Speakers Profile - Vassy

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Sultry and street wise, she has wordly grace, Gypsy fire and generations of music in her blood. Her name is Vassy and her vibrant presence and infectious smile front an exquisite voice, vivid with subtleties and adventures.

Très chic, très hip, très sexy! Vassy's infinite inspiration can be credited to a multitude of fascinating influences...

The soundtrack of her infancy consisted of Eastern scales, podia-traditional and contemporary Greek music. “Chokolata girl” to her father and “the music in her grandma's heart”, trilingual Vassy studied piano and saxophone, and was in the school choir, although constantly reproached for never singing the straight melody or on the beat. In these early days, Vassy's creativity and musical instincts were already surpassing what she was formally taught.

So moved was she when she discovered jazz in her teens, that it solidified her purpose in life: to live and breathe through music. With her voice as her instrument, Vassy holds a mean tune, skats and emotes percussive sounds, intricately phrases and embellishes her songs sitting just behind the beat a la Billie Holliday.

A hunter and gatherer of styles, Vassy has shaped her distinctive sound from admiring vocalists such as Patty Labelle, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn, Sarah Vaughan, old skool funk disco diva Gwen Mcrae and the lush Brazilian improvisations of Bebel Gilberto. During her time in Europe she developed a passion for Flamenco and whilst in France she experimented with French House and Hip-Hop.

This ever-evolving artist writes and performs fresh modernisms of her experiences and her surroundings. Her most intimate project is Bouji, completed by co-songwriter/flamenco guitarist Simon Rippingale and turntablist/drummer Jacob Cook. Bouji blends Latin-jazz, R&B, Electronica, French House, scratching and samples to put out an exciting live set of originals; a playground in which to shake what your mama gave ya.

Insatiable in her quest to broaden her horizons, Vassy has worked with a varied bunch of artists from Wicked Beat Sound System, Deepchild and the Baggsmen to Ju-Ju Space Jazz and Ubin. Currently she is working with Paul Mac on material for his forthcoming album. And if that's not enough to keep her busy, September 2003 sees Triple J announce Vassy as their latest “Unearthed” winner with her own track, “Cover Me in Kisses”, which has also led to being signed to ABC Music's Fly Music Label.

A vital part of her heritage and essential to her everyday existence, Vassy says that music is a blessing in her life.