Degrassi stars turn to music

Degrassi stars turn to music
by Jennifer Lathan
UT Staff Writer

February 07, 2006

Fans in the United States have been hooked on the popular Canadian show “Degrassi – The Next Generation” and have started to follow lives of its popular characters. While many only know them as their characters on the show, Cassie Steele (Manny) and Andrea Lewis (Hazel) are branching out into the recording business.

Steele and Lewis have released their own debut albums, which hit shelves in Canada late last year. Since the show has only recently crossed the border into the United States, the albums are now only available here through

Steele’s album “How Much For Happy” deeply contrasts her character on the show. If she were creating this album as her character Manny, you would probably expect a “bubble-gum” pop album. Instead she turns out a rock-and-roll rhythm with deep soulful rifts and a powerful voice to match and better fit her own personality.

Steele’s voice has a large rang, one of a singer twice her age. She adds in a tough, strong attitude comparable to that of Avril Lavigne. Her lyrics speak to those with broken hearts and anyone trying to move on to be a stronger, more independent person.

One of the catchiest tracks on “How Much For Happy” has to be “Fantasy,” an anthem for girls everywhere. It relates that you are who you are and no one can change you.

Another interesting track was “A Sinner’s Prayer” which speaks to those who feel down and out but still can find that someone has been there for them.

The album was not at all what would be expected of her, but it was an interesting listening experience. It comes highly recommend to all of the rockers out there or anyone who just wants a change of pace in their listening experience.

“Float Away,” Lewis’ album, on the other hand, has more of a pop style with some R&B rhythm. While her style differs from that of Steele, her lyrics are just as relatable. Her songs tell stories of looking for love, feeling those butterflies in your stomach and finding great happiness in that special someone.

“Superwoman” is one of the many outstanding tracks because while it could be seen as talking about the support of a significant other, it could also talk about the support of family. Her vocals were well done, though she probably could have shown off a bit more of her voice, it was commendable first effort.

Overall, both albums are worth your time to listen to. You may just find a song that makes you feel like you can “make it through” which consequently is part of the show’s theme song.


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