Featured Junior/Teen Artist
~ March 2007
Desiree' Apolonio Bassett
LATER THIS WEEK:
Desiree’ Bassett was born on 9/11/92 in New Haven, CT, the daughter of Daniel and Myrna.
Inspired by the voice of Reba McEntire,and encouraged by her parents, she started singing whole songs at the age of two. By the age of 3 she had picked up a half size guitar and started to play. At five, she out grew her mini guitar, and instead, started playing her dad’s full sized guitar.
Inspired and taught by her father who plays guitar, Desiree’ realized that she had a desire to learn herself. She began taking lessons, and her skills improved rapidly.
At age eight, she played her first competition at the local fair grounds playing joe satriani tunes and the star spangled banner and came in second place.
By the time Desiree’ was 2 1/2 years old, her father realized she needed formal lessons. It was at this time that she started taking lessons in the University of Connecticut music program. From there, she began to learn all she could about guitar.
She discovered that she could both tune and play by ear.
In addition to study, Desiree’ was listening to blues and rock music from the 50’s through the 90’s, being influenced by artists such as Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Rick Emmett, Jimi Hendrix, Reba McEntire, and The Allman Brothers.
She played for her school and for her family functions until age 12. The summer of 2005, at the age of 12 was major for Desiree’. It started with being voted Talent America’s musician of the year in New York City. Then she was invited to play on the side stage at Ozzfest in Hartford, CT. It was there that she met Rob Zombie, the Playstation sponsors, The Haunted, and As I Lay Dying.
After these successes, Desiree’ started playing at open mics around Connecticut with some of the local blues greats and national players, gaining recognition among them. It was at an open mic in Hartford, CT bassist Doug Wimbish discovered Desiree’. Doug invited her to play in his annual Wim-Bash taking place the following night. From there, Desiree’ met and played with some members of the Allman Brothers Band, Kal David Band, Living Colour, Dickey Betts Band, Johnny Vibrato, Pete Scheips Band, XY Eli Band, and several others. She was now playing shows in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. Desiree’s first recording happened in August 2005 at Pat Keegan Studios in Wallingford, CT. She cut five tracks where she was featured on all instruments. This first effort was a great success as she personally designed the artwork and pressed up and sold several hundred copies of the CD.
On her thirteenth birthday, Desiree’ played two important gigs in her young career. The first was an outdoor event at the Meriden motorcycle club, where she was seen by several hundred people and stole the show from the headliner. She then played at an outdoor party in her hometown of Ashford, Ct, where she was the featured artist.
Desiree’ played for some of the best musicians in the area, some of whom offered their services as band members. This group is made up bassist David Stolz, a former member of the Dickey Betts band and Rob Godfrey, the drummer of Sesame Stree band. In November, Desiree’ prepared and presented herself for a showcase at the Hungry Tiger in Manchester, CT. This was a great success because she played for a packed house and came out as a vocalist and band leader. This show also helped her build a local following and established her as a force to be reckoned with on the music scene.
In December ’05 entered the Olympics of Entertainment in N.Y.C. where she was selected as one of 16 finalists out of several hundred. On Dec.18, 05 , her mothers birthday and with a bad cold and also after tooth extraction, she performed and won the silver medal, placing second; being beaten out of first by NBC’S star search winner.The days and weeks ahead proved to be very successful for Desiree’ , as she played gigs in Hartford ct, with Kal David ,Andy Aledort, and legendary rockers Living Colour before several hundred screaming fans who couldn’t believe their eyes and ears. After this she was invited to play at the NAMM show in California, where she wins the attention of many, a famous musicians and picked up her very first endorsement from Mr. and Mrs. Peavey.
After returning from the NAMM show, Desiree’ was immediately offered a production agreement from Nova Sound Studios run by Doug Wimbish and Andre Betts, one of Madonna’s producers which she accepted. Desiree’ adapted to studio work very well and wrote several of her own songs and some with Doug, making several trips to New Jersey to record.
She has also formed her own band, a power trio which she leads called ‘’Desiree’ & the Time Machine, which is managed, booked and promoted by her father. She has played dozens of gigs, corporate events and private parties and re invested her earnings into a P.A. system, professional stage system, wireless guitar units, and personal savings. She is very involved in the business end of things.Desiree’ has also been picked up as an artist in development at Longview farms recording studios in N. Brookfield mass.; a world renowned facility. Recently endorsed by Daisy Rock and Schecter Guitar Research, She has made television appearances and done several radio interviews Desiree’ is also a hot topic of discussion on the web, with her own myspace page she has attracted attention world wide with fans on every continent and a French fan site. Her videos have been viewed by thousands on youtube.com and AOL uncut videos and she is mentioned of several web pages by famous and non famous folks.
Desiree’ also has just returned from the Namm show 2007, where she performed and made several contacts and is also dubbed the future of rock n’ roll and a wonderkind of kid before 2000 people at the namm show power breakfast as her face apperred on huge television screens on either side of the stage and before a panel of the 7 most influencial women in the music business today.Desiree’ is a true artist, who’s musical abilities are parallel by her technical abilities and video making skills. When she is not writing songs or rocking out on stage, she is an honor student in her first year of high school where she also studies guitar four days a week and does a great job of being a normal teenage girl. Desiree’ loves to play on the farm where she lives in rural New England with her twin sister, Jessica, who is also her back up singer and her brother Justin.
The music never stops for her, at her own choice, as she teaches guitar on Sundays to local kids , takes vocal lessons during the week and private guitar lessons with a former Dickey Betts Band member and plays out live when ever she can . Desiree’ loves doing what she does; performing and entertaining and has a very strong desire to share her gift with the world.
How old were you when you started writing songs and how many years have you been writing and performing?
I started playing when I was 9 years old and started performing when I was 8 years old.
Who were your major influences with your music?
My major influences are my dad, Joe Satriani, Rik Emmett, Jimi Hendrix, and Dan Toler
How would you describe your music?
I would consider my music as inspiring and energetic
What instruments do you play?
I play the guitar, drums, bass, a little keyboards, and I sing
How many CD projects have you finished and are you working on or have any future project in the works?
We are currently working on the first CD now
How involved are you with your recording projects?
I am extremely involved, hands on, start to finish, and I want to know how the songs sound and what is going on.
What special honors or awards have you received over the years in your music career?
I won 2nd place in a competition at the Brooklyn Fair when I was 8, got Talent America's best musician award, and won the silver medal on my mom's b-day in the World Star Grand Prix.
How many performances do you average a month?
In the winter and while I'm in school, I would perform only a few times a month, but in the summer, sometimes we perform 4-5 times.
What is your favorite venue to perform live and why?
I like to perform in Toad's Place because the room is very big for performing and set up and Toad's Place does attract a lot of people.
How do you go about booking your shows?
My manager (my dad) books performances for me.
How do you go about publicizing your shows?
I publicize my shows by radio interviews, e-mailing, myspace website, bulletins, etc.
What music organizations are you affiliated with?
I am affiliated with Little Kids Rock, Peavey, Daisy Rock, Schecter, Nova Sound System
When you are writing songs how much do you pull from personal experiences?
I pull a pretty descent amount of personal experiences, but sometimes I write songs that people can relate to.
Do you write songs pulling from headlining news or events that are around you? If so how easy or hard is it to create songs expressing what you feel about these topics?
I wrote a few songs about the 9/11 attack. I think it is a little between easy and difficult to write songs, but a little more on the easy side.
What does it mean to be "Indie" to you?
I think it somewhat means to be independent. I think it means to stand up on your own and relying only on yourself to do things right and how you want something done and getting help when really needed.
Do you own your own record label or publishing company or plan to do that in the future?
I do not currently own my own record label or publishing company, but I am planning on it.
What advice can you give to someone who is just starting to market themselves in the Indie music market?
I would give them the advice to be willing to promote yourself.
What are your main goals for 2007 and in your music career as a whole?
I would like to try to get a whole CD together with my band and try to get as many performances as possible during the entire year.
Is there anyone you would like to thank that has helped you along in your career or in the music industry as a whole?
I would like to thank my dad, Doug Wimbish, Longview Farm, Dave Stoltz, Peavey, Daisy Rock, and Schecter Guitars