#ArtistTalk: New Orleans Singer CASME Shows Us Her NOLA Step

New Orleans singer CASME breaks down the reasons for why she performs and what led her to creating her infamous NOLA step dance.

At the end of the day, I am the oldest of 8 children. I was raised in a house with a lot of love. Both of my parents are still married after 36 years. I realize a lot that young people around me were not as fortunate. I was bullied throughout middle and high school, just for being so nice to everybody; some people took advantage of that. I realized that hurt people hurt people at a young age. Because of the way I was raised and that I was blessed, I took it as my duty to help people.

I feel like it is my calling to help others. I wanted to share what I knew and had with those around me who were hurting. I was surrounded by those who were being abused, molested and neglected. I made it a point to be a part of any organization, NOLA Director for “The Black Wall Street Tour” & The NO C Campaign” and start my own, CASME’ Cares Community Outreach to make a difference so that they could start focusing on loving themselves and teaching them to be more than average!

What inspired you to follow your musical career?

I have been singing and performing since I was about 4. My mom started a group with me and my sisters. We were the cubby gospel singers. My mom and my dad both sing, so it’s in my blood. And then 3rd grade I wrote my 1st song called, Father, Heal Your People, because I had recently broke my arm, and while I was in the hospital I was looking around and I saw individuals in worse conditions than I was. I love music and using music to help people. A lot of my music is about hope, inspiration, and how you can overcome certain situations. That’s who I am as a person and artist, to use my gift and make people feel good and help them!

On your Instagram account bio, you titled yourself as a “Gumbo Queen?” What’s the story behind that hashtag?

Born and raised in New Orleans where Gumbo is very popular and originated. I consider myself a gumbo artist because my music is a wide variety of genres of music. For instance, when I was in Nashville, TN I sang background for a country artist, I sang for a gospel artist, and then when I moved to Atlanta I sang and did background dance for Hip Hop/flavor artist Grand Hustle B.O.B.

Then I was also in a Motown band and I did that for 10 years. So Gumbo Music, you think of a pot mixed with a lot of different ingredients and so I have a pot of different musical styles that influence who I am. When I say, Queen, I feel like I am a Queen. I am regal in the way that I act and treat people. I am the Gumbo Queen, not just the Gumbo artist Queen of the Bayou and that is how I am branding myself. And everyone will know me as that!

How did you create this original dance you named, The NOLA Step?

I wrote a song about New Orleans not too long after Katrina and I got with a producer friend of mine who sent me some tracks and this track I was like, I love it. I LOVE IT! So about 5 years ago I started putting lyrics to my NOLA song. So when I moved to New Orleans about 6 months ago I was in the studio and I was like something’s missing, something’s missing. I am going to create some dance steps to go along with this. I actually created the dance steps during the hook of the song. So instead of naming the song New Orleans, let’s name the song NOLA Step. Because we are known for the “Second Line”, I was like, let’s create our own step that’s easy to learn and you can get on Bourbon St. Royal St. that’s how I am going to shoot the music video with tourist teaching it to random people this Summer.

In your book, “Daughter of the King 101: Handbook, Devotional & Diary,” who is the King you are referring to?

GOD! GOD is the Father, he is the King. He owns everything! I am letting guys know, ‘hey, you having money isn’t enough for me.” My Father has EVERYTHING. If I want anything as his daughter I can achieve it through him. The book in itself is about your heart, spirit and believing in yourself enough to know that you are an heir to the King, not the materialistic stuff of this world.

What are some of the pros and cons of being an indie artist vs. being signed to a major record label?

I would say the con of it is having to finance everything myself and the pros are since I don’t have a record label telling me what I can and can’t do. I could have been signed to a major record label, but I chose to stick with the longevity of not selling myself short as I am not trying to be an overnight celebrity.

”When you love yourself, you make decisions that are healthy for you” CASME’ gives use inspirational steps on how to see the greatness in ourselves, without showing everybody how great she is or putting others down. Her talent is phenomenal but her spirit is really what makes her fly!

So, #WhatsYourTwist?

I’m hoping to launch my own web series really soon starring me and my sister, Touring the Big Easy.

For upcoming video shoots, appearance, and to interact with her on her social media visit her website, http://www.casmelive.com/

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