Singer and actress Cassie Steele grew up in Canada with a childhood that was anything but normal. A child actor who had an agent by the time she was nine years old, Steele got her big break with commercials for a game called the “Fib Finder” and for an ad where she wore a Fruit Roll-Up raincoat to promote the lunchtime snack.
Yet, these early beginnings proved fruitful for the young star as she was soon cast on the hit show, Degrassi: The Next Generation. Now that she’s 19, Steele’s role as Manny Santos is winding down as she starts her music career.
“The arts in general entice me,” said Cassie Steele in an interview. “They are all connected. Performing in general is my passion. And, right now it’s just music.” Yet, before toured in Canada and later moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her singing and songwriting, Steele built strong relationships with friends while on set. “A lot of times your friends don’t know what they want to be, but with child actors, they plan to do this their whole life,” she explained. Adding, “I’ve made some friends that will be my friends for life.” And, it’s those friendships that also inspire her writing. “Writing is really influenced by the people and relationships in your life,” she said.
Cassie Steele released her follow up album to How Much For Happy this year. This latest album, Destructo Doll focuses on her relationships and the freedom she has a young adult, “You know, wanting to do what you want to do,” said Steele.
On both albums her music has a thread of blues mixed in with an eclectic mix of music styles. “Many songs I write start out as blues and then I make it more pop, metal, punk, or whatever I feel like it should be.”
While focusing on promoting her new album, Steele manages to spend time with her friends and visit her family in Toronto, Ontario.
As for the future, she’s working on her next album which, she says will be “more upbeat with some punk, dance and maybe a folk b-side.”
You and I
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Current Residence: Los Angeles, California
Hobbies: Hanging with friends, playing video games, singing, writing music...
Other Career: Played Manny Santos in Degrassi: The Next Generation
Future Plans: Touring in 2010 and Writing/Recording her Next Album
How Much For Happy (2005)
Destructo Doll (2009)
Degrassi: The Next Generation -- Manny Santos
Degrassi Goes Hollywood -- Manny Santos
Degrassi: Spring Break Movie -- Manny Santos
Super Sweet 16: The Movie -- Sophie
What was it like growing up on camera and being a Degrassi: The Next Generation?
Cassie Steele: "It was just different. I can't compare it to a normal teenage childhood. It was great. Growing up on camera is a blast. School was really hard to get through though, but I'm thankful for all of the opportunities I had."
What was it like making friends?
Cassie Steele: "My friends and I bonded by our interests. A lot of the time your friends don't know what they want to be, but with child actors, they plan to do this [acting] their whole life. I've made some friends that will be my friends for life and we've already been friends for the last decade."
How did you transition from acting to music? Was it a big change?
Cassie Steele: "The arts in general entice me. They are all connected. Performing in general is my passion. Right now, it's just music." She added, "When I did my first album I just went on tour in Canada. It was refreshing. It's not hard, it's just in you. You want to do it and you do." What was it like making your first album and how was it different from your second one? Cassie Steele: "When I made my first album I wasn't going for a specific sound. If I wanted it to be pop, metal, blues, whatever, there was no direction. I was trying stuff. It was definitely more experimental."