Award: Transmission Fund

Year: 2020

Genre: Jazz

Instrument/voice type: Singer-songwriter

Location: London


AGAMA is the music project and alter ego of London-based Brummy-born singer, composer and producer Cassandra Gurling. Her sound is a rare mix of classic yet contemporary musical styles in which AGAMA’s raw, soulful and operatic voice sits within jazzy, electronic instrumentation. The result is a collection of emotionally charged, genre-bending poetic pop songs.
This creative fusion of music is a reflection of Cassandra’s British-Jamaican upbringing in early 2000s Birmingham. A classically trained vocalist and choir director, her formative musical years were also spent in the church choir, raving to dance music and playing in bands. This musical breadth is matched by the insightful lyricism she brings via her Literature and Philosophy degree.
First and foremost a writer, AGAMA is the vehicle through which Cassandra experiments and hones her skills within composition, band leading and production.
‘Safe in Noise’ Debut EP
AGAMA’s music arises from stories and exploration. For her debut EP ‘Safe in Noise’ AGAMA found inspiration in the voices of female black writers - Maya Angelou, Kimberle Crenshaw, Alice Walker and Dionne Brand - who awakened her understanding of her history.
“The words of these women have inspired me to step more boldly into my identity and I hope to pass that on through my music and lyrics. My music brings together people who occupy different spaces and belong to different tribes. It’s such a mashup of genres. We all have a strong need for belonging, and once you find your tribe it can be so easy to become trapped in an echo chamber of beliefs and experiences that match your own and then everyone who is not like you becomes alien. I see this EP as an introduction to more genre bending experiments.”
The Help Musicians Transmission Funding has enabled me to attend 4 days of intensive coaching in Marbella with top industry vocal coach Kim Chandler in preparation for recording my album.