ABOUT EUPHIE MAGIC OWNER
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CASSANDRA W. LIGHTY
The Euphie Magic, Vocalist & Lyricist
My name is Cassandra Wilkinson Lighty. I'm a lyricist and vocalist turned Video Story teller. As a singer with my band "The Control Freaks", it was an acquired talent for me to create lyrics to our original music as a result of my life experiences. As a child I grew up singing to my 45's and LP's of music by Motown, acts, Etta James, Leslie Gore, Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle and of course Aretha Franklin. As a teen my delivery and performance enhanced as I mimicked the delivery and performances of Tina Turner and Chaka Kahn. Despite my passion for singing, I was one that always shied away from the attention which allowed my insecurities to get the best of me. And so though I had a passion for singing and the urge to perform, I often hid in the background as I sang in church choir or sang at the top of my lungs in my living room. When I entered junior high I signed up to join the chorus and loved the competition aspect of performing against other school choirs for two years. That experience gave me the confidence to audition for the state renown I.C. Norcom High School Chorus as a freshman. Four years under the the directorship and tutelage of the disciplined and brilliant, Melvin Lewis was like a masterclass in training for vocalists. Again I continued to hide in the background, intimidated by singers who were born to be leads, I took a shot at entering the school's talent show as a freshman, performing "Every Little Bit Hurts by Brenda Holloway. To my surprise my performance was well-received and even caught the attention of my choral director where I was moved from the basement of the chorus to a front row seat. The competition was fierce within and outside the chorus and as a member of the concert choir, we performed all over the state, recorded an album and traveled to outside of the state to Boston, Massachusetts and Hibbing, Minnesota which gave me my first experience with flying. Approaching my senior year, I continued to flourish but stayed in the background when it came to singing until my classmates forced me to run for Homecoming Queen. The competition required that I perform a talent and of course I chose to sing but I remember being petrified about competing. I chose the song "You Lost that Loving Feeling" by Dionne Warwick; but the challenge to me at that time was that it had to be performed live not to a record. Somehow I was able to get a few members from the school band to assist me with this and I won after performing in front of all classes in two separate assemblies. Attending Morgan State College that fall, I had decided to focus on my education but was approached by some new friends who wanted to participate in the freshman talent show who asked if I could sing. Of course I said yes and the three gentleman, Gregory "Hap" Evans, Augustus "Gus" Baxter, Tony Grandberry and I also freshmen performed Gladys Knight and the Pips, "If I Were Your Woman" as "Cool, Calm, Collective and Cassandra" to a live ensemble. We won but we did not perform together anymore the rest of my time at Morgan. Two of them pledged Omega Psi Phi fraternity their sophomore year and the third did not complete his time at Morgan. As for me during my senior year, I pledged Deltat Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and performed as one of my line's lead singers but no more star performances.
After grad school, I went to work for the federal government in my field of study as an Urban Planner and I moved to Atlanta, Georgia for two years; but returned back to Philadelphia where I enrolled in Fashion Design School. However, I was only able to complete a semester due to financial reasons but and the recession of the early eighties. Unemployed, as I searched for work, I met a guitarist in search who was looking for a lead vocalist for his band, Mission Control. He loved the "Clash's Rockin the Casbah" and the band's sound was a rock, funk original music. Since I grew up in Roanoke, Va where I grew up listening to everything from the Everly Brothers to Brenda Lee because we had no soul stations, my musical tastes were and still are quite varied so my interest was peaked. I went to audition and won the guys over by immediately penning lyrics and performing then to an original I have never heard on the spot. Words can not express the surge of energy that flowed through me as I began going to rehearsals and being involved in the creative process. And when we started performing live no matter how small the venue I felt at home onstage. The struggle was real at the time because we refused to do covers at our gigs which made it difficult to get booked. We eventually built a following of family and friends despite the lack of exposure; and I loved the fact that we created original music which would enable me not to judged or compared against other female singers.
There were many ups and downs and of course with band breakups and name changes along the way which resulted in my going it alone as "CASSANDRA" in the late eighties for a couple of years, I performed in various venues around Philadelphia singing jazz and what was known then as "torch songs" also freelancing with other local bands. Then In the early nineties, I reconnected with a few of my band mates to form under the name "the Control Freaks". We came so close to being signed by Queen Latifah's management company; but when that deal fell through we parted ways again. I continued to perform and freelance until in the late nineties my band mates and I decided to organize as "530 Production Company" focusing more on music production for other acts; but also featuring ourselves as one. But then the 2007 recession hit and our business never really took off the ground after our album was released so the focus became more about our families and we parted ways again. As a singer, I continued to perform at weddings, funerals, showcases and local venues around the Philadelphia area stood a chance. And it's important to note that the vocal techniques I acquired in high school have are still utilized by me today. Since then I have found other ways to put my creativity at use by using my talents to to tell stories through personalized video first in celebrating my Mom's 80th birthday, then in celebrating the birthdays of other friends and family members. I've performed at occasions for family and friends I find a relatable song and change the lyrics as it applied to the person being celebrated. And so now when I'm given a story a relatable song, I change the lyrics to fit the person being celebrated through the video story. As once a producer of "the House of 530 Productions", if there is a song that I feel can be delivered more effectively by someone else, I will produce that talent to deliver the song as needed to successfully deliver the video story to the client. Also collaborations with customers who express interest in personalizing lyrics to a favorite or 530 original song will be a service available.
Just like millions of Americans, I too am staying home due to the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic on our country and like many American families faced we were faced with finding a way to celebrate my g-niece's birthday during stay at home orders for the family's residing states. The hostess, her mother requested that each family member submit a birthday video greeting to present her daughter as a gift. The EM Designer, the Aunt, me, decided to comprise our video greetings into a video story that you can now view on this website, the WORKS. This example includes an Intro Video Greeting from her mom as the hostess, Guest Video Greetings from family members & extended family, Photos & Photo Collages of the honoree that include those the guests and extended family presented exclusively as a part of the EM Video Story. The EM Birthday Video Story (The WORKS) also includes Video Story features that consists of music from the birthday girls' favorite artist and a personalized song by the EM Lyricist and Vocalist who personalized the lyrics for her g-niece. After receiving the emotional response from my g-niece, Angel, who expressed happiness it bought my family in connecting us in that way, I decided to use this stay at home time to produce this magic for others. One of the video feature services being offered by the EM Vocalist & Lyricist would be to create personalized song videos that could be used at virtual weddings in the absence of a wedding singer, to memorialize a love one or to celebrate or honor one. The EM Vocalist & Lyricist is also available to collaborate in personalizing and customizing the lyrics of a favorite song or creating a new one to celebrate a love one or honoree (EM Song Performances for Life Celebrations).
Now you may asked, what are the origins for the name of your company? Well I loss my mother in 2018 whose name was "Euphesenia" from the word "Euphrosyne (Joyfulness)" after one of the three Greek daughters of Grace in Greek Mythology. She was called "Euphie" for short and because of the extraordinaire person my mother was, this has been my way of keeping her name alive in the universe. My mother's favorite color was purple and she lived her life by her faith in GOD but she gained her energy from what she described as "moon time" thus the symbolism shown throughout this website. For my mother's 80th birthday, I created a series of video stories with music that told her life's story reflected by the decades she lived. My mother was my biggest supporter and cherished this compilation in her honor; and my family has kept them as keepsakes. In closing, I remember my mom used to be mesmerized by the way I'd change lyrics to songs when I would perform to celebrate not only her birthday but those of others. And because my mother thought I created magic; thus the name "EUPHIE MAGIC in her honor. So let me create some of that magic for someone you love as a gift of recognition during this time of social distancing along with my unique creative designs.
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME "EUPHIE MAGIC"?