Bassette’s dreamy, smooth R&B vocals first appeared in 2016 on Joe Hertz’s ‘Playing For You’. The collaboration with a then relatively unheard of artist proved fruitful as the track has generated over six million streams on Spotify to date, 140,000 more than Hertz’s next most popular release. Just one listen to Bassette’s sultry tones and you’ll understand why.
The London-based singer songwriter has since gone on to pave quite the career path for herself. She stepped into the music scene in her own right last year, releasing three singles and teaming up with Hertz once again for her most recent offering ‘Bermuda’.
“2017 was a great year,” she tells me. “I took a great leap of faith and started investing in myself and my career. I officially moved to London permanently, independently released my own music and hit one million on Spotify.”
Not a bad start for an artist who has only been singing for four years. Bassette doesn’t claim the childhood musical calling that many will. She will openly admit that she didn’t even know she could sing until she heard herself played back on a friend’s toy karaoke machine one Christmas. In fact, that particular event marked the first time that she had ever sang in front of another person.
Bassette’s introduction to the world of music was a humble one. She had two uncles who were musicians but that was it in the way of familial influence. It was the school choir where she would hone her skills before progressing to school talent shows and eventually talent shows outside of her city.
The city in question was Sheffield, home to Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, The Human League, Def Leppard, Moloko, Warp Records and, for a short time at least, Kristina Bassett. Soon to drop the first name and add the ‘e’.
“I was born and raised in Hamilton, Bermuda until the age of five. Then relocated to Scotland until 12 because of my dad’s job and then relocated again to Sheffield until 19.”
It was while in Sheffield that she began to take her music seriously, perhaps inspired by the city’s rich heritage, and at 17 Bassette had her first live gig at Proud Camden in London.
“Being extremely shy and out of my comfort zone, I forgot the words to the cover I was singing but the audience sang along with me and got me back on track. I performed my first original song that night and got a great reception from the audience. That’s when I realised that I could do this as a career.”
From that night Bassette went on to blossom into a very exciting artist and a voice to contend with the amount of R&B talent emerging out of the UK at the moment. Her second of three singles last year saw her collaborate with American rapper IshDARR and Ms Banks and she has her sights set high with “Cardi B, Beyoncé and Rihanna” on her collab bucket list
“I strive for Beyoncé’s work ethic.”
Bassette is currently working on an EP for 2018 and has been listening to “a lot of dance and electronic music”, maybe a suggestion to the direction she’s planning to take things in.
“I’m interested in how they [electronic music artists] write, in particular Ina Wroldsen, so I’ve been listening to a lot of her stuff lately. Lyrically, also I listen to a lot of Banks and SZA as inspiration.”
In addition to new music Bassette has plans to put out visuals for ‘Bermuda’ sometime this month. Her announcement of the song back in December came with a really beautiful animation so the idea of a continuation or longer form version of that is very appealing.
Although we don’t have tour dates just yet Bassette has promised that this year will bring, “more shows, more music, more visuals and more travelling”. We’re excited to see what 2018 has in store for this up and coming artist.