Cashavelly's notebooks with songs

People of Winston: Cashavelly Morrison

by Alison Shermeta
Get to know Cashavelly Morrison, a musician on Rolling Stone's list of "Artists You Need to Know."

Cashavelly Morrison started writing songs when she was 19. She had trained in ballet at UNC School of the Arts, but when she suffered a dance-related injury, it was songwriting that brought her comfort. She couldn’t fathom learning the guitar, and she tried singing a few songs to her friends then, but she was so nervous that she gave it up. A few years later she filled her journals with more and more songs, seeking solace as she tried to find her path in the world. “That’s crazy,” she thought, “why are you songwriting, you’re not a musician.” She set it aside again.

Cashavelly got married, earned a master’s degree in writing, moved back to Winston, and began teaching. She was beginning to feel a bit settled when she experienced a pregnancy loss. In her grief, now all she could do was write songs, and she began to sing them. Her husband Ryan would take the guitar and play along. Just for herself, Cashavelly decided to record her work; she built one album, and later two. Somewhere along the way, she stepped into her role as a musician and she began sharing her music. Now she’s a Rolling Stone “Artist You Need to Know,” and her third album, Metamorphosis, is set to release next month.

This newest album tells a story that she had unknowingly been writing for years. “I was writing it because I needed it, but I had all these fragments from journals that I’d kept and I just realized oh, that connects to that. I was puzzling it out; oh that goes in that song, that goes in that song, what is this saying?” The result is a story told like rock and roll, sometimes balladic and sometimes driving. It is, she hopes, a spiritual loving embrace to anyone who hears it. And a reminder to all of us not to give up, that it may in fact take years and years to find our voice.

September 8, 2021