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Easy Star Records is pleased to announce the upcoming release from its newest signing, Cas Haley. Connection is a 13-song album featuring a bold mix of reggae, pop, rock, blues and soul, all with an emphasis on Cas’s powerful songwriting and versatile voice.

“I consider Connection my real debut album, because it is who I am from start to finish, every song, every note played, everything I sing,” says Cas. This is important coming from an artist who had previously walked away from a record deal because he was not allowed to be himself in his music.

Cas first came to national attention in 2007 as a contestant on the second season of the television show America’s Got Talent, where he finished in second place and, in the process, garnered a huge audience of fans. Cas’s debut album, which came out quickly to capitalize on the success of AGT, sold over 30,000 units in the US without a marketing campaign or extensive distribution. For Connection, Cas wanted to make a timeless album so he retreated to his home town of Paris, Texas, and took two years to create a record that honestly represented who he is as an artist. The process was long, but Cas has emerged with a strong musical statement.

The record was recorded in Texas and then mixed in Los Angeles by Danny Kalb (Ben Harper, Beck). Besides the heavy influence of reggae throughout the record (a hallmark of Cas’s style), you can also hear elements of soul, blues and pop spliced into the DNA of these songs. A stand out moment is a haunting cover of Alicia Keys’ “No One,” which is sure to please the AGT fans used to seeing Cas’s intense interpretations. They, along with everyone else, will be equally pleased by the depth and maturity of his original songs as well. Songs like “Better,” “Time And Truth,” and “I’m Free” all are rich with biographical lyrics that give deeper insight into this talented artist’s life, from childhood to the present.

For Easy Star, the leading U.S.-based independent reggae label, Connection continues an evolution of the company. “We have been stretching further from being strictly a roots-reggae-only label for a while, with progressive bands and artists like John Brown’s Body, Tommy T and The Black Seeds on the roster,” says Easy Star CEO Eric Smith. “Cas’s sound is unique, accessible, and a great way to keep expanding the Easy Star audience. And it’s not often we come across a singer-songwriter this talented, regardless of genre, so we had to work with Cas.” The label’s musical director, Michael Goldwasser, remixed a version of the single “Better” in a hardcore roots reggae style, which is being included as a bonus track.

Cas is currently on tour in Hawaii, playing shows on his own and with frequent collaborator Josh Heinrichs (of Jah Roots), who also sings on Connection. Look for much more news on Cas Haley and Connection throughout the summer.

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