Cassie Interview: The Official Girl

conducted by Hugo Lunny

The sophomore album slump is a much talked about phenomenon, widely discussed in music. Many artists can come out with a debut album featuring a hit or two (“Me & U” and “Long Way 2 Go” in this example) and then fade away.

Cassie isn’t intending to fall into that category. The 22 year old model/actress/singer has committed herself to her follow up, working hard since the beginning of last year.

She aims to have the album released early in 2009, and is currently promoting the first single “Official Girl” with Lil’ Wayne to help generate a strong buzz.

Cassie Interview

MVRemix: As a songwriter, who has influenced you?

Cassie: Oh wow! I mean there have been so many. Um, Michael Jackson? [laughs] I don’t know, there are so many… Prince… There are so many writers out now that are really inspiring and influential.

MVRemix: Do you remember the first song you wrote?

Cassie: The first song I wrote to was actually the second single off of my first album (“Cassie”) that was called “Long Way 2 Go” where I was kind of rapping a little bit. That was the first record that I wrote on.

MVRemix: And what inspired that?

Cassie: I just wanted to do a fun song for girls when a guy’s coming at you and you don’t want to deal with whatever he’s coming at you with. He’s got a long way to go. Just little things like that.

MVRemix: What made you choose to add your number on your MySpace?

Cassie: To add my phone number to MySpace [chuckling] It’s definitely for the fans so that I can get personal messages from my fans, because I want to keep it interactive and fresh.

MVRemix: Do you feel that this form of promotion is still as effective as when Mike Jones used it?

Cassie: It’s a little different from when Mike Jones did it [laughs]

MVRemix: You had a video diary talking about being overwhelmed, as a self professed “shy individual,” how do you deal with such huge amounts of pestering?

Cassie: I mean when I made that blog in particular it was just like I wanna be able to make real blogs in real situations so my fans can see what’s really going on. Maybe they’re not in the room when I get frustrated, but they’ll see me after trying to calm myself down. I don’t know… How do I deal with it? I take that moment, going into myself for a second and taking deep breaths. It’s never really that much of a situation where I’m that much annoyed. I just wanted to share that because I thought it was definitely a cool thing for people to see.

MVRemix: Tell me about your forthcoming album.

Cassie: There’s so much to talk about… I’ve been working on it for a while; since the beginning of 2007 I would say and got in with lots of great producers, some that you know, some that you don’t know… A lot of great writers… So there’s substantial content on this album. I’m trying to finish it before Thanksgiving and have it out for next year. It’s a different sound; it’s very sensual, a little bit more grown up. But at the same time I have to be conscious of the fact that I do have a young audience. It’s a mix of everything, but it’s definitely different from the first album.

MVRemix: How many songs would you say you’ve recorded in total for it thus far?

Cassie: [ponders and chuckles] I don’t know… A lot.

MVRemix: With regards to the one’s that have already leaked, do you have plans to use those or put them elsewhere?

Cassie: You know what? I love every single one of the songs that has gotten leaked, so if [there are] any that I want to keep – I’m just gonna go back into the studio and re-vamp them and have fun with it. ‘Cause I’ve gotten good feedback on a lot of the records and that helps a lot too. Even though it’s a gift and a curse; the whole song leaking thing, it helps me try to figure out what people want to hear and what they like. So I’m definitely gonna go back in with some of the songs. I did a record called “Nobody But You” that I did with Tricky and [The] Dream and that got leaked. I’m keeping it because I really liked that song.

MVRemix: You’ve mentioned your frustrations at leaked songs, and as a music consumer, I wonder how you and the label don’t keep tighter wraps on material. How does it get out of your guys’ hands so easily?

Cassie: You know I think right now people are so intelligent and so smart with technology and with computers and with everything that I don’t count anything out. So if we’re sending a song through email or whatever, it’s a risk. So now you just have to be more conscious and make sure that we’re making the right decisions if we’re sending it to people. Just to be careful who you’re sending it to and what email you’re using. I don’t really know how it happens, but it happens to every artist now.

MVRemix: Recently, you’ve gotten involved with the various artist related campaigns and encouragement online, how serious are you about the electoral process? Have you heavily sought out information on both candidates?

Cassie: Well I have to say I’m always watching CNN, that’s the only way to stay on top of it because things change every five minutes. One minute the debate is going on, the next minute [Sarah] Palin’s talking about how Barack Obama hangs out with terrorists. There’s always something new that’s popping up. I think CNN is the best, or check up on their YouTube pages. I stay up on it pretty well. I’m extremely passionate about it. I think we’ve had eight years of something that’s just not helping us. I mean look at the economy now… I’m thinking we need a change and I’m hoping the election is in favour of Obama.

MVRemix: Now I’ve read a lot about your practicing with and pushing your voice. In your opinion, is an artist credible if they only thrive in the studio with technology?

Cassie: I definitely think you should be able to sing well, but there are so many people that are non-singers now which I don’t hate on; rappers or whatever else that don’t want to sing. So they can use those tools… It’s a style of music, it’s what music is now. You can’t really knock it if it’s of the time. I think that if you’re definitely trying to be a singer you don’t need it. I don’t work with it. Sometimes it’s fun to play with it. There’s a lot of singers-non-singers that use it and I think it’s really cool and so…

MVRemix: With being so strongly portrayed as a sex symbol, do you feel much freedom in life? Watching your diet, strict exercise regimes and such?

Cassie: I’m actually really bad about being lazy and not working out [chuckles] But I have to do it. It’s all a brand, being an artist and making yourself successful is making yourself a brand. So, I focus on it, I try to eat healthy and work out and dance as much as I can. It’s funny that you say “sex symbol,” because I don’t even look at myself like that.

MVRemix: Have fun with this one, a la “Fight Club” – “If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight”?

Cassie: [laughing] Oh my God! That’s a tough question; I don’t know. I haven’t had any real beef with anybody to want to fight them.

MVRemix: Oh no, it’s not a real fight, just as a joke. Anyone.

Cassie: I don’t know! I can’t think of anyone… That’s weird. I’ll think about that.

MVRemix: You’ve been doing some acting, and have been modeling for a while, what other non-musical aspirations do you have?

Cassie: The acting, modeling and stuff really played a huge part in why I’ve been successful as an artist. I’m really focused on this album and it has to be big for me, I want it to be perfect. I’m really anal about it. So we’ll see what comes after. I did a film that came out last summer [“Step Up 2: The Streets”], it was a small part, but I really enjoyed it. I would love to do that again at some point.

MVRemix: When I say to you, “The stupidest argument you’ve had in a relationship,” what springs to mind?

Cassie: Probably over some stupid mis-communication. [chuckles] “You were supposed to be here and you told me you’d be here!” I’m not really into relationships so I wouldn’t know. [laughs]

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