It was a great honour to be approached by Cassell The BeatMaker for an interview, I have been appreciating his talents since he joined Mike Skinner's The Steets new line-up last year.
So lets get to know Cassell a whole lot better in his own right.
Addolorata : Hi Cassell, how are you today?
Cassell : Well to be honest its 3am at the moment. Lol But feeling ok. This music game does not have set hours just taking a break from finishing a mix in the studio.
Addolorata : It's time to get to know you a bit better, so let's start from the beginning, where are you from? (Born and schooled)
Cassell : I was born in East London, Forest Gate. I went to St Bonaventure School.
Addolorata : Was the drums your first instrument of choice?
Cassell : Yes the drums are my first choice. I had a few piano lessons and cello lessons, but I would always get in trouble for using them as percussion instruments.
Addolorata : When did you get your first drum kit?
Cassell : I used to practice on my best friends drum kit, which he had set up in a shed in the back of his garden. I remember it was either too hot or freezing cold, but the weather couldn't stop me I was addicted. I got my own drum kit a few years later.
Addolorata : What are the best drums ever made in your opinion?
Cassell : Well I started off with a Premier kit. Then switched to an American company called Pearl. But after hearing a friends new Premier Kit I went back to the British Brand again. I ended up with a Premier endorsement and now this is the only drum brand I play. I love them they sound PHAT and look amazing. Premier have designed a kit especially for me. It is the first kit they have made with a sparkle fade finish. I should be receiving it in a few weeks. I can't wait.
Addolorata : Who is your hero of all drummers?
Cassell : I don't have one drum hero, but at a young age I was blown away by a drummer called Dave Weckl, I still am. But I admire a lot of drummers. Dennis Chambers, Mark Mondesir, Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie, Vinnie Colaiuta, Josh Mckenzie, Jerry Brown to name a few.
Addolorata : You gained my respect whilst working with Mike Skinner and the Streets, How did you meet Mike and join The Streets?
Cassell : Whilst recording with Akala in Germany I received a call from Mike's publisher, who knew me through working with Plan B, he asked if I was interested in doing the next tour. About a month after that Mike rang me up and I went to a rehearsal and met the rest of the band. We jammed for about 20 minutes then went to the pub. From there on I became a member of The Streets.
Addolorata : There is no denying you are multi-talented in the field of music, you are an ace drummer, music producer, studio engineer and songwriter too. Have I missed anything out?
Cassell : Thanks for the complement. I am privileged to share great memories with all the people who come to shows or listen to recordings I'm involved in. I'm also involved in music workshops run by a good friend of mine who is a great musician. The organization is called Bassistry Arts, check it out!
Addolorata : It is only the beginning of February and you have already been very busy so far this year working with Plan B, Akala, Colin Emanuel and Keziah Jones - tell me more?
Cassell : I took part in writing and playing on all of the tracks on Plan B's recent album. We had been recording for roughly 3 years and we ended up with about 3 albums worth of songs. The 1st single,’ Stay Too Long' went straight into the top 10 and the album,' The Defamation Of Strickland Banks' is due for release on the 5th of April 2010.
I have also been busy writing/recording with Akala and working on a new project he has set up named, 'Hip-Hop Shakespeare. His first single, 'XXL' is released in April and the album,'Double Think!' Comes out in September. We have already started work on a new album for 2011.
Keziah Jones? Whilst on The Streets US tour, I got a call from Keziah asking me to do a show in L.A, which worked out great. I stayed there an extra week. LOL. Now Keziah is in the Caribbean preparing to write his next album.
Just finished Producing & mixing an E.P for Bassistry entitled,’ Try This'.
Addolorata : Wow, that's pretty amazing, so what's next?
Cassell : I have a few live promotional dates in Europe then a UK tour in April followed by festival dates with Plan B. Also more recording and festival dates followed by a UK tour with Akala. May also be performing at Glastonbury Festival with Colin Emanuel which is cool cause I’m also there with Plan B. Will be completing a new album with,'Bassistry'.
Addolorata : Will you be working with The Streets again this year for the fifth and final album? Will there be a tour?
Cassell : Watch this space on that.
Addolorata : Hahaha, okay, so what music have you been listening to lately?
Cassell : I have been listening to Alicia Keys, Paolo Nutini, Radio Head, Pantera, Jay Z, and Old rare soul & reggae music.
Addolorata : Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Cassell : In music it's been Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson. In life there are too many people to mention.
Addolorata : Thank you for taking time-out from the studio Cassell, I really enjoyed that.
You can catch up with Cassell on