New Artist: Pop Singer/Songwriter Cassandra Kubinski [Interview]
If you watch shows like Dance Moms and Kendra On Top then chances are you’ve heard one of Cassandra Kubinski‘s previous songs playing in the background. Her new single Barcode is creating buzz with its infectious and cheeky lyrics. The accompanying video is just as fun and potent as the song itself. We got a chance to catch up with the pop maiden as she’s putting together the final touches to her debut EP:
As an artist, what do you represent?
I represent freedom, individuality, letting go, and healing. I believe music has incredible healing power and transformational power… I love how you can listen to a song or go to a concert, and come out in a totally different mood than how you went in. My writing and artistry has a strong focus on words, and I strive to say something meaningful in a smart or new way that might reach people differently than they’ve heard it before.
What is your musical aesthetic?
I love pop music, singer/songwriters, and theatre music. I think my aesthetic is a combination of those- part dramatic, part introspective, part witty, part sassy.
When did you get your start in music?
I started singing really young… “Somewhere Out There” from the movie “An American Tail” is the first song my parents talk about me singing as a toddler. I started singing professionally in musicals by age 12, in Connecticut, in the 20th anniversary production of “Annie” at Goodspeed Musicals, its birthplace.
Who are your main influences in music?
Billy Joel, singer songwriters like John Mayer, Gavin DeGraw, Rob Thomas, Alicia Keys, Sia, Rachel Platten… these people who have said what they feel and believe in with verve, power, honesty, and passion. Also lots of American musical theatre! I loved musicals growing up and was in a number of them. The smart lyrics and intelligence in how great musicals are put together has stayed with me.
When I first heard Barcode, I immediately thought of 90s Liz Phair. What inspired the song and what exactly was the concept for it?
Thank you for that compliment! I get 90’s references to my music a fair amount, and I’m all for it! Bring back the 90s! The song was inspired by an idea my co-writer, Lori Martini, had. She came to a writing session with the idea for “Barcode”, and then the grocery store concept just evolved naturally…it was a hilarious and fun writing session.
The video is very corky, fun and it’s seems to poke fun at sexy videos. How did you come up with the video treatment?
We went back and forth for months about how to do the video… we at first wanted a real grocery store with lots of playing with food, grocery carts, etc. But it was taking too long to secure a location, so we decided, let’s just go simple, work with what we have. The treatment was devised by a team: myself, Lori, our director Maria Rusolo of ROAM Pictures. We wanted something playful, comical, fun, and definitely sexy. That’s how we decided to use the kids’ play food and grocery cart, and the guys in silly costumes as they showed off their, ahem, goods.
I noticed how the men were playfully being objectified in the video. Was this some of kind of political statement? And was this something that you intended when creating the video?
It’s not something that was very conscious, but as we were making this video, we did realize that there’s something weightier than just the fun visuals here. We’ve gotten a few comments (from guys) saying “You know men aren’t just pieces of meat, right?” And I laugh, because I could show you a hundred videos where women are objectified in exactly that way. So yeah, we are making a bit of a statement here. Girls look too, you know. Well, lots of people look ,not just women!
Would you consider yourself a feminist?
There’s so much debate over what that word even means right now. I believe in equal opportunities for women, and I also believe individual women should make their job/family/style/etc choices according to what works for them, cognizant of the consequences of any particular choice. I am 100% for women learning to be more confident, to express themselves more fully in business and art, and for both genders to learn more about how the other is biologically built to express themselves…it would give us all a lot more peace if we made an effort to understand each other more!
Who are some of your favorite artists that you listen to regularly?
I’m still super into Billy Joel, Gavin DeGraw, John Mayer… a “new” artist who has actually been working her butt off for years is Rachel Platten, I love her music and am very proud of the waves she’s making in music right now… I love pop music, so I listen to Z100, Sirius XM Hits 1.. and more chill singer/songwriters when I’m winding down. I also often escape with international music…Brazilian jazz, Romanian pop, Euro EDM.
What can we expect from your upcoming album?
“Barcode” is fun… the EP goes deeper. It may even be called “Deeper”, we haven’t fully decided yet! Expect textures of a real rock band layered with pop synth sounds…lots of pianos and keyboards (my main instrument)…it’s something I hope people would listen to among Sara Bareilles, Rachel Platten, Regina Spektor, and as you mentioned, Liz Phair! It’s a 5 song EP. You can hear a preview by checking out “Deeper”, the first single, which was on the Lifetime show “Dance Moms” in July and is now out on iTunes and other online retailers.
Check out the video for Barcode here:
For more information about Cassandra Kubinski you can visit her website:
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