VASSY has been dominating the dance music scene since her 2014 collaboration with David Guetta and Showtek on the seven times double-platinum single, “Bad.”
The Australian music artist had another hit in 2015 with her collaboration with Tiësto and KSHMR on “Secrets,” a track that went to No. 1 in 20 countries. She also released her solo single “Nothing to Lose” in 2016 that has received more than three million views on YouTube.
Her LGBT advocacy includes being an ambassador for the NOH8 Campaign, an organization that promotes LGBT and human equality in marriage, education, social media, among other avenues. A Pride event veteran, she’ll be at Capital Pride this weekend with a performance planned between 2-4 p.m. on the Concert Stage (3rd & Pennsylvania Ave.) at the Capital Pride Festival on Sunday, June 11.
The 34 year old chatted with the Washington Blade about her Australian work ethic, her favorite part about Pride and helping her best friend come out at 14 years old.
WASHINGTON BLADE: How did you get started making music and getting into the dance music scene?
VASSY: My career started in Australia a few years ago. I had success out there in the indie-pop world. My success in the dance world started just a couple years ago because I had a record with David Guetta that did extremely well. That record launched me into the dance world and put me on the map. A year later I had a really big record with Tiësto and it just kept going.
BLADE: What about the dance music scene is different from the indie-pop scene?
VASSY: Essentially, it’s the same in terms of songwriting for me. Although, there’s more emphasis on the hook. It doesn’t change too much for me in terms of an artist and writing.
BLADE: The song “Bad” with David Guetta became a huge dance hit. Did you expect the song to blow up like it did?
VASSY: You know, no. It really took off. That record did so freaking well. We had a good feeling about it but I didn’t expect all that.
BLADE: What are some upcoming projects you’re working on?
VASSY: I’ve got a couple new releases coming out in the summer. I can’t say yet with who but there is some cool new music coming up.
BLADE: Only a few Australian artists like Kylie Minogue, Sia and Iggy Azalea have made names for themselves in the U.S. What’s it been like for you an an Australian artist breaking into the U.S. music industry?
VASSY: I’ve been based here in America, so it’s cool. I feel like Australians are pretty hard working and we’re laid back. We don’t feel entitled so we are very, “We gotta earn it.” We gotta put the work in. That’s the Australian ethic.
BLADE: You’re an ambassador for the NOH8 Campaign. Why did you decide to become apart of that?
VASSY: I’ve been an ambassador for a lot of campaigns in regards to human rights and equal rights. It’s been a passionate area of mine for many years. So naturally, I was approached by them. As a public figure, it’s always my duty to any organization that I think is doing good. So if I can attach myself to that and then help them with their cause and get the word out.
BLADE: Do you notice a difference when you perform at Pride events versus non-LGBT events?
VASSY: Yeah. Prides are awesome because everyone comes together for the same reason. There’s a real celebration. The energy in the air is very special. I really enjoy doing Pride festivals. It’s a completely different energy. There’s so much love in the air. There’s no judgement. It’s really special actually.
BLADE: Why are you a LGBT ally?
VASSY: I have very close friends and family who are part of that community. I helped my best friend come out at 14. This is a community that’s close to me, it’s around me, it’s my world. They’re my family and friends. These are people I love and I’ll do anything to protect people I love.
BLADE: What’s your Capital Pride performance going to be like?
VASSY: It’s going to be fun. I’m going to perform all my big hits that everyone loves and knows the lyrics to. I’m really excited for a Capitol Hill sing-along to that. I’m gonna have some dancers who are part of the local gay community. So I want to give them that platform. It’s about celebrating that day. It’s a very monumental year with politics and where things are at. I think it’s really important for us all to come together to just keep reminding people that it’s important to embrace and accept people and give everyone a fair go.