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Adam Lambert As Idolmaker: The Case Of Cassidy Haley

Lyndsey Parker
The New Now

At this point, Adam Lambert is pretty much like Oprah, in terms of his all-encompassing influence over his devoted fanbase. Just like any Oprah Book Club selection is certain to become a New York Times best-seller, in the pop music world there is perhaps no more ringing endorsement these days than a black-fingernailed thumbs up from the tastemaking Glamerican Idol.

Case in point: independent electronic artist Cassidy Haley, an L.A. buddy of Adam's and the co-owner of Skingraft, the fashion company that designs many of the Idol's custom leather jackets. This past Sunday afternoon, Adam Lambert briefly tweeted a YouTube link to Cassidy's new music video, "Whiskey In Churches."

He literally only typed, "My friend Cassidy just shot this great video." That's it.

But by Monday, the video had been viewed more than 31,000 times; the Twitterverse was overtaken with raging debates over whether the man playing Cassidy's love interest in the video was in fact Adam himself; and Cassidy's EP, Little Boys & Dinosaurs, had skyrocketed to become the number 3 electronic album on iTunes.

That's the power of Adam Lambert, people.

To be fair, while it was Adam who turned on many of his 147,000 or so Twitter followers to Cassidy, it wasn't just nepotism at work in this case--it turns out Cassidy is talented in his own right, and his dark danceclub music is catchy goth-pop, nostalgically new-wavey grooves a la '80s synthdisco bands like Real Life, Alphaville, Blancmange, and Information Society.

Or perhaps a better description would be Cassidy's own, from the "Sounds Like" section of his MySpace page, which likens his music to "a drugged-out Justin Timberlake lost in the backstreets of Berlin on acid after being kidnapped by a pack of raving mad drag queens." Wow!

Here's another clip by Cassidy, the title track from his EP, that comes somewhat close to that description:

And it turns out that Cassidy can unplug the synthesizers and drum machines and do the campfire-acoustic thing too, as evidenced by the clip below:

So far the public response to Cassidy's music, at least among diehard and very vocal Adam Lambert fans, has been hugely enthusiastic. Will record labels take notice? That remains to be seen, but if so, then Cassidy Haley may be the first artist to get signed out of American Idol without ever having appeared on the show.

Here's Cassidy expressing his gratitude and disbelief over what's transpired over the last few days. It'll be interesting to see what new music Adam Lambert endorses next...

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