Since first breaking through with her boldly confident but carefree singles, Cassie Marin has staked her claim as an artist fully in command of her immense talent.
Growing up in Miami, Cassie arrived on the scene in 2016 with a series of singles and her indelible debut project Plastique Days the following year. The album spawned a plethora of fan favorites including “How Could I,” “Wired,” and “I Wasn’t Myself” among others. Meanwhile, her 2018 EP S.O.S. kept the momentum going, featuring a number of records that helped pave her pathway to stardom. Over the years, Marin has primed her artistry through singles like “Disrespect,” “Nope,” and “Electric,” as well as her two EPs Love Me Well and Sellout, released in the latter of 2020.
Now, Cassie Marin is preparing for her forthcoming sophomore album, Lil 5i5, slated to release on August 12th. Comprised of 19 songs, the project will include pre-release singles such as “Everytime I See The Ocean,” “Wow Factor,” “Push Me,” and several of her best works to date. Lil 5i5 finds Cassie continuing her visual and sonic exploration of new sounds, tastefully pairing rhythms of dance music with emotive melodies and meaningful lyricism. Alongside the announcement, the singer-songwriter unveils her new song “Gemini,”
“The song sees me tackling one side of myself with humor and the other side of myself with passion. One side feels deserving of the good things that come to me while the other side feels stuck in an unwanted habit of self-sabotage,” she says. “It’s a bit of a mood swing of a song that I feel many can relate to.”
Below, we celebrate the release of “Gemini” by chatting with Cassie Marin about her forthcoming album, pre-release singles, and production process among other topics. Read on for our conversation.
“Busy Body,” the first single ahead of the album, sets the tone with its energy and playfulness, but it also highlights thrilling new sounds from you and gives a taste of what fans can expect. Why was “Busy Body” the comeback single?
It was the album’s whole overall tone that made me pick “Busy Body” as the first single. I wanted to give listeners a track that was unconventional and weird but, at the same time, fun. I like to believe that interesting and fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive in music—that is a main theme of the album—and I felt that “Busy Body” was a good song to lead with in order to establish this.
Visually, you’ve also gone through a number of aesthetics as seen in the cover arts for “Every Time I See the Ocean” and “Push Me” among others. How do you think the creative direction emphasizes some of the concepts in your music?
The creative direction is usually conceived at the same moment as the song. While I’m in front of the mic at the studio, images always instantly come to mind and I cannot separate these visuals from the music. When I start the process of creating the artwork, I’m able to begin to appreciate the things in the songs that are emphasized by the art. I normally don’t enjoy setting those things in stone, however. I prefer my listeners to have the freedom to read and see things for themselves.
Talk to us about “Gemini,” the next single from the album—what inspired this record and made you want to include it in the rollout?
“Gemini” deals with the idea of the divided self. It tells a long-arching story that includes aspects of childhood to my present-day dilemmas. I included “Gemini” in the rollout because this theme of the divided self is crucial to the overall album narrative.
Beyond several of the themes that appear in the pre-release singles, are there any other inspirations or facets of emotion behind the album?
It’s overwhelming to try and dissect them all at once. When I begin to write a song it is very much like finding a piece of thread buried in the earth, and then pulling it to find it leads to the very beginning of your life.
The upcoming release also serves as your first full-length project since 2017’s Plastique Days, and since then, both you and your artistry have evolved so much. How often, if at all, do you look back on older material that you put out or worked on—what’s your relationship to your older body of work?
I don’t look back very often, but it’s a love and hate relationship. This project, Lil 5i5, feels like my debut album, in many ways. Meanwhile, Plastique Days feels like I put my personal homework on public display.
Production-wise, many of the songs still contain that element of electronica that when paired with your vocals and lyricism, transcends into this ethereal earworm that you just can’t get enough of. Can you expand on the production process and how it complemented your songwriting and recording amid the project?
There is a bit of magic that occurs when listening to sounds while writing that I don’t know if I can articulate. When sounds resonate with me, it’s as if they are calling me from this long tunnel; I walk through that tunnel and I write what my senses feel. I guess I could say that the studio is the place where I go to astral project and the production is my spiritual guide, haha.
When the album does finally come out, what are you hoping for fans to take away from the listening experience?
I hope that they are able to learn something new about themselves.