SassyBlack is Catherine Harris-White a Seattle based singer-songwriter and producer who comes from rap roots. She started with a project called THEESatification and was signed to Subpop. Her latest project is Ancient Mahogany Gold, a soulful R & B album that skillfully gets into your heart. The album was released on September 13. FEMMUSIC was honored to speak to Harris-White about the new album. For info visit https://www.sassyblack.com/
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Ancient Mahogany Gold?
CHW: I think finding the right sounds was hard at first. Trying to convey the mood, the meaning behind the songs. Also song selection was hard, there were 4 or 5 songs that didn’t make the record because they didn’t fit the energetic levels of songs that were foundational to the record.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about Ebonie Smith & Adam Straney. How did you meet? What made you decide to work with them on the project?
CHW: I met Ebonie years ago when she was studying at Barnard and had booked THEESatisfaction to play and speak at a panel. Hadn’t seen her in years til we bumped into one another at NAAM in 2017 (I think). Adam, I have known for years now and he has mastered most of my solo projects, all my albums with THEESat & w/ Shabazz Palaces. Working with Adam was kind of a no brainer because he knows my sound at this time and we work well together. Working with Ebonie was a new leap for me, but I am a fan of her ear and her work as a producer and engineer. I knew it was time for something different with this record and that I could trust her with my vision.
FEMMUSIC: What was your vision for Ancient Mahogany Gold?
CHW: This album is a clear expression of my current self. The vision was/is to share my growth and continue on my journey to 1000 releases in my life time. The vision is to release with deep intention.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
CHW: I can try. It’s a special secret experience hard to put into words. Music flows in and out. Sometimes I start with the production aspect, sometimes the lyrics. Sometimes a melody, sometimes a concept. Maybe a bass line, maybe chords. Maybe I’m developing songs to add to a project, maybe I’m challenging myself. It’s all different, it’s all me and it all just depends on how I feel and what the reason for the songwriting process.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
CHW: I don’t have an answer for this. I can’t think of one song that has been the biggest influence on me. I have been influenced by a lot of music and songs and it changes from day to day, week to week sometimes minute to minute. Right now I’m currently into “We Got Each Other” by Chaka Khan.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
CHW: I would really like to collaborate and tour with Moonchild and Kiefer. These artists really inspire me right now. Their music is grand and moving. I feel like we sonically connect. Omar is another artist. Terrace Martin is amazing. So are Nova Wav & TrakGirl