Believe it or not, it's been almost six years since Cassie's self-titled debut. Now the recording artist slash model has just reintroduced herself to fans with "King of Hearts." The video to the catchy electro-pop track features a scantily-clad Cassie—wearing Versace and little else—surprising critics with a new range and new sound.
"After the first album came out, there was a lot of criticism," the Bad Boy bombshell told Rod 2.0 in a short phone interview two weeks ago. "I had a few bad performances and [some] people had a lot to say. I've taken the time to work on myself."
Taking that time off could pay dividends. Cassandra Elizabeth Ventura has been working on her second album for the past four years. The new music has been eagerly anticipated. And given Cassie's new look and new sound, it'll definitely make some noise.
Listen to the interview:
ROD 2.0: I just returned from Rome, I was there about two months ago. In one of the clubs they were playing “Me & You.” The kids love you in Rome!
CASSIE: (LAUGHING) That’s crazy! I can’t believe people are still playing that in clubs but I love it.
R20: King of Hearts hadn’t dropped yet. But this was an Italo-disco version of the track. You know that style.
CASSIE: Oh yes. But that’s one place I haven’t even been yet. I would love to! I don’t even know what their club scene is like. I bet it’s really cool.
R20: You haven’t been to Rome?
CASSIE: No, unfortunately.
R20: You’ll love it and they’ll love you. You have so many projects going on right now. What are you most excited about?
CASSIE: I’m most excited about the new music. About releasing it and people hearing it. I’m anxious and excited but have to be patient. I’ve been working for a while on this project. I have to keep my wits about me and stay focused. But I’m really excited for people to hear the music.
R20: I’m really a big fan of King of Hearts. It sounds like a change for you but it’s a good change.
CASSIE: Thank you! King of Hearts is an extension of where I am—and where I started, as far as my sound. But it’s a grown up version and just a little bit different. It gives me a little bit more. I’m so proud of it and the sound. It’s going to work well with my audience and everybody. Especially the clubs.
R20: We were just talking about Europe. It could be huge over there if it isn’t already.
CASSIE: Oh yea. I was just in Paris for Fashion Week—
R20: We know! (LAUGHS)
CASSIE: (LAUGHS) And we dropped [King of Hearts] out there officially. There was a party and there was so much great energy. It fit right into what people are playing so I’m excited about it.
R20: I love the video. The video is remarkable.
CASSIE: Thank you so much.
Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP ...
R20: How long did it take you to shoot?
CASSIE: That was a 12 or 16 hour shoot.
R20: It was just one day?
CASSIE: It was just one day in this beautiful house. But we got it all done. We moved quickly.
R20: You looked great. And you were wearing Versace, right? At least when you were laying down, that was a Versace robe.
CASSIE: Ohhh that was just the shirt! And the necklace was Versace, too. But we kinda kept it minimal.
R20: Oh we saw that!
CASSIE: (LAUGHING) We kept it minimal because it was such a great house.
R20: What was it like working with Christopher Simms? He was the director, right?
CASSIE: Yes. He is awesome. I am sure you are familiar with his work. He does a lot of videos but he also shot the Gucci campaign. He just has a really interesting eye. We wanted to make a moving editorial ... a fashion editorial.
R20: It’s very smart and very grown up. And it does remind me of a fashion editorial. It reminds me of one of the old Chanel No. 5 commercials from the 70s or 80s.
CASSIE: Yes, yes! Everyone has said that. “It’s kind of like a perfume ad or perfume commercial.” I guess it could be.
R20: Before your time, there was this excellent Chanel No. 5 commercial with a woman walking toward a pool, it was great.
CASSIE: (LAUGHING) Well, if we’re channeling Chanel we’re doing something great.
R20: You sound a little different. Have you been doing something different with your voice?
CASSIE: I just spent time working on it. After the first album came out, there was a lot of criticism. People were wondering what I was all about. And I had a few bad performances and [some] people had a lot to say. But I just really worked on myself, took vocal lessons, did the things I was supposed to do. I took lessons, I pushed myself and I do sound a little different. Some of the records sound completely different.
R20: Listening to you now versus listening to you on the mixtape, it’s a completely different sound.
CASSIE: You’re talking about the Bad Boy mix tape?
CASSIE: Yes, yes.
R20: So we’re going to hear all of those sides of you on the new album?
CASSIE: Yes. Since I’ve spent so much time working on the album, I’ve been able to compile all of the different sounds that I was trying out. So I tried a couple of R&B records, I tried a couple of pop records, I tried a couple of dance records and they ended up going together. There is something for everybody.
R20: Can you give me some more details. When will we be able to hear it?
CASSIE: The album will be available in September. Back to school time for the kids. Hopefully, we can do some listening parties and get feedback, to hear what people are thinking. [The album] is where I am right now. I’m happy and I’m present for everything that is going on in my life right now. I had fun with it. It doesn’t sound like the first album but it’s still me.
R20: Obviously with King of Hearts we’re hearing more dance. But will we also hear some R&B?
CASSIE: It’s not really one or the other. I do have some R&B records on there. My second single will have a lot of attitude and more pop. And the third single would be an R&B ballad. I just want to play on every side of the fence and have fun. It’s not just one sound. It’s hard to explain.
R20: I like what I’ve heard so far and I like your description.
CASSIE: Thank you. I’m not sure how much you’ve heard over the years but there have been [many] leaked [tracks.]
R20: I’ve heard maybe three or four leaked tracks. But will King of Hearts be the only one on the album? Or will they all be on the album?
CASSIE: Do you mean the mixtape tracks? No, those were only for the mixtape and the fans.
R20: Do you have a name for the album yet? Wasn’t it originally supposed to be called Electro Love?
CASSIE: I changed it. After being in studio for so long … I came up with a new name. I haven’t released the name yet. But it fits better with the [material]. I didn’t stay with Electro or the dance realm. There are a couple of dance records but that’s it.
R20: Did you feel using the name Electro ties you to a specific style?
CASSIE: Yes, it locks you into one place.
R20: Can I ask you about fashion? You’re known for your bold fashion choices. And of course everyone knows you for what you did with your hair. Are you going to continue that?
R20: Yep. I mentioned on Twitter and everyone asked the same question. Are you going to keep it up?
CASSIE: Wow. Everyone is asking me if I am going to keep up and I was worried about growing it back when I cut in the first time. (LAUGHS) How long has it been—
R20: About two years?
CASSIE: About two years. I’ve had it for a while. I’m happy that it grew on other people. I don’t know. I think as an artist you have to sometimes make bold and uncomfortable choices.
R20: The haircut is a winner. When you first did it, I was like “OMG.” But it really grew on me and it defined you—and so many other people have embraced it.
CASSIE: Thank you.
R20: Did you enjoy Paris Fashion Week?
CASSIE: I enjoyed it. I only [attended] two or three shows. I saw Givenchy and Kanye’s show. Every time I go to Paris, I have so much fun. I loved Givenchy’s show.
R20: Are you going to be doing some work for Givenchy?
CASSIE: No. But I did get to meet [Givenchy designer] Ricardo [Tisci]. He is the sweetest guy. And I’m so impressed that he wants me to wear his clothes. We [went] to the showroom. It was beautiful.
R20: Could you pick out whatever you wanted? Were you like a princess in a fairytale?
CASSIE: (LAUGHING) I did feel like a princess! I had my fitting for the show. And they said, “Do you want to wear something this week?” So we picked out a few pieces. I like that he has a contrast. Some pieces are a little tomboyish. I like how he does both.
R20: In King of Hearts, isn't the male actor slash model a Givenchy model?
CASSIE: Hmm. I don’t think so. Maybe! We couldn’t really see what he looked like besides the jawline.
R20: Oh we saw that. Trust me, that was enough. The kids will notice a jawline.
CASSIE: (LAUGHING) Okay! I said, “I want to see a jawline!” But he’s really a beautiful man.
R20: Last question. Is it true that Kanye did a remix of King of Hearts?
CASSIE: Kanye did remix King of Hearts. So that will be coming soon.
R20: Cassie, thank you so much for talking to me.
CASSIE: Thank you.