Caleb Sasser blessed the ears and hearts of those who heard him sing on Sept. 20.
His concert was held in Moore Hall Auditorium to promote “The Reflections of Her,” his new album.
A few minutes into the concert, almost all of the seats were filled. Students sat on the floor in the back of the auditorium just for the opportunity to hear him sing.
Recently, Sasser sat down with the Pine Needle to answer questions about his new album.
Q: This album that you have put out, how many songs are on it?
Q: And some of them are inspired by someone?
A: “Yes. Actually, all of them are.”
Q: Is it the same ‘someone?’
A: “No. I like when people ask that question because everybody’s like ‘Her must be a really lucky person.’ I’m like actually, ‘Her’ is different people. This project is all of my songs and emotions through the past three years. So, it’s three years of experience wrapped in one little CD.”
Q: Are these on crushes or unrequited loves?
A: “A couple of them were crushes and a couple of them were relationships. Some were experiences through – they weren’t all love relationships. Some of them were just, like people who I look up to. I guess that’s a good way to say it.”
Q: What is your favorite song on the album?
A: “Oh, God! My favorite song would have to be between ‘Thinking About You’ and ‘Right There.’
Oh, that’s a hard question, because I also like ‘Scream and Shout,’ so between those songs.
‘Right There’ was the first song I wrote by myself, about three or four songs on the album I wrote with my friend, DeNesha McAllister.
‘Right There’ was like the third song, after the songs we had written.
So, it was the first one I wrote by myself, like lyrics and music. It was a lot for me because when I wrote that song, this song was about a crush that I was talking to.
I had just gotten off the phone with her, and I started jotting down the things that were coming to my mind and it was like – the beginning words are,
‘It’s nights like this that you get in my head.’
And after I wrote down all that stuff I was like, ‘Okay, this could be a song.’ Then I sat in front of the piano and I literally was just like, plucking out notes that sounded nice. I was like, ‘Okay, I like this chord. I’ll put it there.’ That’s how that song came.”
Q: At what age did you decide “Ok, singing is definitely for me”?
A: “It’s always been, there’s not a definite age. My mom put me and my sister in the youth choir at church at like – I think I was three or four. When I had my first solo it was ‘Oh, How I Love Jesus,’ and from then on, I was like, ‘I want to be a famous singer. This is what I want to do.’ I’ve always loved music and singing and I don’t know when I started.”
Q: What genre do you think your music fits under? Or do you even think it fits under a genre?
A: “This was one of my hard questions when I was finishing the album.
One of my favorite artists, her name is Naya, she put her album under ‘Alternative.’ But it’s a collection of R&B, Jazz, soul, and pop. It’s all of these things and I’m like—‘Ok, my album is just like that.’ But I don’t think it’s alternative.
People are like, ‘You have a really R&B voice. You’re an R&B singer. I’m like ‘Okay.’ I still don’t understand the categories, cause I want to be connected to like, all – well not all -- genres, but as many as I can. I don’t want to limit myself to just R&B.
On this album is pop, and jazz, and blues, and there is R&B. There’s a little bit of everything. Something for everybody.”
Q: In the concert, you had someone that featured with you. Can you talk a little about him?
A: “Yes! His name is Damari Withers. He goes by, ‘Damar Da MC.’ ‘Man Down’ is track number five on the album I believe. When I wrote that one of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ events and it was with the guy who got shot down on the ground, and he wasn’t really doing anything.
That spoke to me. I just started writing down everything I was thinking.
I called up Damari and I was like, ‘I have this song and it could really use your spin. I love the way that you use your wordings and the way that you write. I think we’d make a pretty nice collaboration.’ So that’s how that happened.”
Q: In your last song at the concert, you talked about getting rejected by “The Voice.” Would you be willing to do that again?
A: “I auditioned for ‘The Voice,’ ‘American Idol,’ ‘The X-Factor’ and ‘Sunday’s Best.’ They all said no, and I was really devastated at that time.
It was a hard time cause I was like, ‘Am I good enough to actually do something like this?’ It was really discouraging.
Music is all that’s in my heart and I didn’t want to stop, but still I was like, ‘Should I?’ What I decided to do was wait a while.
My mom was telling me, ‘Why don’t you go to school?’ But I didn’t want to go to college. I was like, ‘They don’t have a get famous degree.’
In ‘Travel,’ I say, ‘Cause I traveled 1. 2. 5. 12 hours, just to make it happen.’
One hour was when I traveled to Raleigh for American Idol.
The two was when I traveled to South Carolina for American Idol.
The three was for a different part of South Carolina for ‘The Voice.’
Twelve is when I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for ‘The Voice.’ I don’t think I want to go that route again. I don’t particularly like the way they do things. It’s not as real as people think it is. There’s more production put behind it. It’s more about finding ways to make people laugh and stuff.
Right now, in my life, I feel like I want to do more of promoting myself and what I’ve been doing. Just doing shows and singing and getting myself out there.”
Q: Are you going to have another concert anytime soon?
A: “Yes. I am planning a little tour around North Carolina, and I want to visit some high schools.
I am talking to Mr. Aubrey Swett in the UC. He wanted to get together and do a little event in there. I don’t have a date yet, but sometime soon there will be something.”
Q: Where can people buy your album?
A: “You can buy my album and stream it on all digital platforms."