An interview with urban pop singer and songwriter, Vassie

London based, Vassie’s songs are shaped by her faith, the sounds of her hometown, and life’s adventures, both good and bad. Her lyrics offer a positive message and her energetic live performances draw on everything from glitzy 80’s sythnpop to contemporary hiphop, via way of modern gospel.

Her 2015 single Here I Am received support from UCB Radio, and debut album Concrete Jungle was launched with a sell-out headline show, also hitting the iTunes Christian & Gospel Top 30. Vassie was also named one of 2015’s Top Newcomers by A Step FWD. Check out the video to Here I Am above, and read more about Vassie below…

Let’s start at the beginning… How did you first start singing?

It started when I was at school, and was actually by an accident! I was just randomly singing, and one of my friends said I should sing at the school showcase, so I did and loved it. Then I started singing more at church, which evolved into leading worship (I still do to this day) which taught me the value of also singing what my songs represent.

I actually originally wanted to play girls’ professional football (or be a PE teacher!) as I was scouted for Arsenal Girls’, but unfortunately got injured during training… Which then led to wanting to fulfil a career in Music.

What about writing? How did you come to write your first song?

Here I Am was one of the first songs I finished. I always used to hang out with friends in the studio and just write a few odd lines here and there but nothing solid… until I was facing a real tough time with my mum being unwell and in hospital. I remember coming home from the hospital and just sitting in my room with a pen and notepad and thinking ‘I need to get a bit more serious with my life and do something that will make a difference, and just tell my story.’ That’s when Here I Am came about, I wrote the whole song in my room and then took it to my friend who produced it wonderfully.

Last year you put out your first album, Concrete Jungle. Talk us through the recording process – was it a challenge to get all your ideas down on record?

Concrete Jungle at first was a challenge, because it was my first solo project. I had no idea what sound I wanted or how to go about it, and I knew that it would involve more than just putting music down, but also how I was going to brand myself. It took a lot of time for me to actually pluck up the courage to even go for an album, as I had been planning on only doing singles or an EP.

Thankfully I was working with someone who knew all about that so when you have that chemistry with a producer the music and writing just flows. It was fun and quite emotional all at the same time, because it was coming from rawness… A lot of the time I had a concept and a written song before going to the studio, but then a few were what we came up with there and then once I found out where the Album was heading. I definitely found it like therapy for when life gets a bit tough, and I think that can ease the process of it coming together because of the realness you’re building it from.

Perfecting my craft is an on-going process and I’m hoping the next project proves that I’m upping my game.

And are there any moments on the album you are particularly proud of?

I’m proud of all the moments on the album! Here I Am will always be my favourite on the album just because it was the beginning of me stepping out into my calling. I would also say Lioness, as it was one of the songs that came together so easily and quickly, I think it took us about an hour… we were actually working on another song, but I heard a sound that I liked and wanted to stick with it because it really struck a chord with me, and then everything else just flowed from that!

You’ve worked with a number of other artists recently. If there was anyone you could add to your list of collaborators, who would it be?

I love working with other artists because I find two heads are better than one! If there were anyone I would like to add to my collaborators would be Pharell Williams. I know its bit farfetched but I just really love his artistry and his vibe from day one, so who knows, maybe one day..!

How does your faith shape your music?

My faith shapes my music in a big way, as a lot of the things that I have written about are based on real life faith adventure, things that I have been through or seen. I wanted to bring a positive outcome to it that will change people perspective and it’s all been built on the foundations of my faith.

Our usual final question… What can someone coming to see you play for the first time expect?

Someone coming to see me play would expect just realness from me and a lot of down-to-earth goofy laughter… A quote from recent gigs: “A very joyous vibe with a lot of tunes you would want to dance to, you will go away feeling uplifted.” So… I would say a lot of positive energy!

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