But in a good way*
Vancouver's very own Cassandra Maze walks us through her journey and the development of her latest electro-pop single “Something I Like” plus so much more.
Before we jump into the deep end with Cassandra we need to preface with some facts first. She operates at a level that few achieve in the music industry. Her skills as a vocalist, singer songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist makes her a fierce front-woman with an important message. Maze truly prefers the roads less traveled and keeps an eye out for the beautiful and strange. She is dedicated to her art and even finds herself most comfortable while she is operating her pedals with one shoe on. Now before we give anymore info away - lets dive deeper into her thought process and explore where she came from and where she plans to go.
Hi Cassandra. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! We are really excited to be learning more about your music, experiences, and perspective. Before we get into those details would you mind catching us up on how you have been this year?
Hello BOP! Thanks for chatting with me. I’d love nothing more ☺
Can you tell us about how you got started with music?
My first experience playing music was when I started classical piano lessons at the age of 7. I had an amazing teacher who taught the Royal Conservatory method, so needless to say she was pretty strict, but she scared 7-year-old me into practicing, so I’m grateful to her for that today!
This can feel like picking a favorite child, but is there a particular instrument that you love the most?
I name all of my instruments, so I know exactly what you mean. Having to choose, I’d say the piano, since it was my first instrument and we just really get one another. Acoustic guitar and ukulele will always be my dearly beloved close seconds, though!
How long did it take you to master the art of pedals? Any tips or tricks for the readers looking to work with that technique more?
I’d say it took me about 2 years of regular performing to be fully confident. The loop pedal in particular is like learning a new instrument. You have to trust what your voice and your hands are doing, and direct the focus to your tippy toes, in order to record sounds, trigger effects, and start and stop the loop at the right time.
My best two tips are practice, practice, practice, and don’t be afraid to just go for it! You’re bound to make mistakes, and that’s completely okay. Most of the time your audience doesn’t notice or they don’t mind. If you’re having fun doing it, they’ll have fun with you.
What has been the most surprising thing that has inspired you in the past couple months?
I heard from one of my fans who works at a pet adoption centre, that since the start of the pandemic, adoption rates are at an all time high! The centre has been the emptiest it’s ever been in his whole time working there. The fact that vulnerable animals are finding homes is a really nice silver lining to the difficult events that have taken place this year.
Despite the difficulties and restrictions COVID has placed on the music industry, how have these restrictions forced you to get creative in the way you perform and share music?
During lockdown, I had a lot of fun hosting two weekly livestreams on my social media platforms. I’ve also dug my heels into producing not only for myself, but for other artists as well. Getting good at mixing my own music for release, and creating and editing my own visual content, has been a goal of mine that I’ve been able to pursue these days!
Can you walk us through your music development process for “Something I Like” from start to finish?
I’ll try to give the skinny, but it was quite a process!
This song started as a demo that I made on Logic Pro X. I was going through a breakup, and just messing around with dark sounding chord progressions (as one does). When I found something I liked (pun intended), it occurred to me to add a dance rhythm to it, to make it more upbeat and channel feelings of angst rather than sadness.
I then worked with a very talented artist and producer from Austin, Texas, Adrian Benavides, to flesh out the production and bring my musical vision to life. I recorded the vocals here in Vancouver, while he recorded the drums with Craig McIntyre (of the Goo Goo Dolls!) at his studio in Austin. It was my first online collaboration, so it took a little bit longer than in-person productions, but I couldn’t be happier with the final result.
I had very strong imagery associated with the music while I was creating it, so I knew I had to make a music video for this track. I started filming with my director, Nik Molson, in January on Mount Seymour, and I really did need that big red fur coat, because it was cold! After touring the UK in February – mid March, and coming home to quarantine, we finished filming the rest of the video when it was safe to do so. And voila!
I loved your use of the color red in your music video for “Something I Like” - what was the idea behind the presence of the color in the video and artwork?
Well thank you. I love taking well-known symbols or quotes and turning them on their head. I did that with my song, Wait, riffing off the saying, “good things come to those who wait”. For Something I Like, I wanted to pick apart common love tropes, hence the explosion of red and the (loving) mutilation of red roses. Red is a powerful colour, symbolizing love, passion, beauty, romance, but also pain and death – and I think these elements are all interconnected.
Are there any other exciting things we can expect from you in terms of music in the near future?
Yes there are ☺ I will be releasing a remix of my new single, Something I Like, remixed by Glasgow-based electronic artist, Fake Noises, mid-September, along with a lyric video!
Can you share some advice about your experience in the music industry for other aspiring female artists looking to find their way? Any tips, tricks, or words of wisdom that you would like to impart?
You’re likely going to have an overabundance of people telling you to change parts about yourself, in order to fit their vision of what will make you succeed in the music industry. Ignore all of these comments. Instead, listen to your inner voice and her be your guide.
Check out Cassandra Maze wherever you stream your music.
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