People who Inspire: Cait Cuneo on finding her voice

Caitlin Cuneo Photo

Cait Cuneo is a rising star. And on her journey to music fame, she’s bringing along a message for fans.

“It’s the mistakes you make and the opportunities you take that allow you to grow as a person,” she said. This “can do” theme is echoed in a sophisticated and smooth blend of Hip Hop, R & B, and Jazz, making her message and her music resonate with audiences of all ages.

The 23 year old small town girl has toured the Northeast United States with the rhythm and blues band, Black Coffee. But now, she’s on her own with a recently released  E.P., “Violet”. The album is a collection of songs she wrote that represent her determination to triumph over a difficult time in her life.

Cait explained, “When I was in my second year at Berklee College of Music in Boston, I lost my way. I wasn’t taking the right path or taking care of myself. I went home and I had my family’s support. That’s all I needed,” she said.

Home is the small southwestern Pennsylvania town of Connellsville, PA near Pittsburgh where her house has always been alive with the sound of music.

Cait said she was fortunate to be exposed to all types of music as a child, including the classic rock her father, Vince, enjoyed. Her mother, Gayle, a school district music educator, also taught voice and piano in their home. And her twin sister Tessa, and older brother, Vince, are musically talented as well.

In fact, not only is Cait’s brother, Vince, on guitar with her band, he’s also her manager, promoter, and booking agent.

That strong family support was there too when she was a child taking voice and piano lessons. “My mother made sure I practiced every day,” she said.

It’s paid off.

Cait has poured her talent into writing songs with lyrics that describe her resolve to rise above obstacles in her path – making those obstacles the very launching pad for her success.

Last year, she spent more than 10 hours recording her five song E.P., “Violet”, in Brooklyn, NY with Brian Forbes, a recording producer, engineer and artist who has worked with artists including the indie rock group, “We are Augustines”. She remarked, “I loved every minute of the time spent in the recording studio. I wanted it to last forever”.

This positive recording experience was a sure sign for her that she was on the right track. Her hometown family, friends, and fans couldn’t agree more. They showed their support, in mass, by attending her recent concerts at The Porter Theater in Connellsville and the Rex Theater in Pittsburgh, where she debuted “Violet” with a very talented group of musicians.

In everything she’s learned and accomplished so far, there is one lesson Cait carries with her every day. She said, “I had a professor at Berklee who asked our class of 200 students, ‘Who wants to be famous?’ He was teaching us that once you admit to it, it’s yours to own.”

Cait wants to record more music, go on tour, and yes – be famous. She owns that goal.

For the youth watching, she’s a role model and is reminded of that every time she walks in her room. That’s where countless cards and letters are displayed from fans who are inspired by what she does. Her youngest fan, a six year old from her hometown, wrote before her concert, “I wish you luck. I hope I can make it.”

Notes like this are Cait’s inspiration to continue sharing her music and her story.

When she gets to talk with teenagers, Cait encourages them to pursue their dreams. If she was talking with them today, she’d say, “Don’t be so hung up on figuring out your life at this moment. Enjoy your life. Figuring yourself out is a process.”

In that process, Cait has grown into an extraordinary artist and has found her voice. Now, she’s ready to share it with the world.

“People who Inspire” is an ongoing series to shine a spotlight on people who have done extraordinary things. If you have experienced a great adventure, survived a life-threatening illness or trauma, overcome obstacles in achieving a goal, or have made an impact on someone’s life, I’d love to hear from you to share your story. Email me at marymotivates@gmail.com so that we can inspire others to be unstoppable in the pursuit of their goals.

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