It’s hard not to smile when Cassia are in the room – be it during an interview or watching them joyfully play headline dates to sold-out audiences. Their infectious personalities glow just as much as their sun-drenched calypso sound which, as Clash described, “transforms even the dreariest of days into a feel good carnival.” Cassia combine the positive indie pop of bands like Foals and Vampire Weekend with the jazz-tinged afrobeats of Fela Kuti and Ebo Taylor and American folk influences like Paul Simon to create an individual sound that uplifts. In the words of Gigwise, the music comes from a band “on a mission to spread positivity.”
“We wanted to create a feeling of vibrancy when people listen to us,” lead singer and guitarist Rob Ellis says, something echoed by his fellow bandmates, bassist Lou Cotterill and drummer Jacob Leff. Having met variously between school and the gig circuit of their home – the northern market town of Macclesfield – the trio discovered a shared love of world music inspired by the travels of Rob’s family. His father and grandfather lived in Zambia for several years and both returned with a record collection documenting the sound of their travels. During his teenage years, Rob started to explore the collection in more detail – something which sparked a curiosity in listening to music from afar.