#SPOTTED: DJ CASSIDY IN TORONTO FOR “PARADISE ROYALE”
He’s been hand-picked by the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Oprah, Naomi Campbell and Justin Timberlake. After four years in the making, DJ Cassidy is set to make an explosive debut with his first Album Paradise Royale, set tentatively for a release in May. The star-studded Affair features collaborations with 22 of the most influencial Musicians of the Disco Era and a roster of Guest Vocalists which will have you asking, “Like, how?!?”. Mary J. Blige, Estelle, R. Kelly, Cee-Lo, John Legend, Kelly Rowland, Passion Pit and so many more lend their talents in a way you’ve never quite heard them before!
DJ Cassidy dons a stylish fedora and a large brooch with the letter “C”, a signature look which matches his level of musical sophistication. We learn he is very hands-on with his approach, humbled by the opportunity to give musical direction to many of his Heroes on his upcoming Disc. He also incorporates a Live Band to his Act when performing live, as he currently opens on tour for Robin Thicke.
“The first step was I sat down and made a Playlist of my favourite 25 songs of that Era (1978-1982)”, says the eloquent New Yorker says to an intimate Audience of Tastemakers at Toronto’s Drake Hotel, “How do I make my songs feel like these Songs?”. He adds, “I made a list of every Musician who ever worked on these Songs – the Drummer, the Guitar Player, the Horn Player and so on. I made 25 lists and what I saw was the same names repeated over and over and over.”. “To achieve my mission, I had to go to the source – so for the past four years, I reunited 22 of the most legendary Musicians to recreate their sound”. He then went-on to premiere four unheard Tracks from his Album.
I was floored by the John Legend and Estelle Track When The Stars Come Out. I try convincing DJ Cassidy this needs to be his Followup Single as we exchange a hug, him telling me he saw me grooving from the stage as he measured reactions from the Crowd. Current Single, Calling All Hearts featuring the vocals of Robin Thicke and Jessie J. Disco Era heavyweights Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Larry Dunn of Earth, Wind & Fire. Mega-Producer Nile Rodgers even brings out the same guitar we hear on Chic‘s Good Times and Madonna‘s Material Girl. But back to When The Stars Come Out, the Track is like nectar to the ears. “I normally call my own shots, but ultimately I trust the Label to decide what’s best”, he says about whichever Track next will see a release.
DJ Cassidy‘s Soulful Funk revival (please do not use the word “Disco“) could well define the Sound of 2014, reconnecting his Generation of Hip-Hop-obsessed Music Listeners to what he calls “the most universal Dance Music of all time”. The Crowd in attendance is delighted by infectious Passion Pit Collabo So Long Baby, a true mark of his ability as a Producer, making them sound convincingly soulful; there is big potential there for a Crossover Hit.
Noticing an R. Kelly Collaboration sequenced late on his Playlist projected onto the screen, the Audience begged for him to play the Track, Make the World Go Round, and they certainly are not left disappointed, greeting it with loud cheers and claps. The Track is a result of multiple flights and sessions with the controversial Singer/Songwriter. It rates among his best work.
I ask DJ Cassidy whom he wishes to collaborate with still. “I submitted a list of 30 Vocalists and immediately got to work with 10 of my top picks”, he reveals. “Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake and Miguel I hope can be on the next Album.”. Well, at this rate, it sure doesn’t seem impossible – wouldn’t you agree?
See our Snap:
Listen to DJ Cassidy talk about his creative process and how he got to make the Album many might dream of, but only he could make:
Check-out Calling All Hearts ft. Jessie J and Robin Thicke below:
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Sony Music)