Cassie Davis
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Cassie Davis

Bondi, New South Wales, Australia | MAJOR

Bondi, New South Wales, Australia | MAJOR
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"Loud n Gold"

Having scored a gold single, Australia's Cassie Davis is ready to release her debut album in August. Davis' debut single "Like It Loud" peaked at 11 on the singles charts in February went Gold and secured a long term deal with Universal Music Publishing Group.

About five years ago Davis took a trip to the US to work on her songwriting/production, a gamble that eventually had her working with Rodney Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Britney Spears), Wayne Wilkins (Beyonce, Pink). Cassie is breaking through as an artist in her own right says, Universal Music Publishing Australia Managing Director, Bob Aird. "But also has a very successful career writing, producing and recording with other international and domestic artists."

In March, she added fashionista to her resume when the 17-store fashion chain Supre sold out an exclusive line of T-shirts emblazoned with the single title. "We used that partnership to spread the word and build interest in the song" says Davis; older sister and business partner Emma.

The sisters 12 Stones label/production company has a deal with Sony Music. "We're going to the U.S for writing and production with other artists" Emma says but the album is our next big focus. - Billboard Magazine


"The Modern Can Do Woman"

Chilling with guys like Snoop Dogg and Warren G is just another day at the office for Perth-bred musician Cassie Davis. But with her own record label and three singles sweeping the charts, this pint sized tour de force holds her own amongst the biggest hounds in the business.

Self producing tracks that sound like the love child of Amy Winehouse and Fergie, with a splash of South African soul, even Davis has trouble defining herself. "I'm like a bitzer," she says. Davis' new single "Differently" featuring Travis McCoy and Phil Fishbone (Fishbone) shows that this petite blonde Aussie girl is not to be underestimated. "I never wanted to be 'an artist' " she says. "I always wanted to be known as 'a producer' or 'a writer' as well".

As if working with the likes of hit producers Printz Board (Black Eyed Peas) and Rodney Jerkins (Michael Jackson) and Wayne Wilkins (Kylie) wasn't enough on a recent visit to L.A., Davis found herself writing and recording with hip-hop legends Warren G and Snoop Dogg. "if you told me three years ago that I would be writing and recording with him and Snoop I wouldn't have believed you."

The Davis can-do repertoire also extends into the wardrobe. "I'll make my own clothes, they'll be one off weird creations," she gushes. "The fact that no one else has it, that's what I like." Plans for a fashion label are merely speculative at the moment, but not out of the question. "At school I was always the weird one that wore all the bizarre clothes." she says. "So we'll see it could be something fun to do in the future."

Words by Bridie Connellan. - Rolling Stone Australia


"Cassie's new Album opens Doors"

SHE'S quietly established herself as a first-rate songwriter and sexy performer to boot, and now Cassie Davis's career is set for lift-off with the launch of her debut album Differently on Friday.

It will be a big moment for the popette from Perth who has worked with some of US's biggest production names, but not lost her sense of wonder.

"I wrote some of the songs in my bedroom in Perth a few years ago while others are much newer," the 24-year-old said.

"It's been a drawn-out process, and I'm nervous, nervous, nervous about how it will go."

Davis will stage secret gigs at seven Sydney high schools over the next two weeks as part of a national promotional tour for the Walkman brand.

She will also perform the closing show at ACP's Magazine's Go Live three-day concert series in September, part of a fashion promotion for the magazine publishing house. - Daily Telegraph


"In Her On Write"

CASSIE Davis is a woman on a mission. After several false starts with record companies, she started her own, 12 Stones, with her sister Emma.

“It’s not really done in Australia, but in the States if you want to do your own music your own way that’s what you have to do,” says the Gnangara-raised singer, who now lives in Sydney. “It’s not the easy option, but you have to control how you’re perceived.”

Five years ago, at the ages of 18 and 22 respectively, Davis and her sister went to the US to meet the producers and songwriters whose names were on their favourite records.

Soon Davis had hooked up with Wayne Wilkins, who’s written for Natasha Bedingfield, Leona Lewis and Delta Goodrem, and joined the competitive American songwriting circuit. In between, she played her own material to industry figures.


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“People would say, ‘Oh that’s a great song, who wrote it?’ and I’d tell them I wrote it. They’d say ‘Oh, great, who produced it?’ And I’d tell them I produced it. And they’d say, ‘Sure, who made the beat?’ And I’d say ‘Er, me’. I like shocking people.”

Davis’s debut album, Differently, will be out later this year. The first single, the self-penned, self-produced Like it Loud, has been an instant hit here, reaching No. 11 on the charts.

It’s a vote of confidence for Davis, 23, whose previous chart experience was a few songwriting credits on Ricki-Lee Coulter’s first album.

In between writing her own material, Davis works with Wilkins in LA. He’s reportedly writing songs for Beyonce and the Pussycat Dolls.

“He’ll bring me in on whatever he’s working on,” Davis says. “We’ve done a few things for some big names, but I don’t want to talk about (that) in case they don’t come off. “Because they’re big stars, with some of them you know what’s going on in their life from the tabloids so it’s weird to write a song for them based on what you’ve read about them. It’s nerve-racking. Hopefully they’ll get used.”

She’s met some stars. Fergie told Davis her song Finally made her cry. “I’d love it if anyone had that response,” Davis says, “but being Fergie, it was a nice icing on the cake”.

But it’s producers and songwriters who leave Davis starstruck. Rodney Jerkins, who has worked with Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, promised to team up with her and gave her advice.

“He said don’t get too high on the highs and too low on the lows,” Davis says. “Most of this business is out of your control. You make the album, then you have to leave it up to destiny. I’m a really emotional person, which is good for songwriting, but not at other times.”

Davis is also in with the Black Eyed Peas posse and used some of the band and their musical director on Differently.

“I lost my words when I met (Black Eyed Pea) Will.i.am,” she says. “He’s a songwriter, an artist and a producer. That’s what I wanted to be. I’ve always idolised him, same with Kanye West – artist, producer, songwriter, has his own label.”

Davis has completed her album and is putting together a live band, but the studio remains her home. She studied sound engineering in WA and admits she drives engineers mad.

“Production is my favourite thing in the world,” she says. “The studio is my favourite place in the world. At the end of the day, if the artist side falls away, that’s where I’ll be and I’ll still be happy. That’s my passion.”

Davis wants 12 Stones to sign acts she can write and produce for. “I want to focus on getting my album out first, but I have a few acts I have my eyes on,” she says. “How good would it be to get your own music out there and give someone else the chance to fulfil their dreams?”
- Sunday Times


"Rising Star"

It's not every day a young Australian singer gets a phone call from Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas.

But for Cassie Davis, the moment came out of the blue when she was in a Los Angeles hotel room before a meeting.

"She was like, 'Hey Cassie, this is Fergie,' " Davis says, grinning at the memory of the conversation.

"And I was like, 'Pardon?"'

The 23-year-old was gobsmacked but she and the Grammy-winner from California chatted about music for a while.

"She's wonderful; she's been in the industry for a lot longer than I have and had all these experiences," Davis says. "She could well have pushed me aside but she was so encouraging. She said, 'Don't change who you are, you have an amazing voice - use it.'

"It was really cool, I couldn't stop smiling."

Fergie is not the only person paying attention to Cassie Davis's music. The Perth-raised singer was signed to a worldwide deal with Sony Music in February and she will release her first single, Like It Loud, on January 24. It comes before the release of her as yet untitled album, which is expected to be one of the breakout albums of the year.

Not only has the music company signed Davis as an artist, they have also signed her record label 12 Stones (that she runs with her older sister, Emma), which will allow her to sign other acts under her own label.

That's perhaps why Fergie felt the urge to pick up the phone. The superstar had heard some tracks written and produced by Davis, which had been sent to the Black Eyed Peas' musical director, Printz Board, for his feedback.

"I actually met him randomly - it happens a lot in this industry, particularly over in the States - but we became quite close," Davis says. "I was sending him the mixes to listen to, to get his vibe. He was actually doing a show with Fergie in mid-America and she came in and said, 'Oh, who's that?' He said, 'It's this girl, this is her album.' She listened to all these songs, then he played my ballad Amazing and apparently it made her cry."

Perhaps the reason people here and overseas are talking about Cassie Davis is her incredible versatility. Not only is she a red-hot singer - with a voice that shows glimpses of Pink and Fergie but plenty of originality - but she is also a songwriter and executive producer of her album.

Her songs, with their incredible, compulsive energy, are difficult to pigeonhole - just when you think she's going for upbeat, mainstream pop (which is the vibe of the first song, Like It Loud), she switches to a hip-hop feel or a heartfelt ballad. It's the way Davis likes it, because she believes the genre-hopping reflects the tastes of her own generation. "I'm influenced by so many things - I think a lot of people my age are not just rock or not just hip-hop," she says. "I've taken all those little bits. I mean, I've come from hearing gospel, then when I was in my teens I was really into hip-hop and that kind of thing. And I love a bit of ska, you know, I love a bit of this and that."

When the singer says her earliest influence was gospel music, she isn't kidding. Her father is still an evangelical pastor in Perth and Davis sang and performed at church services every Sunday.

"It's like so many other pop artists that come out!" she says, shaking her head bemusedly. Others, including the Followill brothers from Kings of Leon and Katy Perry, have preacher parents.

"But my dad is very, very musical and he was always encouraging me," Davis says. "My parents, both of them, have been very supportive. They have this strong thing about going after your dreams. I think a lot of Australian parents are like that - you can have whatever you want."

Although her music is yet to be unveiled to the Australian public, Davis has spent the past 10 months immersed in recording and mixing overseas. But if her music takes off, this will be no overnight success. She got her first guitar at eight and began recording her own songs at 12 (using two tape recorders in her bedroom to try to layer the sounds) before doing work experience in a recording studio at 15, where she worked every Wednesday for three years.

"It was such an amazing experience," she recalls. "Usually, as an artist you might write the songs and sing them but you don't learn all of that. There's a lot of female artists out there but as far as doing the production and that sort of thing, I feel that's where I'm a little bit different."

She and her sister Emma travelled to New York when Cassie turned 18 - the first trip was funded by their folks - to chase their dreams of music industry success.

"Me and Emma thought we could take over the world; we were very ambitious young females," Davis says with a laugh.

That time in the US proved invaluable. "You know, one person leads to another and opens different doors," she says.

It's also made Cassie Davis savvy about what she calls "the inside guts" of the industry. "I've always been the kind of person who loves everybody. But there's definitely sharks ... you have to be a little bit guarded."

Amid the exciting build-up towards her January release - which has included everything from an obligatory rock'n'roll haircut to video-clip shoots and photo sessions - the singer has an innate belief in her own music. So will 2009 be the year of Cassie Davis?

"Fingers crossed," she says, smiling. "I hope so."

Like It Loud is released on January 24 through Sony Music. - Sun Herald


"Finding My Voice"

MY family was always very musical particularly my Dad, he?s always been able to pick up any instrument and just play it. Mum put me into a piano class where I learnt to play by ear at 6.

Mum put me into a piano class where I learnt to play by ear at 6.

There was music everywhere in my house and I started using music and songwriting as a way of expressing my emotions pretty early at around eight. I used to take two tape recorders and record the melody then play it back and record the harmony on the other and just kind of stack different instruments and parts till I was happy with it.

The downfall of this being, a ridiculous amount of tape hiss by the time I was done. I played around with a few instruments, guitar and keyboards, in the early years and later on in primary school I picked up the clarinet where I used to get through class by the skin of my teeth because I couldn’t read the music, all I needed was for someone to play it once so I could hear it and then I could play it back well.



TEEN YEARS FALLING IN LOVE WITH MUSIC - DECIDING I WANTED TO MAKE IT A CAREER OUT OF MUSIC:

In my early teens I met someone who changed my life and really is very much responsible for opening up my eyes to how recording your own music can be done without the massive recording studio’s I had seen on TV and in the movies.

Rami is a friend who is few years older than me - he really took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew. I would spend every weekend over at Rami’s with a couple of other friends we would just watch Rami make beats and learn from him and then we’d all sit and write songs, some of my favourite songs I have ever written to this day were recorded and written there. The craziest thing is at the start of it all, we were using a very tired old computer and a $15 internet microphone that was on sale down to $4.99 or something like that, I can’t quite remember, but it’s funny looking back now, we were so creative with the very little that we had.

DECIDING TO MOVE BEYOND A WRITER TO PRODUCER AND HONING THAT SIDE OF MY CRAFT:

As far as production something that really kick started me was a school work experience program, I put in for a ‘recording studio’ and the school gave me back ‘record store’. I was pretty disappointed but my Dad remembered this guy who a friend of ours had used to record his album and we approached them. The studio was beautiful.

The actual recording room was amazing, well designed with great acoustics. I was in heaven. Every Wednesday for three years I would show up to the recording studio. At first the only thing I was allowed to do is make coffee and sweep the kitchen. But I would watch and learn and I was eventually able to start recording other people’s projects.

I learnt how to use the equipment and it was here that I started to write songs to my own production. By the end of my three-year stint I had my own little production room and would spend more than just my allocated Wednesday locked in that little room.

My years at the studio turn me in a gear freak and a tech nerd, every birthday and Christmas I would put some new gadget on my wish list. I remember receiving my very first four track recorder it was so amazing. It was so cute and small the whole thing ran off two AA batteries! I loved it so much.

It was digital so it had a smart media card instead of tape or hard disk, each of the four tracks had eight virtual tracks, so I could record a bunch of takes on each one. I still keep it in my studio to this day. I think it has to be one of the best gift’s I ever received, I know now that it was a big stretch for mum and dad to get it for me. Hopefully it’ll pay off ‘Amazing’ one of the songs on my album was first recorded using it. It has some pretty great memories.

LEAVING AUSTRALIA IN 03 AND THE STARTING 12 STONES IN 04:

Somewhere around 15 or so, my then 19-year-old sister Emma took on the role of being my manager. She has this way about her that just lets people know she means business.

By the time I turned 18, Emma decided it was time for a change of scenery so we set off for New York City, we knew one person who was a friend of a friend who used to be a songwriter in the music business many years ago.

I look back now and I think we must’ve been crazy, we thought we could take over the world. Somehow the right doors opened and one person led to another. We learnt so many things during this time that are invaluable to us now. One of which was watching how the ‘smart people’ in the music business did it.

Many of them were starting their own independent record labels and then later attaching to a major label. So my sister being the business woman that she is thought that this was the best option for us so we started ‘12 Stones’, and she was right because I was doing all my own production anyway, we didn’t need to outsource and we tried to keep costs low that way.

We became friends with people who taught us a lot. Like how to promote a song to radio and get it spun, how to package a demo CD so that an A&R / label rep would take enough notice to actually put the CD into the CD player and listen to it. Also, it was around this time that I started giving my songs to some other Australian artist to sing for their albums.

A FEW YEARS & BUMPS ALONG THE WAY - LEARNT INVALUABLE LESSONS = SUGAR HILL ETC CRASH MANSION:

New York had some good times and some not so good times. We nearly signed multiple deals over there. It was pretty crazy we made it to the president of nearly every major label you can think of.

There’s definitely a lot of rejection in this business, I can remember a time where Emma and I just sat on the floor of the apartment in tears, after one deal didn’t go through and it completely broke our hearts. But in the end all you can do is get up dust yourself off and keep it moving.

I think New York during those years had some of my lowest moments but also holds the title for the best night of my life. I got to open a show for Sugar Hill Gang at “Crash Mansion” and this wasn’t just any show especially not for me, the original writer of “big bank hanks” verse in the song ‘rappers delight’ (Grandmaster Caz) performed the song with the rest of the band for the first time. It was amazing and I was on cloud 9 for a really long time. I spent some time with Grandmaster Caz after the show, one of the originals, who had been there with Kool Herc the day hip hop was born. It was amazing to me to hear his stories and what he’d been through in this business.

WINNING NEW ARTIST TO RADIO COMPETITION AND SIGNING DEAL THROUGH MY LABEL TO SONY MUSIC:

In 2007 a friend sent me an email about a competition for musicians called “new artist to radio”. My brother and I , plus a mate who we’d played with forever decided to enter our band called “6065” (which is also our postcode) we entered 2 songs that I had written “Like It Loud” and “Necessarily” which both appear on my album “Differently”.

We entered the songs with a picture and sort of just left it. Just after that, a really big producer and the president of Geffen Records Ron Fair saw one of my youtube videos, which was basically just me in the studio making “Like It Loud”. He loved it and flew Emma and I over to LA to meet with him.

He’s a bit of a legend in the business so I was very excited. We played him nearly everything I had and he loved it but was definitely drawn to more of my earlier work, which was very soulful and laid back. I think at that point I had moved on from that place creatively, and had also learnt, through all that we’d been through that I didn’t want to make a record that I wasn’t completely committed to, we didn’t settle on anything with Geffen. Ron is such an amazing producer and is very well respected in the industry I was grateful for the chance to meet him. During the meeting with Ron in LA I received a message that we won our category in the “new artist to radio” competition, I was so excited.

We performed at the finals and took out the winner’s title overall which was amazing. At this point it really inspired me to know that I was heading in the right direction musically, I think I was a little unsure after my time in LA. But winning the competition really restored my confidence in my music. So I decided to pitch the songs I had to a few labels and in the end Emma and I felt that Sony was the best partner for our label “12 Stones”.

RECORDING THE ALBUM IN LA - MEETING WAYNE, PRINTZ ETC OPEN DOORS GREAT EXPERIENCE MEETING RODNEY JERKINS:

After signing the label we decided I should polish the songs I had recorded and written in LA and maybe write a few more. To be honest I really wasn’t excited about the prospect of heading back overseas especially not by myself, I felt like I had only just settled back in Australia. My first month in LA was horrible I didn’t know anyone and the city is so spread out, so it was hard to get around. I was so used to New York where you could take the subway and walk anywhere.

I spent the days in the studio recording and making beats and the nights at the apartment on the phone to my mum and sister in tears saying ‘I want to come home’. It was a few weeks later that I met Rodney Jerkins who is an amazing producer. I was walking down to the corner store to get a juice and I heard “hey yo, are you a singer?” I turned around and he said “come here” so I walked across the street not knowing who it was (I forgot my glasses that day) all that was running through my head was, “a friend, a friend! “

When I figured out who it was, I was in shock. He is one of the nicest people you’ll meet in this industry. We became friends and he came over a few times to listen to my music and give advice, which I really appreciated.

Around the same time I me Printz Board (MD for the Black Eyed Peas) randomly during a session I had with another writer and we became friends in about 45 seconds, he has been an amazing friend throughout the time I’ve known him.

Toward the end of my time in LA we finally decided to write a song together and came up with ‘Differently’ the title track of the album. Now every time I’m back in LA we work on songs and projects for other artists/singers because we just work so well together. Wayne Wilkins is another amazing writer who I met while recording my album, he’s so incredibly talented. He has two songs in the top ten at the moment with Beyonce's “Sweet Dreams” and Jordin Spark’s “Battlefield”. He has really mentored me and taught me a lot since I’ve known him, we wrote a song for my album “Criminal” but now we just get together to write for other people.

CASSIE DAVIS - THE DEBUT ARTIST:

I think I’d been behind the scenes so long writing for others and doing production that when it came my turn to be an artist I freaked out a bit. I was trying to make everyone else around me happy with my clothes and hair, but I got to the point, three singles in, where I just wanted to go back to Cass and not be too shiny. It took me a little while to get that through my head though, but I’m glad I did because I’m really happy with the video and pictures for the third single. It’s a different dynamic now it’s not just 12 Stones with me and Emma making all the decisions, we have our team at Sony Music and we all mutually agree and come together collectively on a creative level.

DEVELOPING MY WRITING AND PRODUCTION CAREER - WORKING WITH AMAZING ARTISTS AND WRITERS BOTH INTERNATIONALLY AND LOCALLY:

Recently I’ve gone back to putting a lot of focus on writing and production with and for other artists. I know my heart will never stray too far from within the studio walls even though it’s a lot of fun to get up and perform. I love equipment and mic’s and creating something that I can physically listen to that started out as only an idea in my head. I’ve been lucky enough to work with/for some great international acts like Warren G and Snoop Dog, and really enjoyed some time with a couple of great Aussie bands as well in the last couple of months. I love being able to write songs that I could never have on my album because they’re completely wrong for me as an artist. It’s fun creating something for someone else that suits his or her vibe and personality.

MY DEBUT ALBUM & WHAT LIES AHEAD:

I think the next goal for me is getting this album out and being able to show Australia who I am through my music. Then to sign one or two more acts to 12 Stones, I really want to develop the label. I think there is so much talent in Australia and to give someone the opportunity to get their dream by recording and releasing their music would be pretty amazing. I remember the first time I heard “Like It Loud” on the radio it was the most incredible feeling in the world I can say without a doubt that I have never screamed that loud in my life and probably never will again. It’s a crazy feeling knowing that other people are listing to my song right now. To be able to help give that feeling to another band or artist would be priceless. - Daily Telegraph


Discography

Differently (LP -2009)

SINGLES
Like it Loud (2009)
Differently (2009)
Don't Wanna Dance (2009)
No More (2009)
Don't Wanna Dance (2010)

Photos

Bio

When you're not prepared to accept the barriers that may lie ahead, there's nothing stopping you from achieving your greatest dreams. Set your goals and shoot for the stars this particularly true of Australian artist Cassie Davis.

Not content to be simply a singer and songwriter, Cassie now 24 is studio-savvy, after studying a degree in creative music technology at WAAPA (The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts) knows her way around the boards and is her own producer as well as a multi-instrumentalist.

Cassie and her sister Emma set up their own record label 12 Stones with which they signed a deal with Sony Music for in early 2008.

"I've always thought, 'yeah, I can do that', then I go do it." Almost unheard of for a debut artist, Cassie herself has executive produced her debut album Differently.

The album has had 5 hit singles, reached gold status and grabbed fans with It’s infectious, stand-up celebration of genre-hopping. In 2009 Cassie had 3 of the top 40 releases in the 2009 Australian year-end charts. Radio across the nation have given incredible
support to the break through artist with her singles being the
#1 most added tracks at radio in their week of release.

After recently coming off tour with Kelly Clarkson, the rest of 2010 will see Cassie back in the studio working on her sophomore album. “There’s a lot more pressure this time around says the bubbly blonde, on the first album I could take my time no one knew who I was an no one expected everything. This album has a very different sound to the first one, I’m trying to just have fun with it shake off the pressure of deadlines and just let things progress organically.”

Cassie Davis is a home-grown talent determined to forge her own path in music as a triple threat: singer, song writer and producer. She now divides her time between Australia and the USA where she concentrates on the behind the scenes side of the
business writing and producing for other artists and bands. She has recently been working with artists such as the Pot Belleez and has written and produced Stan Walker’s new single “Choose You” which has recently been certified platinum.

This has been a busy past 12 months it saw her completed her ‘Walkman Live Your Life Loud’ schools tour where she performed to over 35,000 school students across the country, Australia Day Live celebrations in Canberra that attracted a crowd of over 40,000, and numerous award shows including Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, MTV and ARIA red carpet performances.

Not bad for a girl who decided she just wanted to wake up every morning and be able to sing.