changed since high school?

The biggest change is the speed, frequency, and capability since high school! I now can write songs by myself and typically finish songs in 2 hours, multiple times per week!

7. You are Miss Music City. Could you share how you received this honor? How long is your term as Miss Music City? 

I am Miss Music City 2023 from February 2023-February 2024! I received this job and ambassadorship by competing in talent, interview, social impact, and evening gown walk. I won the talent award, the title, and thousands of dollars in scholarship! 

8. You are currently pursuing your Masters of Music Business at Berklee. What are some things you’ve learned so far in this program? 

I love this program. I’ve learned about Music Law, finance, artist management, revenue streams, data analytics, and more! Currently, I’m in research methods and consumer brand collaborations. 

10. Why do humans like to play with each other’s hearts? How can this be harmful? 

I don’t think I’ll ever understand why people play with others’ hearts. It causes so much unnecessary pain for people! Finding good, whole, and true love is a feeling like no other and I don’t think people should settle for anything different. 

11. You followed up “Drinking Games” with “Like You.” What are some telltale signs you have a crush? 

Food and music are my love languages so if I cook or make a playlist for someone, there’s a good chance I have a crush! 

12. Mustard wonders how you approach a crush. What is the proper etiquette? 

I’ll be honest, I’ve never approached a crush! I usually hope they are into me and that they’ll make the first move. So far that’s been successful!

13. Why is it important that humans are authentic? How can you tell if someone is being a fake? How did authenticity inspire your single “Made For Me?”

I think intention is easy to see. Do people contact you to check in, or only when they need something? How do they treat others? I always try to have pure, good intentions and this inspired my song “Made for Me”. I am who I am because of this!

14. Your most recent single is a celebration of self-love. For those who may be struggling with self-love, what advice would you give? 

Realize that you’ll give the best version of yourself to others if you take time to create the best version of you. This required self love! You deserve that and have to do the work and practice to realize that. 

15. Could you share more about the inspiration behind your latest single “Love You Back?”.

As I compete for Miss Tennessee, I want to have a song that inspires young students to love themselves the way they love others. This song is exactly that. I wrote it with my friends Elena Jones, Tiffany Johnson, and Brandon Meagher who also produced the track. We hopped in the studio and Brandon started creating beats while us girls began throwing around hook ideas. 3 hours later, we had a fully produced demo tracked and ready for final recording! 

16. A human gets the chance to see you perform. How would you describe your live performance? 

Every live show is a bit different from the last. I like to shake things up and soon will have a completely new concept coming to the stage. Check out my email list on or social media @youknowcassandra to know when I’m playing! 

17. Do you have any upcoming gigs? 

Yes I do! I’ll be performing in Nashville at the Preston Hotel from 7-9cst on April 22 and at Live Oak at 9pm on May 1.  

18. What is next for Cassandra? 

Next up, I’ll graduate from Berklee this December, record a new project, and compete for Miss Tennessee! I’m so excited! 

19. Where can readers listen to your music? 

Please check out my songs on any and every streaming platform by going to my website or to my social media @youknowcassandra on Instagram and TikTok! 


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