Former 'The Voice' Winner Cassadee Pope Talks New 'Stages' Album

Cassadee Pope is back with a brand new album! The Season 3 winner of The Voice released Stages on Friday, Feb. 1. The record includes 11 songs, eight of them co-written by Pope, and all of them giving fans a personal look at the singer.

"I'm so proud," Pope gushed to PopCulture.com. "It's been over a year in the making, so it's definitely been a big project for me. I've started it as just a few songs that I was going to kind of shop around to label since I was a free agent for a minute there and then, I didn't want to stop the process. Life sort of happened during the making of it so I wanted to keep that going and keep writing about those things.

"So now all the record is done," she added. "Fast forward, and it's telling this crazy story of just what I've been through the last, almost two years now so it's amazing."

Pope left the record label she had called home, Big Machine Label Group, in order to have the creative freedom to make music exactly the way she wanted it to sound, without worrying about commercial appeal.

"I'm on my own now," Pope asserted. "I'm self releasing. I've got a great team around me, but they really trust me and every single thing I've wanted to do musically and [with] everything, but especially with the album. It's not been watered down at all. There's not been any obstacles with, 'Oh is that going to be allowed to be on the record?' It's my decision, so all of the songs on the record I'm very attached to."

The 29-year-old chose to be vulnerable with Stages, even though at times it made her uncomfortable.

"There's some things personality wise that I'm showing that I'm a little afraid of, to hear what people have to think about it," Pope conceded. "They're songs that are sort of embarrassing, like just how sad I got there for a minute and how I could not move on from somebody. But I also knew if I don't put those songs on there it's not a good representation of what happened, and it's not a good representation of the obstacles I went through.

"Then you can't see this huge transformation from those feelings to the new, happier, confident bold feelings that I have now," he continued. "So I had to have both on the record."

Before appearing on The Voice, Pope fronted Hey Monday, a punk rock band. After winning the reality TV talent show with Blake Shelton as her coach, Pope leaned more country, with the release of Frame by Frame and Summer. With Stages, Pope is finally free to embrace all of her influences, without regard to limiting her music to one genre.

"I don't want to ever lose the pop and rock thing that I have, and I can't," Pope explained. "If I'm going to do music the way that I want, authentically, that's going to be in there because I grew up singing Shania Twain, and Martina [McBride] and Faith Hill, but I also had a period in my life where, and I still love, where I listen to Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy, and all these other bands. So I can't, I can't push those away, and it's happening a lot in country music now too, which is great."

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Pope will join Maren Morrison her Girl: The World Tour and then headline the CMT Next Women of Country Tour. Find all dates, and order Stages, at her official website.

Photo Credit: Getty images/C Flanigan