Cassie: Shine Brighter

The age of blogging coupled with the latest paparazzi craze has developed a new breed of movie stars and recording artists. It’s safe to say that Cassie falls into that category. After only one hit single and a disastrous live performance that attracted a slam of ridicule, Cassie is still pretty visible – whether at […]

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The age of blogging coupled with the latest paparazzi craze

has developed a new breed of movie stars and recording artists. It’s safe to

say that Cassie falls into that category. After only one hit single and a

disastrous live performance that attracted a slam of ridicule, Cassie is still

pretty visible – whether at parties, attending concerts, or living it up

with…that’s right…Diddy.


Ironically enough, a couple of minutes before

went in for the interview the classic nightmare request for a journalist was

asked: “No personal questions.” The questions were to be kept “to music.”

Later, during the interview, Cassie wasn’t asked to address the request for no

personal questions, but she touched on a reservation one would think a girl as

gorgeous as her shouldn’t have. The request begins to make sense.


Cassie makes it clear that she is not Aretha Franklin. She

hasn’t ever claimed to be a vocal powerhouse, but for some reason her perceived

mediocrity has been focused on and has become a double-edged sword. As she’s

proven, it hasn’t been her complete undoing, but for all intents in purposes

she is everything ordinary, in every

positive sense of the word. For her, there’s nothing wrong with that and that

strong perception of self has always been considered to be the first step to



With an album coming out that found her working with

producers she’s never worked with before (since Ryan Leslie was her exclusive

producer on her debut) it’s enticing to find out what she’s got in store. In

theory, Cassie has been given a second chance to prove herself to be the artist

that is. And in the fickle world of music, a second chance is everything but ordinary. Alternatives: Are you still working on the new project?


Cassie: I’m hoping

to finish up before Thanksgiving. That’s my goal because I’ve been working on

it for a minute now. It’s great. It’s really coming together. I have a lot of

content. Not sure what we’re going to pick yet. But it’s all coming together,



AHHA: Have you been

focusing entirely on the album? Or have you been working on other side



Cassie: I’ve just

been 100 percent on this album. Although I wish I could multi-task, I’m hoping

I can do that maybe next year. Throw in a little bit of acting or something on

the side, but I’m really focused on the album at this moment.


AHHA: You began

working exclusively with Ryan Leslie since the beginning. What was it like

working with new people?


Cassie: It was

definitely fun. I had a great experience with Ryan working on the first album.

I think we developed a great sound together. And we worked together on this

album and we’re going to work together a little bit more before I finish. I

really wanted to get a taste and flavor from some other producers and writers and

give new people the opportunity to work with me and at the same time get the

opportunity to work with new people. I think that nothing can make you any

better than to having other experiences with other people.


AHHA: What were some

of the most notable experiences?


Cassie: I think it’s

just the passion and the drive you learn from every person [that’s] different.

It’s all very strong but it’s different. I got the opportunity to work with

Kanye a while back, so I got to sit with him in the studio while he created and

he would make jokes, “See I don’t have a ghost producer.” He jokes. Everyone

knows that he’s incredible.


I just got out of the studio with Pharrell; we did a crazy

record together. I got the opportunity to work with The-Dream and Tricky who are

high right now. They just keep cranking them out. But I made it a point to work

with writers and producers that people don’t know, although I can’t say who

they are because I’m not sure of what’s going to make the album just yet.

There’s a lot of unknown [and] unseen talent out there. It’s just incredible.


AHHA: Is it true

you’re naming the album Connecticut Fever?


Cassie: You know

what? I heard about that! I was like, “Why would I name it that?” I actually

have been toying with different ideas on calling the album different things. I

haven’t actually said in any interview that I was going to call it anything. I

don’t know where that came from. It’s kind of funny.


AHHA: So, you’re

killing the rumor here? You’re not naming it that?


Cassie: No, I’m not.

I never really considered it.


AHHA: What was it

like acting on the big-screen [Step Up 2: The Streets]?


Cassie: It was nice

to get my feet wet. It was a small part for me. I don’t know…it was the perfect

movie for me at the time, because it was just what I needed to step outside the

music industry box and just see what else there was out there – for a

second. I never expected to be able to shoot a movie that soon, but I don’t

know…it was a crazy experience and it was great.


AHHA: Did it make

your imagination run a little bit as to what kinds of films you would like to

do in the future and think that maybe you can do films you wouldn’t have

thought of before? Who would you want to star in a movie with?


Cassie: There are so

many great actors and actresses. I don’t even know. I mean…can I work with

Denzel? I have no idea. It definitely let my imagination go. I’m a firm

believer in having a starting point and I kind of just jumped in and I was

little worried to do that in the first place with the film. But I feel

eventually I’ll be able to try out my indie films and things like that that I

want to do to get the experience of it all. I think it was great for me to go

in and do that role, but I definitely need to develop my experience as an



AHHA: I also

remember you wanting to develop your experience as a performer after the 106

& Park incident where your live performance wasn’t up to many

people’s standard, and you later expressed that it didn’t meet your own

standard. What did you learn from that?


Cassie: I think more

than anything, people were mean. I couldn’t ask for things to go any other type

of way. I don’t regret how it went, and there was a reason why that happened.

But at the same time I have to take the blow for it. That was my own fault for

not being prepared and not saying anything to anyone when I knew that I wasn’t.

I’ve gone in with my vocal coach.


I’ve made it clear to people that I’m not Aretha Franklin.

They’re going to see me perform and entertain, but they’re not going to see my

blow. I wouldn’t ever take credit for anything like that. It’s just not what I

do. I’ve gone in and have tried to develop it. Either running on the treadmill

and singing and doing whatever I have to do to prove to people because second

chances are rare. I’ve definitely gotten one, so I’m going for it. I’m going

for mine.


AHHA: What are you

looking forward to the most once the album is out and about?


Cassie: Oh, my, God!

I hope that people love it. Like it’s really a reflection of me. [The] sound

has just developed…not only the vocals, but [also] the music. It’s just all

evolved so much. I’m just excited for people to hear it and I want to hear the

feedback. Maybe it’s not what people want to hear from me but it’s something I

definitely enjoyed doing. But once they have it in their hand, it’ll just be a

relief because I’ve been working on it for a really long time.


AHHA: What do you

wish you had more of in your life?


Cassie: I wish I had

more time to spend with my family. I mean, is that valid?! [laughs]


AHHA: No, Cassie,

you’re supposed to say money! [laughs]


Cassie: I was like,

“Am I supposed to be deeper than that?” I really have been thinking about them

a lot. It’s actually my Dad’s birthday tomorrow. I wish I could go see him, but

I have to go…work! And I’ve made so many sacrifices so that this album could be



So that I can have a great career and make money so I can

take care of my family in the future – that whole thing. I definitely

miss my family. I miss hanging out with my brother. They’re only in

Connecticut, which is not far, but when there is so much going on it’s hard to

make it up there.


AHHA: Since you feel

your sound has developed, who do you musically look up to?


Cassie: I think as

an artist I look up to all women doing their thing right now. I think that

every female artist has her own thing going on. My biggest idol is my mother.

She’s not an artist – she works in Connecticut, but she’s such a hero to

me and has taught me so much. It’s hard to even look at any other woman past my

mother and think that they’re any stronger.


Musically, I’ve always been a fan of, of course, Aaliyah and

Janet Jackson, their tone and their style and how they carry themselves as

women. Oh, and my new favorite is Apollonia! We’re taking it back to Purple



AHHA: You’ve been in

the modeling industry and you’ve dabbled in the film industry. What has the

music industry taught you? Has it taught you anything?


Cassie: Probably,

believe it or not, I think there are so many artists out there that handle

themselves in so many different types of ways. I have been humbled by those

situations. From going and having my 106 & Park experience

from going and having people hate on me left and right, when they don’t even

know me and they don’t have any idea who I am. It definitely humbles me and

made me more calm and to myself. I’m less…I’ll be around a lot of people and

I’m quiet, because I rather people not have anything to say about me at all!


AHHA: Do you think

the public perception of a woman having the two qualities of being sexy and intelligent

rather than just having one or the other is more of a reality today than it

ever was? Especially in business.


Cassie: I can say

that now more than ever, because I was young before. I think that the

opportunity to be a businesswoman, smart, and about herself is a great thing.

Now more than ever women have the power.


I feel that for myself, I grew up watching my mother work my

whole childhood, and I’m not knocking stay at home moms at all! But seeing

that, it’s always been my mentality. I applaud women now for being business

savvy and intelligent and well-informed. We all know what’s going in the

election, we all have a say, and we’re part of it, and we’re stronger now for