Special Interview: VASSY


How and where did it all begin for you? 

My career started back in Darwin in Australia. Several years ago, I was unearthed by triple j.  It was a difficult year for me, as it was right after my father had passed away. I was lost and heartbroken. A friend of mine submitted one of my very first songs I had ever written and recorded, and I won.  Which then led me to a record deal with Universal Music in Australia.  My success started in Australia but then my wings took me to America.  It was always my dream to have an international career, so I moved to New York.  It took me a few years to get back on my feet because once you go to America, you’re in the big sea of many fish.  You have to rebuild yourself all over again because no one knows you. It took me a few records and before you know it, I was back on the map, but this time globally with multiple #1 global hit records with music icons like David GUETTA and Tiësto.

What drew your interest to the music industry?

I always wanted to do music; it was my dream.  I knew from the age of seven.  I was kicked out of the school choir and told I didn’t have what it took.  Many years later I became a national star and then an award-winning platinum international recording artist.  It just goes to show you that dreams are possible. Even though I was faced with many obstacles, if there is a will, there is a way. 

What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?

Rejections motivate me because I always say rejections are simply re-directions. And we have all had them.  I like writing about true stories and things that I have experienced personally in my life.  I somehow Segway my experiences it into my song writing.  I don’t literally convey everything that happened to me, but I try to be as authentic as possible and captivate that feeling that I had experienced. I just love making music and enjoy the creative process all the way and I get excited by people’s reactions to my music. I thrive off this. 

What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?

I would like to of course have many more #1 hits and platinum records.  Moving forward in my career, I really look forward to embracing more of the Australian music scene.  As my career has taken me away for many years and most of my success has been in the U.S.  I’m actually really excited about working with local talent from Australia and getting back into the local scene here in Oz.  It’s kind of full circle, as it started in Australia and now I’m bringing it back home.  I just finished performing to a stadium of 20,000 people for a basketball game halftime show here in the US.  It was so much fun.  I really would love to do more of that back in my home country Australia. 

What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?

Yes! I have been booked for a string of shows to do different sports events in America.  I’m hoping to get some shows in Australia.  I can’t announce anything at this stage, but there’s some things brewing for 2023.  I’m obviously booked to do several ‘Pride’ festivals as well in America for 2023.

Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?

The song started in London then came to fruition in Los Angeles.  It’s a song about feeling lost and broken and how that special someone comes along and puts you back together piece by piece.   It’s essentially a love song. After writing it, I had played it to ‘Bingo Players’ who was in Amsterdam at the time, he loved it and worked on it.  He sent it back to me and we then got ‘Disco Fries’ to jump on it, they were in NYC at the time.  So from London to Los Angeles, the Netherlands to New York, we made this song happen.  This is a soulful house dance record.  It’s a feel-good song that empowers and inspires you to believe in love and to have hope and faith that there is a special person out there for you.

Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?

I try to write about true stories.  I want to be as authentic as I can to myself in my song writing.  Of course, I don’t describe the story literally word by word, but I try to convey the emotions I experienced.  I do this to give the listener an opportunity to create their own narrative while listening to the lyrics of the song.  This way they too can relate to it.  A lot of the things I sing about and write about are life experiences we have all gone through for example, love, heartbreak, failure, jealousy, feeling good and so on…

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music? 

Yes! I try to creep it in there.  My messages are always to empower and inspire the listener.  My goal for my music is always to motivate someone to help get them through a difficult time in their life.

Success, what is the secret to it?

Persistence, resilience and taking rejections as redirection.  Talent of course, but in all honesty it’s a lot of hard work, you have to stick it out and make many sacrifices.  You have to believe in yourself and be authentic and true to yourself.  Let your art speak for your journey and remember you can’t please everyone.  I also appreciate people being humble and grateful and not allowing success to get to their head.

What has been your biggest career highlight so far?

I have a couple of moments, but I would say it started with my very first number one solo record on the U.S Billboard Dance Chart.  The Australian ARIA Dance Chart and the UK Dance Chart.  My very first #1 at Dance Radio in the U.S followed by 8 more…. That was a big one for me.  And perming alongside music icons such as Tiësto, David GUETTA, Afrojack and Showtek, at the largest music festivals in the world like; Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, Electric Zoo and Stereosonic in Australia.  And my most recent, My song ‘Bad’ (a collaboration with David GUETTA and Showtek) recently hitting the 2 billion milestone streams. 

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?

I’m a huge fan of Tina Turner even though she’s not in my genre and obviously a legend, but I really admire her perseverance, her ability to be true to herself and her longevity.  She truly is a classic Artist a class Act, that’s something rare now days in our business.  I have never been a fan of people that utilise shock factor.  I’m an artist that tries to just be true to myself and let my music speak. I also admire Billie Holiday for her voice she is truly one of the reasons I am singing today.  She has the most emotive voice, her instrument can move your soul in ways that no other instrument can.

Are there any new projects in the pipeline?

Yes! I have several releases I’m finishing up that I am getting scheduled for 2023.  New collaborations in the mix and passion projects such as My Indie Pop EP and my new Christmas digital collectible NFT drop that’s coming out next month.  I’m very excited about all the new music coming out soon. 

The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?

It is, you are very right about that.  I’m trying to keep up with the times but still be true to myself and not force myself to follow the trends, for example TikTok LOL.  I just try to do what feels right and focus on making music.  I think I’m still going to be an artist in a few years, I don’t think I’ll ever stop making music.  But I’m not running around like I used to back in the day obviously.  It’s important to enjoy life as well.  A lot of people in this industry tend to immerse themselves around the clock with their careers.  I do this too and have been doing it most of my life, to be completely frank, but I’m trying to balance it.  I’m trying to stop and take hikes and just do some normal life stuff that doesn’t revolve around career goals and the music business.

What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?

My favourite part is the art of making music, creating songs, and performing for my fans.  My least favourite is all the red-tape and politics that comes with being in this industry.  It’s also a ‘big boys club’ especially in the dance space.  I also don’t like that the music industry really exploits artists and still to this day most digital music platforms just simply do not pay enough.  It is so difficult for Artists and songwriters to make money.

Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.

This is a hard one because I like so many artists right now.  I feel that if I don’t mention a few names and leave them out, I may potentially upset other artists that I’m speaking with and working with at the moment.  The cool thing is that I’m discovering a lot of new Australian artists right now, because I was gone for so long there’s so many new up-and-coming Artists that I’ve not come across before.  By releasing my music in Australia with Australian teams, Australian labels and Australian talent, I am now finally being introduced to new Aussie talent, artists who have been fans but have not been able to approach me before.  We have incredible talent coming out of Australia.

The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?

Media is good because you can share your work and Art with the world in a way you could not do before, but it has also made it very difficult for many real artists.  I think because there’s all these trends on social media, most real song writers and artists just simply do not have the time to be on all these apps, as they are in the studio creating.  Artists are now being forced to do this which takes time, focus and energy away from our craft. There are other people who are not songwriters or music makers, for example, social media influencers who dedicate all their time to the apps and make it hard for us artists because of the numbers.  So, I think it is important to get your music out there, but I see artists get stressed by the pressure of social media performance.  On the other hand, it’s amazing that anyone can jump online independently through social media without needing a label to share their music.

How will you continue appealing to the international market?

To continue to collaborate with international artists, I guess.  Naturally, the names I have worked with are all very well-known artists from different parts of the world, so this helps.  I try to just create songs from the heart. I don’t follow trends, so I just hope that my music will continue to appeal to an international audience.

Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?

Yes I do.  Collaborative work is a huge part of the dance music space, so collaborations are part of most projects.  I have a big wish list of course, Calvin Harris was at the top of that list, but I don’t think he’s listening to me when I mention his name in my interview’s ha ha! There are so many people I would love to work with, it’s a list that would confuse most readers.  Bono from U2, Pink, Tina Turner, Joel Corry, Pharrell Williams and so on.  I don’t think it would make sense, but I just love different artists, including a new country artist that I want to get into the studio with here in America. 

What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Believe in yourself, put in the hard work and don’t give up.  Persevere and continue to work through all the difficult obstacles that will come your way, if this is really what you want.

A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?

I love getting messages from my fans.  I try to reply to people as much as I can.  I’m very personable one on one with them as I hate when fans get the generic reply from social media services that people hire.  The best place to find me is on Instagram. Slide into my DMs but make sure to follow me otherwise I will not see the message.    

Any last words?

Yes, I love you guys thank you for showing me LOVE.

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