Cassie Takes a Second Shot at a First Impression with ‘Electro Love’
You may not know everything about Cassandra "Cassie" Ventura's music, but chances are you know more than enough about her personal life. Whether it's the rumored fling with longtime friend and collaborator Sean "Diddy" Combs, nude pictures, or her newly half-shaven head, her name just can't seem to stay off the blogs.
The 23-year-old, Connecticut native is set to prove that she is more than just a pretty face, with her sophomore release 'Electro Love,' and is well aware that her climb to the top is proving to be an up-hill battle.
"I definitely feel like an underdog. As many times as people have things to say about me and have tried to divert it from what I'm really trying to do -- which is music -- I get to fight back. Starting over is kind of cool to me, I like it."
Unlike her self-titled debut, which was produced by former beau Ryan Leslie, her upcoming release, the dance-friendly 'Electro Love,' boasts a dream-team of producers including, Diddy, Pharrell, Akon, The Dream and Tricky Stewart. "The first album was with Ryan Leslie, which was cool, but I wanted to branch out and do my own thing." Part of that liberation comes in not always seeing eye-to-eye with Diddy, who Cassie says is as hard on her as he is with everyone else. "We bump heads, like if I thought the performance was great or he thought I needed to do it again, " she said. "But everybody bumps heads once in a while, especially in the same work place."
Since her 2006 hit single 'Me and You,' and her self-titled debut album, Cassie has managed to garner a healthy helping of news headlines. This year has been especially challenging as nude pictures of the singer somehow found their way to the Internet.
"I was extremely upset. I won't say exactly what happened to me but it was pretty rough," she said of the photos. "My mom was on the east coast and I didn't want to startle her but I wanted to let her know before she woke up in the morning, so I called her. That was probably the roughest part. It really sucked. It takes away from everything that I've worked so hard on.
"Of course everyone has their thoughts on it: 'Oh I think she leaked them herself.' I don't know what woman in her right mind would ever leak pictures of herself on the Internet. I always say the blogs [are] the gift and the curse. The gift of it is that they move on the next day."
Cassie has since stated that the photos, taken for her boyfriend at the time, were stolen from an old Gmail account (we are happy to report that she has no problem with AOL mail though.). Support from her family, mainly her father, has been the most helpful in her getting through the ordeal. "I'm really lucky, both my parents are very understanding. He [my father] could've disowned me but my dad loves me! He was like 'It's none of people's business what you do in your private life.' I appreciated hearing that from my father."
Despite a hectic schedule that finds her jet setting from one end of the world to the next, coming home to Connecticut and hanging out with her friends and family is her favorite way to wind down. Before beginning the rush of promoting her second album, slated for an end of they year release, Cassie is also preparing herself for "ambush interviews" similar to one that happened a few weeks ago.
Radio personality Charlemagne The God, former co-host on the 'Wendy William's Show,' unleashed an angry the listener on the singer catching her completely off guard. "I go into every interview willing to talk about whatever the interviewer wants to talk about. [But] being talked at and just degraded for no reason... it was just too much," she said. "That interview in itself was very confusing. I didn't know who Charlemagne was. I found out later on that he was Wendy William's little puppy."
Five years in the music industry has undoubtedly helped her develop a tough skin but she does acknowledge that people are quick to attack because they think she won't respond. "I think there's been a constant misconception of who I am in the public view [be]cause I haven't really let people know who I am. That has given people the idea that they can speak to me however they want. They will soon find out that that's not the case."