Listen to the new song from Kassandra Dasent – Alone
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
I was born in Trinidad, spent most of my life in Montreal, Canada and now in live in Brooklyn, NY. Since I was a young child I was in love with music. I studied classical clarinet for many years, sang in church and community choirs, and I also played clarinet and tenor saxophone in school orchestras. After CEGEP I began to meet musicians outside of the gospel arena and I became a featured vocalist for many artists in the world music genre and consequently performed at some of the world’s biggest festivals such as Montreaux Jazz Fest and the Montreal International Jazz Fest. My musical experiences helped me to discover that I wanted to create music of my own, that I had what it takes to be a good singer-songwriter and I wanted to share this as a solo artist.
What do you have coming up? What are some of the new projects we can expect to see?
I put a lot of energy into my first album Road to Rebellion that I released on April 26 2011. I have taken some time off since then as I decided to relocate to New York in 2012. Now that I’m here I am currently writing material for what will likely become my second album and planning to resume live performances. I’ve teamed up with a solid NY production team who has worked with artists like Beyonce and Avril Lavigne and we’re looking forward to what lies ahead.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
“Alone” is on the Road to Rebellion album. The song is based on a very personal situation and my feelings resulting from it. Vocally, one can hear that it’s a mix of hurt, sadness, and anger – it’s raw. I get a lot of positive feedback on “Alone” because it seems to resonate with so many.
How does your music separate yourself from other artists and bands out there?
Many artists are technically good meaning that they are near pitch perfect or the band is dialed in. but I feel little emotion when they perform. Others are emotionally present in their music, but don’t focus as much on the presentation of their music. I strive to deliver both aspects in my music. I cannot sing what I don’t emotionally connect with and I am very serious about ensuring that musically it sounds as it should and that it is powerful.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
As an indie artist if your goal is to make mainstream it’s about connections/network. That is what I didn’t really have when I put out my first album. So I knew going in that Road to Rebellion would have to be my calling card so to speak. I fully financed that album project and it was a huge sacrifice for me to invest so much money into my music. You have to really be sure and believe in what you’re doing as an artist in order to use up one’s entire savings knowing that the initial net results may be little.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
For me it wasn’t a professional setback, it was more of emotional angst. After completing and releasing Road to Rebellion and as many indie artists can relate to, you’re left with little means to really push your product. I felt angry and frustrated that it was so difficult. I even questioned my level of talent and whether I should continue to do music. Instead I decided to take some time off and focus on other aspects of my life. After settling in New York, people kept encouraging me to come back to music and that along with my passion for music is what brought me back.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
A lot of indie artists make an album and it’s all over the musical map. You’ll hear 6 different genres on the same album and the artist doesn’t have their own sound. I am all for incorporating elements of musical genres once it makes sense and that your personal sound isn’t being compromised.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Choose very carefully who you work with on your music. You need to work with people who can take what you have and elevate it. You also need to find people who have channels to help push your music forward. Finally, you cannot wait for opportunities to come to you. You have to sell yourself as an artist.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
I really like Reverbnation. I have gotten a lot of positive responses through that channel alone. In fact it was via Reverbnation that the NY prod team I’ll be working with discovered me. It’s also a place that links all the other social media networks you’re on like Facebook, Twitter etc. so you only have to post there and it gets broadcasted to all your other sites.