Driving down Sunset Boulevard, a sun-bleached billboard is donned with a can’t-miss image—a hyper-stylized avatar representing the whimsical, futuristic vision of left-field pop musician Cassie Marin. The Los Angeles-based independent singer, songwriter, and producer is making her mark on the modern dance-pop evolution of today in her first full-length album, LiL 5i5. With a style that draws influence from decades of sound, Marin finds a groove that’s as influenced by PC Music and Kaytranada as it is by Y2K-era pop divas like Britney and Christina.
Over the course of 19 tracks, Marin bares her soul and leaves no emotion unexplored over beats that pull you into her world. “I started pursuing music as a career because of what music did and still does for me; it saves me every day,” she says. “I want my music to be there for anyone and everyone who needs it the way that music was there for me.” Delving into these parts of herself is a key piece of Marin’s journey, as she navigates the complex journey of truly knowing oneself. We spoke to the rising star about her newest release and the principles behind her distinctive aesthetic for LiL 5i5.
How did you channel your creative vision into your visual aesthetic?
I am guided by sound whenever I create. The songs immediately come to me with visuals which I then bring to life through photos, videos, wardrobe, hair, makeup, etc.
What was the process of writing an album like, and would you do anything differently the next time?
It was step by step, song by song. When I looked at everything I had made, I was able to see that together the songs showed a connected story. I wouldn’t try to do anything different in terms of creation next time, but I also don’t see myself consciously trying to do anything the same way either. After such a big release, I feel like I am in a new place in every way; I know that this album alone is already carrying me to a new landscape.
When did you start making music?
I started composing songs on the piano when I was around 8 years old.
Why did you choose to pursue the artist’s path?
It happened naturally, really. As a child I used to sing a lot to my grandfather, then I learned piano, released my first song while I was in high school, and suddenly here I am!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
As an independent artist moving to a new city (Los Angeles), the biggest challenge was finding the right people to work with. I overcame it by respecting myself and keeping my integrity as a human and artist.
Where do you go to refill your energetic cup?
The bathtub, with candles, roses, and bubbles.
Who do you admire creatively, and do they play an impact on the artist you are today?
I find inspiration in artists from all fields, as well as non-artists. At this moment there isn’t a particular person that comes to mind though. If you pay attention, there are always things, people, and places to admire and draw creative inspiration from.
Cassie Marin’s debut album LiL 5i5 is available now on all platforms.