Canadian Pop Artist Andrew Cassara Channels the Funky Eighties on Debut Album
‘Freak On Repeat.’ which was released earlier this month, is a dancefloor-friendly offering from the Ottawa singer
By any stretch of the imagination, disco is far from being retro or classic thanks to chart-topping albums such as Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia. Out in Ottawa, young Canadian pop artist Andrew Cassara is perhaps aiming for exactly that kind of stardom with his high-energy, mood varying debut album Freak on Repeat.
Released on May 1st via SGMGroupArtists/AWAL, Cassara’s 11-track album mines his love for disco/funk across eras, whether it’s Jamiroquai or Bee Gees. Songs like “Money” and “Fingertips” also recall pop favorites like Michael Jackson, but Cassara tunes his emotions differently on softer songs like “You Are.” Ask him why disco has been a formative influence for Freak on Repeat and Cassara says over email, “The funky disco jams has taken on many forms over the years but there’s something about the sound that always makes me crave more. It always feels really fresh and I think that’s why it’s lived on for so long!”
Starting out as a teenage singer in 2013, Cassara has since taken his music around the globe, including South Korea, Singapore and Japan. Performing with his band when we saw him at Live At Heart Festival in Orebro, Sweden in 2018, Cassara could turn attention towards him in any room with just the feel-good energy of funk and pop. He recounts that after performing at the Zandari Festa in Seoul in 2018, he felt inclined to learn Korean. What is it like for a “western” pop artist to make it in a country that has its own globally recognized brand of K-Pop? “I realized is that western pop music is very present in Korea, but because Korean artists have their own distinct style, it can be a little bit more tricky for western artists to establish themselves in that market, but once they catch on, Korean fans are some of the most loyal fans in the world,” Cassara says.
Turns out that Cassara has even interacted and found listeners asking him to visit and perform in India, which almost happened late last year. Cassara says, “For a little while now, whenever I log onto social media and do my weekly chat sessions with the fans, there’s been an increasing number of fans asking me for tour dates in India.” Gleaning stories from friends who have visited, the artist says he’s “curious about Indian culture and the country as a whole.” He adds, “I’m very hopeful that there will be another opportunity, I’ll be ready for it when it happens.”
For now, of course, the bigger wait is with restrictions on performing and touring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cassara tells us he’s been at home for over a month now but he’s not letting the uncertainty get him down when there’s an album to promote. He adds, “If my songs can break the stress even for a few minutes, then we have contributed positively.”
Listen to ‘Freak on Repeat’ on more platforms here. Stream “Bad Bad” below.