Cassadee Pope Opens Up About Post-Pandemic Challenges [EXCLUSIVE]

No one was more sad than Cassadee Pope to see all of her concerts go away and find herself off the road for over a year because of the pandemic. The Season 3 winner of The Voice is slowly easing back into normalcy, now that COVID-19 numbers are going down and the number of people being vaccinated is going up — a return that has had its own surprising set of challenges.

“There’s definitely an element of social awkwardness that I’ve realized I have,” Pope tells Everything Nash. “Zoom has been completely, totally normalized for me now. I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m talking to you on Zoom and not in person. That’s normal.’ So now when I see people in person — I’m fully vaccinated, so I’m seeing people who have been fully vaccinated here and there — it’s taking some getting used to, to be honest. I thought it would just be natural to just go in for a hug and sit down and have drinks and have a fluid conversation.”

Pope never anticipated that returning to her former social life would have its own unexpected pitfalls.

“I catch myself sometimes, just sort of losing track of what I’m saying,, and just paying attention to my surroundings and things around me that I never would have been kind of alert over,” Pope admits. “I’m very grateful for the light at the end of the tunnel. Things are opening up, but it is an adjustment for me.”

Pope, who just released “What the Stars See,” with Little Big Town‘s Karen Fairchild and Lindsay Ell, also hopes to be able to perform this year, as long as it is safe for everyone.

“I had a couple of things pop up on my calendar today that I wasn’t sure were going to stay on it,” Pope reveals. “I have a military base show that’s coming up in South Carolina, which I’m excited about, in July.  I think there’s another show that’s booked in July in Wisconsin. But the thing that kind of is bizarre about my show schedule is, I played all the festivals and fairs and stuff in 2019. So those fairs and festivals tend to go with different artists the next year, so I wasn’t booked on any of those in 2020. Now they’re pushed to 2021, and I’m still not booked on them. So the summer is sparse as far as shows go.”

Still, now that Pope has survived being home and away from her fans in 2020, she vows to do whatever it takes to keep them engaged in 2021.

“There’s new music coming, and I’m gonna probably do some virtual things,” she reveals. “Maybe even film a virtual show that I can have people tune into, a full band show that people can tune into. So I’m going to get creative with it, but I’m really, really hoping there’s a fall opportunity. It’s looking promising for a fall tour.”