Exclusive Interview: Cassie Dasilva On Signing To Universal, Wishing To Work With Jack Antonoff & John Mayer & Canadian Music Domination!
Last month I introduced you to a new artist I'm loving so very much named Cassie Dasilva and now I'm thrilled to present you with an exclusive interview I did with her only a few days ago.
I got so obsessed with her debut single "Welcome to my Castle" last month (it was the only song I played during an entire day!) that I just had to contact her management team to make this interview happen. My objective was to know a little bit more about her story and I succeeded.
If you got as obsessed with "Welcome to me Castle" as I did, then this interview is a must-read for you. And if you've clicked on this blog post by accident and you haven't heard of Cassie Dasilva yet (and you're a pop lover), stop everything you're doing now, read this, and then go stream "Welcome to my Castle" like crazy (you can thank me later).
In our exclusive interview, we asked the up-and-coming Canadian pop singer to tell us all about the creation process of our obsession "Welcome to my Castle", her personal songwriting process, becoming a pop artist despite her folk roots, signing to Universal Music Canada, who her dream collaboration would be, or her thoughts on the Canadian music invasion.
1. Hi Cassie! Where are you answering this Q&A from and how’s your day been like so far?
Hi! Right now I’m actually out in Vancouver, BC. The JUNO Awards were out here last weekend and I’ve spent this week doing some songwriting!
2. You recently released your debut single “Welcome to My Castle”. For those out there who have yet to listen to the song, but must do so immediately after this Q&A, how would you describe the message and sound of “Welcome to My Castle”?
Welcome to My Castle is a song about embracing yourself— flaws and all, and being confident enough to share your true self with others. It was written as a way for me to say to the world, “Hey, I’m not perfect, and my life can be super messy, but I like it that way.”
3. What was the whole process of creating “Welcome to My Castle” like? I would personally find it very hard to come up with fresh new catchy pop melodies these days after all the pop songs that have been released in the last decades, but you succeeded! Also, after you heard the song fully finished, did you instantly know this had to be your debut single?
Welcome to My Castle was written on the last day of a songwriting camp, while we were feeling pretty burnt out from the previous week of writing. We decided just to write something for fun fun that felt good with no real plan in mind. I was singing some melodies when one of my writing partners misheard my rambling, and thought I’d said “welcome to my castle”. The idea flowed from there.
It’s difficult to explain the melody writing process. I just sing things, and hope something that feels good falls out of my mouth. I always try to make the writing room a safe space for my co-writers to do the same. You just have to be unafraid of trying something wrong, or weird, or different— because that’s usually where you strike gold, and I think we all knew we were doing just that as the song came together.
At the time, I didn’t know it would be the first single, as I was still crossing over from folk. I didn’t expect to write that kind of song, but once we did, I knew it was pointing me in the exact direction I wanted to go musically.
4. I read in your official biography that originally you started as a folk singer but that you ultimately decided to embrace pop music. You said that you wanted to write authentic songs that would speak to your generation, “add some realness to the pop world” you said, and that you wanted to record hooks that people would want to sing to or couldn’t help but sing. Could you elaborate on the defining moment you knew the folk-to-pop switch was simply the best option for you?
It’s hard to give a definitive moment, because I think that I was unknowingly moving towards that shift for a long time. When Welcome to My Castle was written, the pull towards moving to pop became undeniable for me, and I felt confident enough to fully explore that path.
I think from the outside, the story can look a bit like: ‘folk artist signs to major label, is pushed into pop’, when in actuality, I signed my recording contract on the premise of being a folk/ pop artist and went that way on my own.
I’m really happy that the people around me afforded me the time to dive into figuring out my sound, and figuring out where I wanted to go, because pop was absolutely the natural next move for me.
5. There are some artists that change genres in the middle of their careers. Taylor Swift for example. She changed country for pop music. And is enjoying the same if not superior success. Do you see yourself mixing pop with other genres or fully trying different genres in the years ahead?
I just want to write music that speaks to where I am in life, and that feels good to me. If you have to think too much about it, it isn’t coming organically and I think the listener can feel that.
I do mix elements from my folk background into my pop writing, and my melodies/ train of thought can be a bit left of centre. But pop writing, for me, is all about taking something that can appeal to a lot of people, while making it unique to my own style and my quirks.
I still write folk songs as an instinctual thing, and I don’t think that part of me will ever really fade... so who knows?!
6. You are currently signed to Universal Music Canada. Tell us a little bit about your signing journey. It must've been unbelievable news for a young up-and-coming artist like you to sign to a major label!
My signing story is actually pretty funny. I had just finished recording/ co-producing a now unreleased folk album, and was at CMW in Toronto with some songwriter friends doing some networking. A friend brought me along to a Universal Music Canada party/ jam night at a rehearsal space (where I literally knew nobody). Everyone was playing music, and eventually I was encouraged to go up and sing a couple of songs. The response was pretty crazy.
Once I finished playing, I was approached by some people, eagerly asking me to pass on some of my work.
*I later found out that I’d unknowingly been chatting with UMC President, Jeffrey Remedios... DUH*.
The rest, as they say, is history (filled with many phone calls, demos, and documents flying back and forth).
7. Will you release more new music this year? If so, could you tell us a little bit about what fans can expect from the new songs?
I definitely will be releasing more music this year and I am so excited to share!
Mike Wise, who produced the tracks, did such an amazing job. He really listened to me, and brought my vision together to make the tracks really fun, and unique, but also cohesive as a whole.
8. What are Cassie Dasilva’s Top 5 most streamed songs of the moment?
Some songs I’ve been giving lots of love lately:
Normal- Sasha Sloan
Patient- Caroline Pennell
Loving is Easy- Rex Orange County
Space Cowboy- Kacey Musgraves
9. Who would be your dream collaboration, why him or her, and how do you imagine your original song being like?
From a production standpoint, I’d really want to work with Jack Antonoff. I love the quirkiness he brings to his work and I think his affinity for using found sounds in his music is so refreshing.
In terms of songwriting, I’d kill to write with John Mayer. His songs have gotten me through so much and I’ve learned a lot about being truthful in my own writing just by listening to his music. He’s one of those artists who makes you want to be and do better in your own work.
10. What do you think of the Canadian worldwide music invasion of the latest years (Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Carly Rae Jepsen, Drake, Alessia Cara, to name a few)? You must feel really proud!
There’s so much incredible talent coming out of Canada right now and I love listening to and supporting homegrown talent. Many of my favourite artists/bands right now are Canadian (Shawn Mendes, Tobias Jesso Jr, Arkells, Lights, Ruth B, Bahamas). All you can wish for as a songwriter is to share your music with as many people possible, so I’m very grateful for all of the artists who are paving the way on an international level for those like myself.
11. Thank you for your time, Cassie. Any last thing you would like to tell our Direct Lyrics readers?
Thank YOU! I’m so glad you like the song and I can’t wait to share more soon!
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