As someone who has interviewed a lot of different DJs and artists, there is generally a certain way we go about things. Being on the other side of things and having a different perspective, artists interviewing each other can touch on different points. That is exactly what we have here with a conversation between celebrated UK DJ and producer Cassy and Toronto DJ Demuir done in honor of a recently launched collaboration label by Cassy.
Cassy recently launched a collabs label Kwench Records, which will find two or more artists working together on a project, plus another remix artist. She did a collaborative EP with Demuir titled Please Me, which you can stream below. There is a Fred P remix coming out on December 15, which you can pre-order here.
Demiur: From our own conversations, I know you have a diverse musical background. Of the various genres and beats you have come across, what moves your heart and mind the most?
Cassy: This is a tough one to answer as many genres of music move me. Whether I am listening to it, or playing it in my sets. But, if I had to narrow it down to one, I would say classical music probably moves me the most. To listen to an orchestra live can be so powerful. I was just listening to Scarlatti this amazing Italian composer yesterday at home and I was like “Wow, this is pure power.” It was hypnotic, very deep and very soulful.
Demuir: You have lived in many places in the world, how many different languages do you speak and which is your favourite?
Cassy: Fluently I can speak two which are English and German. I have a good level of French. I could live in France and be totally fine. I can also speak enough Italian to get by when I am there without having to use English. My Spanish is very very basic, it could be a lot better! My favourites though, have to be French and Italian. French is so elegant and classy, and Italian is so beautiful and poetic.
Demuir: I always wanted to ask you before we collaborated, how did you come across my music and what lead to "Derrick Does Disco (1st Stanza)" being a staple in your sets last year?
Cassy: I can’t exactly pin it down to a time when I came across your music, nor did I speak to anyone about you. It was as simple as just looking through and buying music online and your tracks really stood out to me. You make amazing music and I love to play it. Especially Derrick Does Disco in that summer. How I felt, how the crowd reacted, how it sounded. Extremely enjoyable for everyone!
Demuir: You have met many great jazz musicians, including Sun Ra!!! As you reflect, what was it like to meet these geniuses and how have they influence your work today?
Cassy: I was very little at the time of meeting these musicians, so I didn’t really know much back then and it didn’t really mean much. I listened to their music as a child because my parents and their friends played it. What I do remember thinking though, is how different they were to anyone else. They were more impressive to me on a personal level. The way they dressed and behaved they were just so cool. I remember thinking that I wanted to be more like them, and I felt more like them as a child. Deep down I think this was something that stuck with me through life. I guess I learned a lot from their actions rather than their music at that age. They never fussed about the mundane and I loved that. Sun Ra, he was more organic and very respectful, treated me like I was cool and not just a child. Also, most black people I had met at the time were my dad’s family or friends from the Caribbean or England, and so coming across black Jazz musicians from the US was obviously a rare thing in Austria.
Demuir: What was the first dance music records you sang on?
Cassy: It was in 1999. The track is called ‘Music Takes Me Higher.’
It’s an Austrian Disco classic by a band called Ganymed and I sang on the remix by DJ Elin aka Autorepeat.
Demuir: Children are so free creatively and inspiring, how does your son inspire you?
Cassy: My son inspires me to be a better person, and grow on a human level.
Demuir: Given our West Indian backgrounds, what is your favourite dish from Barbados? Flying Fish? LOL!
Cassy: Well, unfortunately I’m not so hot on this! My dad left Barbados when he was 18, so it’s not super familiar to me. But I did always prefer my dad’s cooking rather than my mums as a child. I remember yams and sweet potatoes!
Demuir: Ableton or Logic?
Cassy: Logic. Ableton is great and functional and it’s an amazing software to be using, but Logic is the one for me. One day I will have my own studio again and I will be using Logic.
Demuir: When I first met you in Amsterdam, you said the most surprising and appalling comment regarding the care of old vinyl records. Being an avid crate digger myself, can you tell the masses what you said and why it hurt me so much? LOL!
Cassy: Hahaha, I remember you had a fit! Ok, I said “records are tools. I don’t care what they look like and if they are scratched.”
To be honest, I have always been careless with my records. But there is so much music to play these days, and you can replace a broken record. If I have lost or broken a record that is rare or means a lot to me, it always has a way of coming back to me again.