TPM 6 | Grow With Collabs

 

We can only grow and do so much by ourselves. That is why many thrive best when reaching out to others for help. In the music industry, one of the great avenues to grow your audience is by using collaborations. In this episode, Bree Noble is joined by singer-songwriter Cassandra Kubinski to talk about the opportunities that open up with collaboration and how creating partnerships with other artists drive good results in listenership and fanship. She shares her recent collabs and the process it took to develop that relationship not only with fellow singers but other artists and even organizations as well. Join Cassandra in this conversation as she lets us in on more benefits of collaboration and using music to heal, help, and contribute to communities and causes.

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How To Grow Your Audience And Drive More Good Results Using Collabs With Cassandra Kubinski

I am here with my friend, Cassandra Kubinski. I had her on the show in 2018. I’m having her back because she’s doing many cool things that I don’t see a lot of artists are doing. I want to catch up with her and have her tell you some of the awesome things she’s doing, collaborations, and stuff. Cassandra, catch us up. What’s been going on for you?

It’s nice to be back. This 2020 was a huge year. I have been working on releasing music that I was recording in 2019. It was a big recording year for me. I’m recording and performing. This 2020, I started the year out in LA and San Francisco performing, meeting with publishers and producers, and then COVID magic happened. I left LA, ended up back in New York, and now I’m quarantining or holing away in my Upstate New York condo. It’s been an interesting thing because I’ve spent this time planning releases for music that I had recorded but didn’t have a plan to put out.

I’ve put out a cover of Jason Mraz, a song Back To The Earth. I put out a song called Stardust and then a remix with a yoga DJ, which is one of the collabs that I’d love to share with you guys. I’m working on creating some additional collaborations. This 2020 for me has been about diving into collaboration. In the past couple of years, that’s something that I embraced in a way that I didn’t quite have my finger on it, I didn’t understand. I was like, “We all collaborate. We get in the room and produce stuff together and then we play in bands together. Is it not collaborating?” I’ve got to expand and evolve on consciously creating partnerships with other artists that are designed to drive good results, listenership and fanship for both artists or both parties.

I can’t wait to get into this because if you’re intentional with your collabs, you can do a lot. First, I’ve got to ask you about releasing during a pandemic. Before, when you release, did you usually have a tour around it or did you perform a lot? How was that different? Were you still performing to promote your release even online now?

I was never an artist who did heavy touring around to release. I would always do a release show and even a few. Previously, when I released something, we’d have a big show in New York. There might be some other shows in Toronto, LA, or wherever I might be going. In the pandemic, when things have come out, we’ve done other things to celebrate them. In some cases, we haven’t done anything, but Facebook Live shows. I was doing a lot of Facebook Live early in the pandemic. I’m doing more Instagram co-Lives where I hop on with other artists or people who are a part of my collaborative projects and we chat and perform. For me, I haven’t dove into creating huge events around releases. I’ve been more focused on learning the ways to expand listenership, especially across the DSPs for my songs.

It’s great for you because touring wasn’t a huge part of what you did. It was easier for you to slip into the way to release music during the pandemic. You were lucky in that way because when I was releasing music, I relied heavily on touring to promote my album, bring people into my fan base, and all that stuff. You had a leg up in this situation. Let’s talk about your collab. What even gave you the idea to start collaborating with other artists in the way that you have? Was it an accidental thing or were you very intentional from the start?  

The collaboration piece has expanded beyond I want to work with whoever I can work with. I looked at my overall life picture. It wasn’t music, but I looked at where was I interested musically? Where were some areas where I hadn’t expanded musically and I’d like to? It came driven by what music do I want to make next and who might be a fun playmate for that. That came from also becoming present to the sense of overwhelm of doing everything yourself which I’m sure many of us have faced. That sense of DIY everything.

I hit a point where I felt like, “It’s not going to be do it myself. Everything I’m going to do now, I’m going to build team and partnership around not just to increase results but to have more fun, to feel less alone, and to feel like we’re doing this together.” Right off the bat, one of the first things I did was I had honed in on wanting to combine my love of yoga with my love of music. I have a strong and active yoga practice. That’s more of a lifestyle. It’s not getting on the mat and do some poses thing. I had never tried to combine that with my music.

I did some research on the most powerful research platform ever, Google. I had found a Yoga Journal article that featured DJs Who Are Changing How You Flow. There was one particular artist, DJ Taz Rashid, who I looked up from the article and I dug his sound. I was like, “I haven’t been thinking about this world of yoga, mindfulness festivals, retreat centers, even studios.” There’s a huge world here of people who love music and where music plays a specific inspiring role in the fun of this world. I never tried to get in on that.

I reached out to DJ Taz. Long story short, we had created a collaboration and the remix of my songs, Stardust, is a collaboration with DJ Taz, which has now opened the door into doing more collaborations with other yoga focused artists. My intention is that will also lay the foundation for me to be able to perform at all of this Wanderlust, Bhakti Fest, and types of events where I want to be there. I want to be hanging with those people, “That’d be awesome,” and now I get to perform there as well.

Use music to heal, help, and contribute to communities and causes. Click To Tweet

You were intentional. You did the research. You found somebody specific that you thought had a vibe that you liked and you approached him. People get stressed out about cold pitching anybody. Was it thought out what you wrote to him or were you like, “I love your music. Are you interested in collabing?” Was it casual?  

I’m in the boat with you about like, “What’s the right way to do it?” For me, the method that I’ve developed that I use across the board creating collaborations is research. The research piece does two things. It will show you whether you do want to pursue the target that you think you want to pursue because sometimes, you start researching them, and then you’re like, “I don’t even vibe with this.” You get egotistical about like, “I have to work with so-and-so.” You realize that it’s not even your vibe. If you discover it is my vibe, the result of the research is that you will get to be more aware of what that person or organization is up to and what they care about.

If you do the research and look at their website, you Google interviews with them, look at their socials, read, look, and listen to what they’re putting out. When you have that basis of their world, you step into their world. That’s the place to start with an approach because you want to be approaching a potential partner from a space where you’re acknowledging what they’re already up to. You’re not cold pitching this thing out there like, “I want to work with you,” but you have no why for that. Also, more importantly, you need to have a why for why they should work with you. It’s easier to craft that when you’ve done sufficient research and you feel like, “I get what this person is about and what they care about.” That’s my first step.

As far as how I reached out to DJ Taz and others, my process has been looking for an actual email. Most ideally real email and not a form submission through a website, but if that’s what they’ve got, you go with that. Sometimes, I will duplicate that effort on socials. I will tailor whatever my message was to be sure enough to also DM them on Instagram and send a Facebook message. I used to be weird about that. I used to feel like that’s overkill and I’m going to look like a psycho. I’m going to look like, “I’m showing up in every inbox.” When you do your pitch in a grounded, respectful, and professional way that shows that you have done your research and you truly are interested in creating a collaboration that will work for both parties, doing that multi-platform pitch shows your commitment. What I see is that you’re not going to look crazy. You’re going to look like you cared about reaching them.

Understanding that people aren’t everywhere all the time. For me, sometimes, I forget to check my DMs depending on where I am, what device I’m using, all that stuff. I’m fine if people want to get in touch with me in multiple ways or they’ll get in touch with me in my Facebook messages and my assistant will get ahold of me because I didn’t see it, some other way. That’s a great idea.  

It seems to have been effective in a lot of cases. It’s not always. I’ve made pitches where it’s radio silence, I follow up, and I still get nothing. In the particular case of creating the collab with DJ Taz, he’s very busy and in demand. I did receive a response to my initial cold email and I was a little surprised that I got a response because this guy is crushing it, he’s rocking. DJ Taz Rashid, I recommend everybody to go and check him out. The initial response was, “It sounds interesting but I’m busy and I’m not sure when I could get to this. What did you have in mind?” That’s a question that comes up a lot. If you can get somebody interested in even responding to you, most of the time, their question is going to be, “What did you have in mind?” It’s important that you have something in mind.

Don’t say, “Go to my website, listen to all my music, and see which one might fit for you.”

That’s not so much the best approach. What I had done was I had already identified a few songs that I thought would be cool to remix. I also offered that if he wasn’t into any of those or those didn’t fit with his vibe of what he was looking to put his name on, I’d also be interested in writing to a track of his. I left both doors open and sent him a couple of specific tracks. His response was he liked the song Stardust and he instantly heard what he thought he could do with it. That accelerated the process enormously because we went from, “The time is tight,” to “It’s this song and we’re doing it.” From there, we were able to hop on the phone and get into the process of negotiating the actual terms, the actual money. In this case, there was a payment.

In some cases, there are not. Hash out what this is going to look like. Most certainly, I recommend that if you are paying a collaborator who has more visibility or exposure and you consider that to be a worthwhile investment in your own evolution, expansion, and exposure as well, pay. You’ve got to have a deal. You’ve got to have a clear agreement with that person. It doesn’t have to be some crazy 90-page lawyer contract but it does have to be spelled out who will do what, when will they do it, what will they deliver, especially on the promotion and marketing side. Are we agreeing to do some of that together? That’s important if you’re looking to utilize the partnership to grow your fan base. That’s getting ahead of it down the line.

That’s good to know. Once they land one of these, it’s like, “Now what? How do I know I can trust them that they’re going to do what they say?” It is important to have something in writing.  

TPM 6 | Grow With Collabs

Grow With Collabs: We expand and evolve on consciously creating partnerships with other artists that are designed to drive good results, listenership, and fanship for both parties.

 

It also formalizes it for you and holds you accountable. We all walk around being like, “I’m accountable. I’m responsible. I’m going to come through.” Sometimes, life and stuff happen. It’s a good way I have found to give your own self a sense of like, “This is real. This is happening. We are legit. We are in partnership.” It removes that vagary of thinking, “They’ll ghost on me.”

You know you but they don’t know you. It also assures them. If this is originally a cold situation, you want to assure them that this is a real thing.  

I found that that was not only in this particular collaboration, but in others that the more I demonstrate that I am interested in them, what they want to get out of this, and what would enhance their career or their situation. How can we utilize this project to serve you? There’s a fine line between that being lip-servicey and not being real. If you’re standing in, I want this to benefit us both. I’m truly interested in this benefiting you in a way that you don’t know how it will but you know that you want it to, then you can have a conversation that asks them, “How can we make this work for you? How can we have this work for you?” Most people, you ask them that and they’re so excited that anybody cares. People aren’t coming at them like, “I want to use you. I want to use your platform.” I always recommend in every step of the process, checking in and making sure that there’s a mutual benefit.

Let’s talk about the results. You did this collaboration, you even paid a little bit to make it happen. Do you think it was worth it? What happened? I know you had some serious Spotify increases in place. Let them know what the results were from it.

DJ Taz has over 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. When we began this collaboration, I had about 4,000. I had no idea what was going to come out of releasing the song as far as a DSP increase. To date, what I saw when we started remix that my monthly listenership went up to about 12,000. It was a growth and it has leveled up but it’s still more than double what it was before. I had been having an issue because I had thirteen songs on the Lifetime show, Dance Moms, and that had been a successful show. My Dance Moms songs were showing up in my DSP profiles as the most popular songs. That’s cool but those songs are old.

For me, knowing that you, as a new fan, you were showing up on my Spotify or iTunes and you were seeing Save You Tonight and Somebody Told Me. Those songs came out in 2005. It was frustrating to know that new fans showing up on my page were going to see the most popular songs and those were old songs. The Stardust remix with Taz helped to completely shift that because it’s now my most listened to song. When you go to my profiles, what you see is my newest work and it’s exciting. After years of being in that space, anyone who’s had powerful sync can speak to how cool it is to get the listenership added value of the sync. I had been frustrated by that and now I feel so excited that people get to hear my song, my voice the way it is now, and that’s what they land on.

Have you released anything since then? Have you seen this translate into listens for your next releases?

We did release the instrumental of this track which was recommended by Taz because in his community, yoga teachers, dance teachers, movement teachers, often want something that doesn’t have words. We did release the instrumental later and that had more listens than even some of my previous highly promoted releases did. It’s purely because our combined audiences with the thing going out on Release Radar to both parties are higher. I have not released anything since then. Our remix came out on August 21st, 2020, and instrumental came out on September 18th, 2020. This is all laying the groundwork for the next projects which are also exciting. I’m happy to tell you about the next partnerships that I have.

The Stardust and DJ Taz Rashid Remix now has under 14,000 streams. Those are all-time streams. For me, this song is growing and it’s continuing to grow daily. People are listening to it every day. It got on over 300 user-generated playlists. When you ask, was it worth it? The answer was yes. It’s hard to quantify that financially because I do not see a financial payback from releasing the song yet. However, it also led to the idea to create a music video where we have yogis from around the world flowing to the song. That video is now created. We did that. It was an all summer project to reach out to yoga people all over the world. We have fifteen people represented and they’re all flowing to the song. That music video is about to drop. We haven’t put that out yet.

You know they’re going to share that.

Be that person who people are coming to and being like, “I want to collaborate with you.” Click To Tweet

That’s a whole other collab story. The point of this whole project, every turn, I look at it as how do we expand the impact by making this cool for more people who want to be a part of it and then they’ll share it. That’s coming up. That video drop will be soon. It already soft released on Elephant Journal which is a cool yoga blog. We haven’t wide released it and pushed it yet.

It will be out by the time we post this episode.

You could look up my name and Stardust yoga, and then it will come up.

Do you have other things that you think are going to be affected by this gain in your listenership on Spotify and things that you’re releasing coming up soon?  

I do. One of the intentions with moving myself more into the yoga space is to expand my potential as a live performing artist in that space as well. That’s something we haven’t started to actively work on because we now have the remix release, the video that’s coming out, and we ran a press campaign that generated some press in reputable yoga press sources. With all of that, we have a great basis to go and say, “You may not have heard of me before but I’m an artist with a very mindfulness, nature-oriented, internal seeker message. This is something that would enhance your festival, your live event, your yoga studio online thing.” That’s something that we expect to be diving into creating soon.

In the meantime, I have a collaboration going with Hannah Grace Colin who is one of the dancers from Season Eight of Dance Moms. This came about because in the midst of pandemic overload, I had some soul searching time. Besides the yoga world, one of the questions I asked myself was, “Where in my career did I feel a lot of satisfaction around a musical collaboration? Where’s the intersection with it that made me any money?” We’ve all got to live. We’ve got to earn our livings. All those placements on Dance Moms were impactful in the sense of creating a huge listenership. They were also impactful because it was artistically satisfying to see my music being used in other media. People dancing in my music and seeing the art that they created for my art was cool and satisfying and I hadn’t done that in a long time.

That’s when I thought to myself, “Let me look up some of the dancers on the show and see who I vibe with.” Here was this girl, Hannah, who has an effervescent joy when she dances. Even though she had never danced to one of my songs, I reached out to her. This reach out story was quite different because I’ll have to look back and see which places I reached out to her. The way that the collaboration began was because her father saw a comment that I made to one of her YouTube videos saying, “I’m a Dance Moms songwriter. I had thirteen songs on the show. You’re amazing. I’d love to create something with you. Let me know if you’d be into that.”

This collab came from a YouTube comment because I couldn’t find her direct info enough to send something else. I was like, “I’m not going to be stopped here. I’m doing it.” The brief intro pitch in a YouTube comment and then it was weeks if not months later when I got a response. I like to note that because I hope it’s a reminder to us all that stuff can happen even much later because you don’t get an answer right away. Once we were in communication then we were able to begin the real conversation with her and with her family because she’s a young dancer. She’s only in her teens.

Working with her also involves working with her parents who serve as guides, mentors, and management in some way. The collaboration that we have now developed has become bigger than what I thought it would be. When I went into it again, I had done my research. I had watched a ton of her stuff. I have looked at her socials and was like, “How could she working with me be beneficial to her?” I had some thoughts about what I could offer despite the fact that she has an enormous following, much more enormous than my following. When we got on the calls together, what I discovered was they were interested in something I had never thought about and it went beyond dancing.

We haven’t announced all of the details of this collab yet but this collaboration involves two songs. We already have two things in the hopper. One of them involves her dancing to a brand-new song of mine that’s unreleased. We will have the opportunity to create the launch for my song with her which will be amazing. The other piece that we’re doing has more elements to it that play into these ways that Hannah wanted to evolve as an artist. What I discovered is I have the ability, experience, and resources to help her do that. I hadn’t been thinking that that’s what we were going to do when we started the collab. This other song will also involve dancing but it may be a bigger thing with us doing music video together and possibly will lead to performance opportunities. I hadn’t thought this could get bigger than I have a song and she’s going to dance to it. That was all that I was thinking originally.

TPM 6 | Grow With Collabs

Grow With Collabs: When you go into these collab conversations, the key is to be almost like a detective to find out what’s important to them.

 

It turned out that you guys vibe even more than you knew you would and found other ways. You don’t have to have the whole thing figured out before you start.

The important key is to have figured out before you start. What do you know you can offer them and an actual interest in working with them and not something that’s based in like, “It would be great to work with you because you have great numbers.” If you’re vibing with them artistically and they have great numbers, it’s a bonus. It’s important for you to be rooted in authenticity about wanting to work with them. If you’re not, at some point in the process, that’s going to leak out and it can cause issues when you are in collaboration and then you’re pushing for something or you’re trying to get the thing through to completion.

What’s hiding in the background is that you are only ever doing it to try and benefit for you but not benefit for them. You don’t want to find yourself in that position. Once you’ve done your research, when you go into these collab conversations, the key is to be almost like a detective to find out what’s important to them. Not just what’s important to them on this project but what’s important to them in general. You may discover that you have common ground or that you have ways that you can contribute to their overall picture that you wouldn’t have thought of. That’s powerful because it expands the scope of your collaboration in a way that can make it even better than you thought it would be.

This has all been helpful around collabing in an artistic way with other kinds of artists. I know you’ve also done collabs with organizations. I want to finish up by talking about that piece because I talk a lot about this to my Academy members and people in my community, especially if you have a cause that you believe in or something that’s part of the way that you write music, a message, and all that. It can be such an amazing collaboration and be helpful for them as well as you. How have you done that?

It is important for me to use music to heal, help, and contribute to communities and causes that I care about. The two biggest projects we’ve done in collaboration have been for autism and pet rescue. The autism one is a little older so I’ll leave that. The song is called Not So Different. If you want to see it, you can go check it out. The one that I’ll talk about is called You Get Me. We did this song to support pet rescue and adoption. There were so many layers to this collaboration. The song itself, I wrote with Tony Daniels, who’s a close collaborator and producer friend. We thought it was cute.

We had written it for a commercial pitch that had to do with dogs. We didn’t win the commercial but we were like, “What are we going to do with this cute song? We could take what’s in its DNA. This thing about the connection with animals, do some good for rescue pets.” We created in music video concept. I had reached out to Women In Music Network and said, “This is something that we’re going to do. Is anybody involved in this world who wants to help us out?” This incredible fitness model, producer, artist named Jam Murphy reached back and was like, “I’m into this.” She came on board. We started having conversations. What she brought to the table was that she has this huge model network.

She was like, “What if we do a video where it’s as many influencer models as we can get with their rescue pets?” I was like, “That’s a cool idea.” We talked to my distributor at that time ONErpm and it turned out that their house videographer, who’s amazing, was also obsessed with the idea because he has tons of dogs back in Columbia where he’s from. He was emotionally on board with this and was like, “We will make this video for you and it will be a part of your distribution deal.” We’ve got a community growing and production capability in place to make a cool video. I thought, “Who is this going to benefit?”

I reached out to an old friend Bill Berloni who’s a fabulous animal trainer and one of the most distinguished, accomplished animal trainers for Broadway, movies, and TVs. I worked with him doing Annie years ago in my childhood. He is the behavioral expert and a consultant for the Humane Society of New York. I knew he had done tons of work for them. I thought, “Can we support them with this video?” We had more conversation, I talked to him, he got the Humane Society involved, they brought seven dogs to the shoot who needed to be rescued. I’m happy to say that some of them have been rescued since then. The whole thing came together. We shoot this montage video which you can see on YouTube, it’s called You Get Me.

This project went out through so many models, networks, supporting the pet rescue and adoption idea. We also then had a release launch party in New York City that raised $1,000 which was split up between the Humane Society and a couple of other organizations internationally that we were working with. We were invited to be a part of the Broadway-based pet benefit that my friend Bill and his wife produced and it was at 54 Below in New York. That event helps to raise $25,000 for the Humane Society.

We can’t claim it was my song that raised $25,000 but we can say, why do they do these benefits? They do it because of your music. Music is what moves people to say, “I’m going to support. I’m going to put real resources into this organization.” It was so fulfilling and satisfying to be like, “Our music, song, and video were able to help inspire people and delight people.” They were like, “We’ve got to help these animals.” That was a long story but it’s still not the full story on You Get Me. That was how we worked with creating a partnership with organizations.

Specifics can help people to understand what is exciting. Click To Tweet

I love the ripple effect. You got these other people excited and then they did this and that so you’ll never know. I do think you’re right. It’s based upon the fact that music moves people. Sometimes, it moves them to take action that they wouldn’t have taken otherwise.

When you’re working with organizations or you’re approaching an organization, the principles are the same which is, do your research and know what they care about. See if you can find a real human instead of making assumptions. See if you can talk to a person from the organization. That involves sometimes a lot of LinkedIn sleuthing, I have found.

The great thing about LinkedIn is if you send someone a message, it does put it in your main inbox, they might not pay attention to it but it’s a little nudge that you got a message. The connection thing makes it easier to find people than some other ways.  

I get how frustrating it is to be like, “I get this all in concept but what do I write?” I’d be happy to share what I wrote to some of these people as my initial pitch. In that pitch, have your languaging be around whatever you are, a songwriter, a producer, or an artist, and you are looking to utilize your music to support insert organization here. “I’m looking to utilize and made music to support animal rescue and adoption. I wonder if I could ask you some questions about what the Humane Society is up to and how I could help.” It can be that simple. You’re going to get some response either, “What did you have in mind?”

“I’m not the right person. Let me pass this on to the right person.”  

You’re already one step closer because you’re coming in through an internal referral to whoever that next person is. I’m harping on this but it’s important to stay in that space of, “How can I help you? How can I serve you? Here’s what I have. I have an idea and I’m happy to share my idea but I don’t want to make that be the only thing that I’m willing to do.” If it is the only thing you’re willing to do, then that’s different. If you’re looking to create a collaboration that works for both, it’s helpful for you to have an idea of something that you think would be cool, but to convey that you’re looking for their feedback or input on like, “What are they up to? What’s important to them? What would make a difference? What would move the needle for them?” For you to think about, how can your offerings enhance that for them?

I’m going to go so meta here and say that this interview is an example of that because you reached out to me. It’s been a while since we’ve talked and you didn’t say like, “Can I be on your show again?” As every other PR person does to me, “My person is amazing. They want to come to talk about their new release.” You came to me and said, “I want to talk about this. It could be valuable. This is how it’s helped me. I want to show other artists how it can help them.” You knew that I hadn’t covered that on the show. I was like, “Yes.” You made my life so easy.  

You told me a few things that we could talk about. I said yes, immediately whereas most of the time, I don’t because I do get a lot of pitches. This is another example of how you have used collaboration in order to come on the show, you’re helping other artists, and you’re also getting your music out there. I hope all the artists on here go and check out all of the music that you talked about. I want to thank you for that because you did a great example of it in a particular situation.  

For people reading, you honed in on something so key which is the specificity. You said this way at the beginning of this conversation that lobbing it out there like, “I have tons of songs that could be awesome for us to work on together.” It’s not a compelling pitch. If you received that pitch and you were a person at the beginning of your career who has not a lot going on and direction, that sounds interesting to you but you want to move to a place where you are a very focused, directed artist whose time is in demand.

You want to be that person to who people are coming to and being like, “I want to collab with you.” You will be in that position as well going, “I have to parse what is going to be valuable to me? What am I excited about?” Specifics can help people to understand what is exciting. What’s the potential of working with you? Thanks for acknowledging that having that specific idea can help to kick off the conversation.

TPM 6 | Grow With Collabs

Grow With Collabs: If you are paying a collaborator who has more visibility or exposure and you consider that to be a worthwhile investment in your own evolution, expansion, and exposure, then might as well pay.

 

For those of us who get a million emails, specifics are important. Why don’t you let them know how they can find you? Where could they find you on socials? Where’s your website? All the things.

The website is CassandraKubinski.com. Socials are all @CassandraKubinski. Twitter is @CassandraKub. I’m developing this document PDF called Partnership Power. If you’d like that, shoot me a message on social. I appreciate following us as well there. When this is ready, I will send it over to you. I know we covered a lot and it will be useful to have it broken down.

Get ready for the DMs because you’re going to be getting some.

I’m happy to do this. Truly, this is something that has shifted my satisfaction in creating music and also my results in creating music. I would love to see more artists feeling empowered around us.

Thank you for sharing all this. I appreciate you. I hope that you guys reach out to her and start trying to do some of this collaboration. It will make a huge difference.

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About Cassandra Kubinski

TPM 6 | Grow With CollabsI’m Cassandra. My parents picked an epic Greek goddess name for their firstborn daughter while playing cards and drinking wine, likely explaining my enjoyment of a bold Barolo or svelte Sauvignon.

WHAT’S UP NOW
Very excited that my current EP DREAMS https://ONErpm.lnk.to/Dreams-EP is out!  Listen wherever you get music. DREAMS is my first fully collaborative project, with producer, writer, and voiceover giant Tony Daniels. It includes 5 whimsical, fun, warm, acoustically poppin’ originals, and 3 covers of favorites like “This Magic Moment”, “Matter of Trust”, and “Our House.”  My current favorites from DREAMS are “Welcome to the World,” a song I wrote for my niece when she was born, and “Dreams”, a wistful take on where dreams go when we leave them behind.

Tony and I have been performing these songs from NYC to San Francisco and LA to Saratoga, at clubs, hotels, house concerts and more.  I love hearing what people think, so check it out and leave a review where you get your tunes.

THE PAST
I grew up in Enfield CT, surrounded by suburbia, fields, 2 amazing sisters, and friends. We occasionally took vacations to Florida, Tennessee, or the Poconos, and I distinctly remember Billy Joel’s “That’s Not Her Style” blasting from the speakers long before I’d ever sipped a margarita (much less on the White House lawn).  My parents’ love for 70s singer songwriters like Billy, Carole King, Jackson Browne, and Joni Mitchell, coupled with more theatrical stuff like Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Pippin, Guys and Dolls – it all got inside my ears, feet, and heart and planted the seeds for the musical storyteller I’ve become.  I picked up voice lessons around 10, and sang in my first community theatre musical, “Annie” shortly after.  Thusly emboldened by my bit part as orphan Kate, I decided I’d like to play the lead, which I got the chance to do in Goodspeed Musicals’ 20th anniversary production of the show.  Imagine:  an Equity card and a paycheck at age 12!  Plus 8 shows a week, and a crash course in “the industry.”  I went on to play small parts in Spin City with Michael J. Fox, Finding Forrester with Sean Connery, and other regional and summer stock shows before heading to Florida State University to study theatre.  It was there that I turned onto the sounds of a new singer/songwriter era, with artists like John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Gavin Degraw, and Vanessa Carlton inspiring my way.  Since moving to NYC at age 20, the adventures have been many… singing alongside countless artists in village clubs, on tour through the US, Europe, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia…recording with Chris Botti, the Goo Goo Dolls, Mary Ramsey of 10,000 Maniacs…composing and bandleading for Emmy-winning new media TV show “Never Settle Show”…

THE PRESENT
I write songs.  I sing. I practice yoga (noticing, watching, observing…maybe the breath, maybe the way a melody wants to move…) I eat chocolate (dark and organic preferably. Jacques Torres, call me.)  I go for long hikes and beach strolls and hear melodies in my head…or sometimes, I try to hear them and they’re not ready yet, but they show up unexpectedly on the subway, or plane, or hotel bed.  I love sounding, especially in harmony with other humans, a piano, a drum, or the wind… Sometimes the sounds have words, which are often about the joyful challenge of being alive, or the wavy highs and lows of love, or the fact that we’re much bigger than we usually allow ourselves to be (note to self). I also like to create music that inspires people to make a difference for communities, and have used my songs to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the Autism community, Relay for Life, pet rescue, and more.  But then again, sometimes the song is just for shaking a leg or nodding a head, cuz it’s fun.  Both are good.

I’m also a voice actress and jingle singer on lots of commercials, educational projects and TV shows.  Some of the ads I’ve done recently for Apple, Midas, WellNow, Snickers and others are on this Voiceover page.

My live shows are also a lot of fun, and you’re invited.  Check out upcoming dates, RSVP, get tickets here.

And even though we’re all connected in this great big circle of life, connecting in CyberSpace is so de rigeur.  Exert your influencer status and Connect/ Like/ Follow at Spotify, Youtube, Pandora, Itunes, FB, Insta, Twitter.

THE FUTURE:
I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony…

Actually nevermind, I’m not much of a teacher (although I’ve gotten to offer some cool music and music biz workshops and panels through Women in Music, Guitar Center, the Autism community, and colleges).

I would like to continue writing songs that brings a smile, a tear, “the feels.” And I’d like to keep using my voice and body to sing these songs. I’d like to learn djembe. And Romanian (I need to be able to say more to my mother in law than “Good morning”, “Thank you”, and “Delicious!”)

I’ve been in the studio with Chris Sclafani (Ed Sheeran, Gwen Stefani, Selena Gomez etc) producing some new songs, and working with HaHaHa Productions in Bucharest, Romania too. I’m really looking forward to those songs lighting up some hearts and airwaves soon.  My band and I have plenty of shows coming up too. And, I’ve finished my first remix of a soon-to-be-released song “Stardust” with renowned yoga DJ Taz Rashid, and very excited to launch that.

Other than that, you might find me nursing a decaf latte in a kitschy café, or messing with crystals on the yoga mat, or chilling with my family and friends in Saratoga, NYC, Hawaii, or checking member in at a Women in Music event, where I serve as Global Co-Chair of Membership…

 And hopefully seeing you and sharing some music, laughs and life together.