By Amy Sondova Cadia’s Tori Smith and Courtney Myers are on a mission encouraging middle through college-aged girls to establish an identity firmly planted in God. The female pop/rock duo released their self-titled debut (Fervent) in Feburary. Before the album dropped, “Inside Out” was selected as the official theme song (and music video) for Women of Faith’s “Revolve Tour.”
The longtime friends formed the band’s name from the ancient Greek word “Arcadia” which means “place of peace”. Both under the age of 21, Tori and Courtney sing about issues close to the heart of women of all ages, even doing a cover of Martina McBride’s “This One’s For the Girls.” Bouncing from pop to rock to folk, Cadia’s debut is fun, relevant, and full of great melodies reminiscent of BarlowGirl and indie band, Alathea.
Honest and open, Courtney (who has a special affinity for cake) and Tori were kind enough to talk about their album via an e-mail Q&A with Backseat Writer.
Courtney and Tori, you’re best friends and best friends always have dreams. You know, one day we’re going to get married and have a double wedding or be famous models or start a band. When you think back, how did you two consider “the dream” together?
Courtney: When the idea of Cadia was first presented to us, we were thrilled. I remember just hugging her in the middle of a church parking lot and screaming when the reality set in. I could not feel more blessed than I do right now in my life. Experiencing it with Tori is icing on the cake!
Vocally, you sing in different ranges—so which one of you is the soprano and who is the alto? Did you learn any new vocal techniques to record this album?
Courtney: I am the alto, and Tori is the soprano. It’s cool; sometimes you may think you’re hearing Tori’s high harmonies and it’s me, and vice versa. We felt incredibly blessed when we were working on our album because our voices were a perfect match. We love singing together!
The album has a lot of impressive co-writers including Ian Eskelin, Rob Hawkins, Cindy Morgan, Joy Williams, Britt Nicole, and Nicole Nordeman? What was it like to have so many talented people working with you? And how did you ladies contribute to the process?
Courtney: We were so thrilled to learn that we had such amazing co-writers on our album. The writers are some of my favorite musicians. Tori and I were very involved in the song selection. The fact that there were such amazing writers made the choices a piece of cake.
Cadia does an excellent cover of Martina McBride’s “The One’s For the Girls”. I love that you included it in your song choices! How did you come to pick this classic?
Courtney: We knew that it was a great song for women of all ages. We absolutely love performing this song. We get the crowd to get up and dance, and always tell the men in the audience not to be ashamed to stand up and celebrate the women in their lives. It gets everybody laughing.
I was surprised to learn that “Safe Place to Fall” almost didn’t make the album—why did you feel that its inclusion in the album was so important?
Courtney: The message in this song is so important for our listeners to hear. I have battled with self-esteem issues, and feeling like I was never going to be good enough and I wanted to share that message.
Courtney, not only are you a singer, but you’re a professional dancer—are you thinking about trying out for a part in “High School Musical 3” (or HSM 4, which will have a whole new cast)?
Courtney: No, I’m content right where I am!
My favorite song on the album is “Trust in Me Now”, which reminds us that God is still in control. What emotions are evoked within you when you perform this song?
Tori: I feel a sense of comfort and I have an “Ah-ha!” moment every time I hear the song. When you hear the first verse and it says, “I know your past, the point of breaking into pieces,” it makes me realize every time that God knows exactly what I am going through. He is the only one that completely understands, because He has been through everything. I also love the chorus, because it is written like God speaking to us. Like He’s saying, “I know it’s hard and I know you’re in pain, but just trust in me!” I just feel a sense of release, like “OK, Lord, I will rest in you.”
You both said that reaching out to girls in their formative years (middle school through college) is important. Why is this demographic so close to your heart?
Tori: Middle school through college is such an important time in everyone’s life. I think those are the times when a lot of important choices are made. And it’s a time that can be really hard, especially middle school. I know that middle school was a really hard time for me, and even high school, in dealing with friends and family issues. We want our music to be an encouragement for those girls and help them when they are going through those hard times.
Tori, I saw that one of your favorite books is Captivating by John and Stasi Elderedge—how has that influenced your idea of female identity in God?
Tori: It helped me remember how beautiful we are in God’s eyes, and that’s all that matters. So whenever I am being down on myself, and feel that I don’t look pretty, I just try to remember how pretty and important I am to God.
What do you think that adults just don’t get about women your age, you know, in that pivotal place between high school and forming an adult identity?
Tori: I think that adults understand most of what women go through during that time, because they were once that age also. But every generation is different. I think that each generation has different issues that they are facing.
Anything else you want to say in closing?
Tori: Our website is www.cadiaonline.com and our myspace is www.myspace.com/cadiaonline. We are very involved with both of those and we love hearing from everyone.