Cassandra Violet,
The TVD First Date

“The first record I ever bought was actually a cassette tape by an artist named Crystal Waters, because I was taking a modern dance class in fourth grade and we were learning a routine to the song “100% Pure Love.” I bought it at Sam Goody with my allowance and my mother was scandalized, I think. The only music my parents ever really listened to was classical music, though my dad is a big fan of jazz. I love to be able to dance to music, but I grew up listening to and playing classical music, singing, and on the clarinet.”

“When I was twelve or so, I started understanding what it meant to be a fan of a musician. My best friend’s older sister made her room into a shrine to Gwen Stefani, with every photo shoot from every magazine she had ever been in. I became very into No Doubt, the album Tragic Kingdom, and I was fascinated by that kind of theatrical way that Gwen Stefani sings. In eighth grade, I papered my room with pictures of Fiona Apple and Lauryn Hill from every magazine photo shoot they had ever done.

I knew everything about both of those artists and I learned every word to Tidal and Miseducation. Later on, in high school, I got more into jazz singers and Joni Mitchell. I had hundreds of CDs that I played on a gigantic boombox. RIP CDs. I loved Ella Fitzgerald, and I continue to be in awe of the control that Sarah Vaughan has of her voice. People who use their voice like an instrument are really captivating to me, and obviously people who write remarkable lyrics. I love pop music that is just a little bit off, a little bit skewed, but you can dance and move to it. I also love girl groups from the ’60s, like the Crystals and the Shangri-Las. I love the mythology of the girl group and all of the drama that entails.

I didn’t actually own a record player until recently. My parents’ friends gave theirs away along with several Van Morrison records and one vinyl edition of Jewish Music to be Played at a Wedding. Still haven’t listened to that one. When I went to Cuba last summer I bought a record by a woman named Beatriz Marquez and on the cover of the record is Beatriz, with her hand on her face and her name in pink. That record was really inspiring to me.

Anyway I could go on forever but I think my new song “Invisible Man” really encompasses everything I want to have in a song—it sounds like pop music, it has a horn section and 3 part harmony, it’s about something sad, but you can also dance to it.”
Cassandra Violet

Cassandra Violet’s new “EP 4” arrives in stores today, December 1.

Cassandra Violet Official | Facebook | Twitter
PHOTO: CODY MACKENZIE

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