This week, we sat down with Cassie Dasilva to chat about her new single, her writing process, and her plans for the future. Check it out below.
Crowdsurfer: Give us a background on how you got started with music.
Cassie Dasilva: I started out as a really shy kid taking piano lessons and performing in recitals from a young age. I got a guitar for Christmas in grade eight, and taught myself a song that same day– literally playing until my fingers bled. I always loved writing poems and lyrics in my fuzzy pink notebook, but once I had a guitar, I really started to fall in love with songwriting. I played my songs in highschool talent shows, local open mics, and opened for some smaller shows that came to town.
CD: I moved across the country to study audio engineering and music production in Vancouver. Afterwards, I split my time between multiple part-time jobs, and gigging with my acoustic in any pub, restaurant or wedding that would have me. I ended up busking downtown Vancouver for a while, eventually making enough in tips to quit all my other jobs, before moving back home to Ontario.
Back home again, I went to Canadian Music Week in 2018 with some friends, and found myself singing at an impromptu Universal Canada jam night. I was signed shortly after (initially as a folk-pop act). I’d started writing EDM toplines and pop songs for other artists by then, and that led to my eventual love for/ transition into pop music and my first label releases.
CS: What is your songwriting process like and where do you come up with inspiration for your lyrics?
CD: I’m mostly inspired when I’m trying to process or deal with something, but I’m also always listening to everyone around me and writing notes in my phone with certain phrases and circumstances that I find interesting or can relate to. I usually start with lyrics– I like to write a few lines and then twist them into melodies. I approach writing kind of like making a puzzle– fitting pieces together until suddenly the picture starts making sense and everything just fits and has a place.
CS: How has TikTok changed the trajectory of your career?
CD: TikTok has been AMAZING. I went from having under 100 followers to 20K and over 1M views almost overnight– just crazy. I can’t believe the response to “Unsolicited Contact” on there and what it’s done for me. I’m excited to be reaching more people, and thankful for every single interaction, comment, and message I’ve received. It blows my mind that people are not only leaving the app to go listen, but liking the song enough to add it to their playlists/ follow me/ send me kind messages. I’m doing things completely independently right now (which can be trying, to say the least). I’ve questioned if I’m on the right path so many times over the past few years, so this sort of positive reinforcement from complete strangers all over the world has been life-changing for me as an artist.
CS: What has the response been to your new single?
CD: I’m blown away by the support this song is getting. I get so many messages from people thanking me for writing the song, saying how much they can relate, or even that it gave them the courage to block their ex. When we were recording the song, I kept saying that I wanted it to be a song that people screamed in the car with their friends, and now I’m getting messages from people saying that’s exactly what they’re doing. It’s wild!
CS: Tell us about working with an all-female team and why it was important for you to do that.
CD: When I was signed, I found myself working with a team of mostly men. It was difficult at times to explain my point of view, or see my perspective mirrored in those around me. I’d been one of only five females enrolled when I went to recording school, and afterwards found myself in a network and industry completely dominated by men– which was at times intimidating and confusing as a young woman. I worked entirely with male producers, and attended writing camps where I was the only female. After I was dropped from the label, I just felt like I needed to consciously explore other avenues, including working with other women in the industry, especially on production.
CS: Tell us about creative directing your music video (we love the pink vintage aesthetic!)
CD: I started envisioning this video from the moment I wrote the song, and knew exactly what I wanted it to look like. I was writing and revising outlines for months leading up to shooting, handmade a ton of the props, art-designed, and even styled the entire cast. Though I almost lost my mind taking it all on, I’m so glad I did because it feels so authentic this way. I was completely comfortable on set because I knew exactly how I wanted everything to look and feel ! I’m so thankful that the director, Kate Harrison, was willing to take on the project and bring all of my ideas to fruition! It’s my “New Rules” meets “Scream Queens” meets “Euphoria” dreamscape.
CS: Who are your musical inspirations?
CD: I’m a lyrics person through and through, and I’ve always been drawn to storytellers. Taylor Swift, Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves, John Mayer, and Winnetka Bowling League are a few of my favourites.
CS: What’s your 2021 look like–what are your plans for this year and beyond?
CD: I’m releasing more singles throughout the year, and an eventual EP that I’m REALLY excited about! In the meantime, I’m writing more music, and I hope that post-global pandemic I can get a tour spot and play my songs for people in REAL LIFE. I am really missing performing and connecting with people that way, so I’m looking forward to getting back out on stage.
CS: Anything else you’d like to mention?
CD: Just want to say thanks for having me!! Oh, and please go stream/ watch the video for “Unsolicited Contact”, and follow me on socials @cassiedasilva! I’ve put my whole heart into this project and I’m doing it on my own terms, so any support truly means the world!