Austrian, Carribean, English. A singer, a DJ, a producer that has a penchant for winding odysseys into the gaps between house and techno. Cassy held a whopping four residencies in four different countries in 2013, not least Berlin’s infamous Panorama Bar. Between that she’s still managed a hugely acclaimed Fabriclive mix and a string of tour dates, not least infamous Brit-Croatian banger Hideout Festival.
We caught up with the enigmatic Austrian to talk DJing as a concept, holding residencies and why you learn more about music from the dancefloor than you do from the booth.
VIBE: You started out as a singer before you transitioned into DJing – tell us how that came about?
Cassy: At first I regarded DJing as purely something my friends did. I joined in for fun, but they pushed me to do it formally, and eventually it began to occupy my mind, until it wouldn’t leave me alone. I didn’t have any ambitions at first as such as to where to go with it or what I wanted to play – so me progressing so quickly was all very bizarre, but now, over the last couple of years, I really felt like it’s become ‘me’.
What was the turning point of that transition?
It’s still transitioning now. I’m still have to kind of continually rediscover what I’m doing. I’m only now realising that this really is “my thing” !
It would certainly appear to be. Over the course of the last year you’ve held four different club residencies internationally, most notably Panorama bar. How does playing a regular slot compare to playing one off appearances?
The major problem with international residencies that is it’s really hard to keep to those dates! Overall though yes it’s completely different to one off gigs. The attitude with residencies is different. This is a place you get to know. Some residencies are more difficult for that as it might take a while to adapt my music to that regular crowd – whereas playing one off gigs the crowd can sometimes be more straightforward.
You’ve mentioned before that you feel you’ve learned more about music from being on the dancefloor than any one stint in the DJ booth...
I guess particularly with the way DJing is today, it’s actually quite easy to just be prepared with lots and lots of music, but it’s all about the importance of how you mix, how you play certain tracks, sometimes you have tp push it, other times you just let it ride. Learning to balance that is as much about assessing the crowd, the individuals, are there big groups together, or are they all pairs and trios, how does it feel down there? Age, interestingly, never matters – but it’s about learning to feel how the crowd react to different parts.
You’ve referred to DJing before as a ‘tool’. So is DJing then an extension of production?
I guess in the end I produce like a DJ, I don’t go to a studio anymore, I rent a studio, or I work with a sound engineer, or I go to a mates’ and work with them. It’s a very organic process. I never have someting in mind. I need to see what kind of vibe is in the studio I’m visiting – what machines there are – if you have analogue kit, that’s very different. UltimateIy, like DJing, I just want to be able to do much as possible, every time I play.
You’ve played Hideout in Croatia, you’ve done serious time in Ibiza. How do those two compare?
You cannot prepare for that question! You cannot compare the two. What I will say is, regarding the whole “new Ibiza” thing: I’ve played all over the world. I’ve played in Bali, and that’s apparently “the Ibiza of Asia”. Unfortunately you cannot compare anything to Ibiza. There’s amazing stuff happening here in Croatia, but there’s been 20 years of partying in Ibiza, and then there’s the whole history of the island, and business is so strong after all these years. No, I’m afraid no place on earth will be able to be like Ibiza!
What are your plans for the rest of 2014?
Gosh……mind blank! More music, more music and more touring.
Where would you be now if you’d never been in music?
I’d be working in fashion or art probably. Hopefully not wasting my time!
By: Ally Byers