“Oh, won’t you stay for a while? I'll take you on a ride if you can keep a secret.
Oh, won’t you stay for a while? Show me your darkest, baby, show me your deepest.” And then the beat drops and all hell breaks loose on the dance floor.
I cannot be the only one that has been raging to Tiesto and KSHMR's hit track “Secrets” since its release in 2015, can I? It's one of the biggest EDM tracks of the last decade and every time the song is played, the fans go wild. The same can be said for “Bad” by David Guetta and Showtek, which was released a year prior.
Over the last couple of years, I have found myself singing along to both of these tracks, obsessing over the production of the beats and melodies but I have never questioned the vocalist behind the song. It turns out, there is a great talent behind both of those songs and that is VASSY.
Born and raised in Australia, VASSY is a singer/songwriter whose career has landed her in the middle of the EDM scene. After garnering huge success with “Bad” and “Secrets”, VASSY has collaborated with other EDM heavy-hitters including Afrojack and an upcoming untitled project with Armin van Buuren.
I had the chance to catch up with VASSY in Los Angeles where she opened up about her success, solo career, and upcoming projects.
For those of our readers not familiar with you, tell us how your career in EDM started?
VASSY: My career started in Australia where I came from an Indie/Pop background. The whole EDM thing happened organically–I had written “Bad” two years before I met David Guetta and he heard it through someone at Atlantic and just fell in love with it. He reached out to me, told me he wanted to work with me. The really cool thing was that he respected how the song was and when we pulled in Showtek that's what gave it the EDM flavor.
Once that song landed, it was a huge success. Were you expecting that?
VASSY: No. It literally just took off and became an EDM anthem–Over a billion streams, fourteen times platinum. We got so much love and all the EDM fans embraced it.
I was introduced to you by that song but did not become a fan of yours until you partnered with Tiesto in “Secrets”. I'm a huge fan of that track, tell me about it.
VASSY: A year after “Bad”, I got in the studio with KSHMR with this song that I had written. We got it into the hands of Tiesto through our mutual relationships and he loved it. He said he wanted to work on it with us. We hadn't even met each other while the track was being worked on. The very first time I met him was when the song had already hit number one. It went seven times platinum and number one in over 30 countries. So two back-to-back EDM records gave me the title ‘Queen of EDM'.
Is that an actual title that they gave you?
VASSY: Yeah, a lot of fans did and I love it. Even though it's not necessarily the lane that I chose or that I will stay in, I embrace it. The fan base in the EDM community is so loyal and so loving.
You continue to collaborate with other EDM artists, like Afrojack, so it seems like you're sticking to that dance sound.
VASSY: Yeah, I don't want to have my fans think I'm straying away from the scene all together so I'm slowly working on crossing over while still keeping that EDM vibe. The song with Afrojack, its again in that world but it has a soulful-house sound. I want to take my fans on a journey with me because I'm planning on making more crossover-type records.
When you say crossover, what other genres are you looking at?
VASSY: I would say pop– but when I use the word ‘pop' I don't want people to think generic pop. If you listen to the radio right now, a lot of these tracks are being produced in a dance-type sound and they're considered pop. I won't be isolating my fans though, they will still be getting some very danceable tracks from me in 2018 but you need to grow as an artist and branch out and try other things.
Do you consider yourself an EDM fan?
VASSY: I do! I love EDM but at the same time, I also love a lot of other stuff. I appreciate it a lot more now than when I did before I had success in it. I've been exposed to the scene more than before since I now work with EDM producers a lot and I'm now a part of it.
The EDM scene includes huge music festivals like Ultra in Miami. You performed “Secrets” with Tiesto at Ultra and Tomorrowland, tell me about your experience in the music festival scene?
VASSY: Ultra in Miami— Performing with Tiesto at peak-hour (sunset time) is a pinnacle moment in my career. And then later that year we performed it at Tomorrowland in front of 450,000 people, that was insane. It doesn't get any better than that. Performing at a festival gave me the opportunity to experience the whole festival scene and I love them. But I do have to say that I love them because I'm on the other side. I haven't done the crowd thing and I think I would get overwhelmed on the other side only because I can't handle the crowds. But as a performer, I freakin' love it.
I know you're not a fan of crowds when you're in them, but when you're performing, do you prefer the crowds to be bigger or smaller?
VASSY: I went to Tomorrowland again this year, this time with Afrojack and I got to experience a completely different setting. With Tiesto, I performed at the main stage and it's HUGE. This year with Afrojack, he had his own stage called the “Jacked” stage and even though the crowd wasn't as big, it was way more fun. When you perform in bigger stages you don't even see the faces anymore you just see this ocean of movement. But when you can see their faces, when you can see the people up front dancing, it's so much more powerful and personal.
We keep mentioning Afrojack so let's talk about your collaboration with him. “Lost” is the title of the track. How's the fan reaction been to it so far?
VASSY: The fans have responded very well to it and we can tell because of all the online streaming. It's been added to many dance stations across the US and other countries so that's a good indication that it's liked. I really like this one– the chord progression is dope, I like my vocal on it and I get really into it sometimes.
Aside from collaborating with major producers in the EDM world, you've also done your own tracks with recent songs like “Nothing to Lose”. You've also been doing acoustic sets. Tell me about those.
VASSY: Well after the success of “Secrets” Tiesto had mentioned to me that he wanted to help me work on my solo stuff. He suggested that the next record, “Nothing to Lose” would be a VASSY record and he would help produce it. I always felt like we should put it out together because of his name but I'm glad that it worked out the way it did.
With the acoustic shows I've been doing, in essence, all this is is me wanting to perform the song like without too much fuss about it. That gives the fans to listen to the song the way it was written. I love performing that way.
Your career is clearly guided towards music, is there anything else you're passionate about?
VASSY: I'm a huge animal lover and I'd really love to make an animal documentary.
Are you good with a camera?
VASSY: Yeah! At some stage in my life, I'd love to make a series on animals. You know, I could study them and show their habits. Another thing I'd like to do, besides working with animals, I'd love to study law.
Law? Interesting. Very different extremes there. Why law?
VASSY: Because if you knew law as an artist, you would prevent yourself from getting screwed over. Unfortunately, that happens a lot in the industry especially when you first start and you don't know any better.
Has that happened to you before?
VASSY: 1,000% yes. Absolutely, it's happened to all of us. But you learn through the process, and then your eyes are opened. You eventually make better decisions and figure things out, but if you had studied law, it would happen less.
What kind of advice would go give to an artist so it doesn't happen to them?
VASSY: Get a good lawyer! Oh, and build a good team around you. As an artist, your talent gets taken for granted and sometimes you get caught up in all the buzz that the industry has but you have to remember that you still have rights.
You've had great success so far, anything we can expect from you in the near future?
VASSY: I'm really excited for the upcoming year. I have new music I'm working on with Tiesto and a few other EDM producers that I'm sure everyone will enjoy. It's gonna be a good year.
Check out the video for her latest track with Afrojack, “Lost” below: