Meet 'Bolt of Talent' contestants, Cassandra Anne and Gregory Ramanado
The Malaysian contestants of upcoming talent show 'Bolt of Talent' talk working with Michael Bolton, hidden talents and Beyoncé
Ahead of the Wednesday premiere of Grammy Award-winning singer Michael Bolton's new reality television show, Bolt of Talent, we spoke to the two Malaysian representatives, Cassandra Anne (Cassey) and Gregory Ramanado (Greg).
The two aspiring singers were mentored by Bolton himself and are up against six other contestants from across Asia. The grand prize? A record deal and touring opportunity with Michael Bolton himself.
Who are you?
Cassey: I'm Cassandra but I go by Cassey. I'm 23 years old and a public relations undergraduate from Taylors University. I've been singing since I was four but started doing it professionally at 17. I usually sing in the genres of R&B, Soul & Pop.
Greg: I'm Gregory Ramanado, 30 years old and am a singer-songwriter as well as the director at recording studio, Bad Hatter Studios and Management. I've been singing and performing for the past 10 years. I sing across many genres but ultimately, I'd classify myself as a soul singer.
What song did you sing during your audition?
Cassey: I sang an original Malay song that was written and produced by my sister for the audition.
Greg: I sang My Girl by The Temptations and my original Gypsy Girl.
How was it like working with Michael Bolton?
Cassey: It was an incredible experience working firsthand with the legendary Michael Bolton. It was easy to get caught up but like every new venture, it was a learning process that got easier over time.
Greg: Having almost no musical training growing up and learning mostly by listening and watching my favourite musicians, working with Michael was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. You might think it was daunting but he was really cool and became very personal with each of us. His encouragement is all I needed to move forward in my career.
Without giving too much away, do you have a favourite moment from the show?
Cassey: My favourite part of the show was working in the studio with Michael and a famous American producer (I can't say who yet). Just working closely with two incredibly talented people was an experience like none other.
Greg: My absolute favourite time on the show was during my one-on-one session with Michael when he told me how he admired me for giving it my 100% even while feeling under the weather.
Your go-to song to perform?
Cassey: Any song by Beyoncé because it's Queen Bey.
Greg: Superbad by James Brown.
How does it feel to represent Malaysia in a competition like this?
Cassey: I feel so incredibly proud to be representing Malaysia and I just want to thank everyone who has helped and supported me throughout my musical journey. And shout-out to my Mum – I love you!
Greg: It feels great! I've never represented my beloved country at this level before and knowing I've got everyone's support is tremendous. I represent all Malaysians out there pursuing their dreams. Regardless of race, age or creed; keep dreaming the impossible, make little steps towards your goals and knock on as many doors. I hope my presence on the show inspires others to keep moving forward against the odds.
Going along with the Bolt of Talent theme, do you have any other hidden talents besides singing?
Cassey: I don't think it is a hidden talent but I've directed a few music videos in my own time. I'm definitely more used to being behind the camera rather than in front of one!
Greg: I don't consider it a talent but I love cooking and tasting different food. My specialty is my chicken kurma and my mum’s style mutton briyani.
Catch Cassey and Greg in action during the season premiere of Bolt of Talent at 9.30pm on 16 August 2017 on StarWorld, Astro channel 711 and 722 HD.