She’s a singer, songwriter, producer and a platinum recording artist who’s been featured on global tracks with artists Tiesto, Showtek, Benny Benassi, & David Guetta. Her vocals have been sought after and it’s no surprise as to why. VASSY’s ability to manipulate her vocals to low and high chords has paved her way to being one of the top vocalists in the electronic music industry. I sat down with VASSY to learn more about her live performance features, her journey of success, her stance on attaining the American Dream, and her take on the essence of music.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You’re going to be singing on stage while Tiesto is DJing. It’s VERY rare to see a vocalist singing. Usually, vocalists are a feature but you’ve molded yourself to be a staple. How does that feel?
Tiesto and I performed at LIV last night, it was a full house. We performed “Secrets” which was very cool because it marked our one year anniversary. Last year we performed it and within 48 hours, we performed it at LIV and it was #1 on Beatport. A year later, it’s up for a couple of nominations at the IDMA’s. Now, the crowd loves it! Last year when I came out to sing, Tiesto introduced me. This year, he just wants me to get up there!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Were you nervous?
No, it’s a great crowd. So, I just got up and said “What’s up Miami?”
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You’re such an amazing vocalist so when you do go up there, the crowd must be in awe.
No, no! I’m not like that.. I keep it casual. Thank you again for the compliment. As an artist and a songwriter, I have my own solo projects and I’ve always been an artist in my own right but doing these collaborations have been great. Tiesto and I have a new single that is coming out and we just debuted it last night. It’s going to be Tiesto and VASSY. I think the coolest thing about it is that we both benefit. Everyone needs each other in a lot of ways. When I do my solo thing, it’s my thing, cool. DJ’s benefit well because having a live vocalist give it energy. When I write music, it comes from a place of truth. I want to write something that is going to give the listener either a sensorial experience that will make them feel good or give them attitude. I want to give them something that they can resonate with. I want it to be authentic. So when I wrote “Bad” for David Guetta, it was authentic. I did not write it thinking it was going to be an anthem, I just wrote the song. The song had a journey and it turned into what it is. Same thing with “Secrets;” I wanted something mystical, sexy, and illuth. That came through.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You definitely came through when it came to outperforming the vocals on those tracks. The way you are able to give your voice ambiance and hit different chords is impeccable. When I was listening to those tracks, I was wondering to myself, how someone sounds when they’re speaking… It may sound odd but when you speak, it’s just as beautiful as when you sing. You have an amazing talent that most people don’t. Are there any exercises you have to keep your voice fresh?
Thank you. I do. I have a pretty great range where I can sing high and low. I am lucky in that way. In “Bad,” I messed with my vocals but that was deliberate. It was really for that record, it was awesome. When I sing “Bad” I sing it in chest voice in that key but on the actual record, I messed with my vocals intentionally. It’s not something I want to do with other records but it was something special for that record. In “Secrets” that was me singing normally. To be honest, I should probably do more warm ups but I think when you’re on the road and you start 60 minute shows, that when you really need to apply all of the tricks. You have to lubricate your voice, drink lots of water, lozenges, etc. Anything that vibrates your chords stimulates lubrication and saliva. IT keeps everything moist. So you know when you go to the gym and before you start pumping weights, you have to warm up. So vibrating your voice while singing freshens it up. It’s weird!
I’m actually a very bad singer. You know you’re “bad” when you take a great music video but you have to delete it until you hear your vocal chords.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: It doesn’t matter! As long as you’re having fun. You’re cute and you’re happy and that’s all that matters! You can’t go wrong. Backtracking a bit, you were discovered in 2003 after winning a radio station talent contest correct? At that moment, did you think anything of it? How surreal was it for you? What’s your been since then?
I’ve had a journey in my career. I was born and raised in Australia, got kicked out of school choir and I was told I didn’t have what it takes or the voice. I always wanted to do music and wasn’t allowed to so I got a degree. I promised my father that I would get my degree and unfortunately he passed away. Before he passed, I got his blessings. I graduated with first-class honors and then I was depressed when he died. It took me a minute to really get over it. During that process, a friend of mine took the very first song I have ever written and submitted this song I recorded and it won song of the year. That was the catalyst… From there on I ended up getting a deal. So my career started in Australia but one day I was listening to Billie Holiday and I heard “Autumn In New York”. At the time, I didn’t know who she was and it may sound dumb but it was the song that inspired me to move to America and pursue my dreams. Even when I say it, I still get the chills. She just moved me so much and I loved the way her voice had all the weeds of perfection. There was something about her voice. At the time, I had no one to guide me and I didn’t even know how to do this. It was like a calling. You don’t get to choose music, it chooses you. I tried very hard not to do it but it just wouldn’t go away so I just had to do this. I had no choice. It’s like breathing, if I don’t do this, I feel dead. So I moved to America and of course when you move to a new country you start from ground zero.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: But it makes you hustle so much harder and it makes you really want it.
Yes! You have to put in the work. There’s no real black or white way, it’s really A. Do you really want this? B. Are you dedicated and are willing to sacrifice your time to work at it? Obviously, you have to have some talent. You can be successful but successful in different areas. Everyone has their lane. You have to constantly always work on how to improve yourself. I have two back to back hit records that have done extremely well. I feel extremely blessed and I always think that I have to beat it for my next track. You want to keep improving yourself and you want to keep your fans happy. I feel like when you hit one benchmark, you want to hit the next. It’s a natural progression.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You’re more than a producer, you’re a songwriter, and an incredible vocalist. You’ve had collaborations with Tiesto, Showtek, Benny Benassi, Markus Schulz, etc. Have you ever considered coming out with your own album? I personally think you’d kill it!
Thank you! Yes, I actually am. It’s funny you say that because I started a solo career and I still have one. I was signed to Universal then Warner then I moved to the States. I did something with Ultra and then I just wanted to do my own thing independently. So I released things on my own called “Kiss my Vassy.” It was all very indie. My music has done very well in film. I’ve had over 60 to 70 placements. Think more of the M.I.A and the Sia world. This journey in the dance genre has organically happened. So now my solo project, I have a whole team on board, and will not be too far from what I’m doing but more in the pop world. Think pop like a cool soulful bluesy.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Like a Lana Del Rey or Emma Hewitt?
Kind of like a Lana Del Rey but more modern with electronica and pop.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: But it’ll have more of your own flavor.
EXACTLY! Within the realms of Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Sia, Sam Smith, Disclosure, Florence and the Machine, Chris from Coldplay.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: So it’s all of the musicians that you can listen to without getting annoyed of.
***Hahahaha*** Yes, that’s cool!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Because in the world of pop music, there are catchy songs and there are tracks that are earworms but after awhile, you get sick of hearing them. The artists you just listed have soul within their music, there is an ambiance within their vocals, and their voice just takes you to another place… Their voice sets the ambiance in the room and your voice does just that.
You are sweet! Every record has its thing and I wouldn’t be mad if I heard a track a milion times but I see what you’re saying. For me, there’s pop stars, rock stars, and there’s stars. I would be in the star lane. I’m not a pop star, there’s not gonna be show. There are people that are very good at that and there’s a need for it. There are rock stars like the Madonnas and the Gagas who are good at reaction and edge. Then, there are people in the middle lane who are authentic like Adele, Sam Smith, Bruno, and it’s all about the voice, not the theatrics. That’s me. I love music and I want people to listen to my music.
AUTHOR CREDIT: KIMBERLY PHAN