The NI Music Prize will feature the presentation of a very special award later this year. The Joe Cassidy Chrysalis Award was created in loving memory of an immense talent taken too soon. From Belfast, based in Chicago, Joe was a musician, songwriter, singer, producer, artist, manager and mentor.
The award of £3,000 has been raised through the proceeds of an event held on 28th August 2022, when the legendary Chicago music venue Metro hosted “Hear in Heaven”. The event was a joyous coming together of 42 musical artists whose lives had been touched by Joe, performing in his honour.
Joe performed and recorded as Butterfly Child, also with the band Assassins, and was a pivotal member of the Shepard Fairey project NØISE. He was also involved in music production and management, working with a broad array of artists including Jimmy Webb, Ashley Campbell, Michael McDermott, Jonny Polonsky, Ree-Vo, Ethan Gold, Plastic Crimewave Sound and the Webb Brothers.
Joe’s love of music and tireless support of musicians forged the basis for this bursary, which will be awarded to a solo artist or band later this year.
The purpose of this award is to provide financial support to an emerging band or solo artist who shares Joe’s passion for making original music, his positivity, and his determination to survive and thrive in the challenging music business. In honour of Joe any further practical support possible will be offered through the various industry friends and contacts he worked with over the years. Artists and bands will be able to apply through a short application process from 21st June.
Joe’s sister Frances said “Joe was an exceptional person. He was a gifted musician, and the kindest, most thoughtful and generous brother. His support for fellow artists was inspirational. I am eternally grateful to have had Joe in my life, and am so proud of the beautiful soul he was and everything he achieved. I know he’d approve of what we are trying to do in supporting Northern Ireland based musicians, and hope that as many artists and bands as possible will come forward to apply for the award.”
Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said “This will be a moving tribute, but also a reminder of how many artists like Joe over the years have made a real musical impact away from home. We look forward to welcoming Joe’s Belfast family and Chicago family to the NI Music Prize later this year. The funds they have raised will really help an artist or band in their development. From talking to sister Frances, brother Michael and his friends Sarah and Joe in Chicago, it’s clear how much Joe gave to other musicians and so this is a really fitting way to mark his legacy.”
How to apply
Submissions are invited from 21st June – 31st August 2023. Details will be available on a new website dedicated to Joe’s music on www.softexplosives.co.uk from 21st June.