cassieThe main ingredient an artist once needed to strengthen and maintain their appeal was talent. However, other factors that are slowly taking more precedence is an open personality and what’s going on in their personal lives. Nobody knows this better than Bad Boy recording artist Cassie.

The singer has had many highs in her short career including the release of her hit song “Me & U” from her self-titled debut album, as well as lows with the negative attention constantly focused on her life outside of music. Because her debut album was released more than two years ago, it’s easy to forget that she’s a singer … first and foremost.

When asked about her musical growth since her last album, Cassie tells BallerStatus: “I think I just spent a lot of time trying to figure out myself. I was letting a lot of people tell me what to do and what direction I should go in.”

As a new artist, you’re almost trained to listen to what other’s opinions are in regards to your own career and which path would be best for you. But for Cassie, she made the decision to take control. “I sat down and started working with what producers I wanted to work with. It took time, but I’ve been working on this album for a couple years now.”

That album is her sophomore effort, titled Electro Love, due out later this year. It’s easy to see that Cassie has had more input on this album than the last. On this album, she’s worked with Akon, Pharrell, and several new producers and songwriters.

A promo single with Lil Wayne called “Official Girl” hit the web last year, but failed to generate enough buzz to justify a release date. However, with its second single, “Must Be Love” which features Diddy, Cassie hopes she’s got a summer smash on her hands. Puff himself has referred to the record as a Bad Boy classic.

“When people say that, it’s an honor. I really fought for the record,” Cassie says of her current single. “It was kind of like lingering around in Bad Boy and I was like ‘Can I please have it?’ They said ok and we tried it out. I really fell in love with that record.”

As far as the delay of her long-awaited sophomore effort, Cassie isn’t upset. She says she appreciated how the situation took its course, and spent her time growing, learning and developing.

Although Cassie hopes her music will build anticipated for Electro Love, its been other things such as a her new hairstyle grabbing everyone’s attention. If you haven’t noticed in recent pictures, Cassie shaved the side of her head. While it may have seemed sudden, the singer says she’s been thinking about doing it for months.

“For like three or four months, I’ve been talking about it,” Cassie explained. “I just wanted to do something different. I started modeling when I was 12 and my hair was always long and dark. I didn’t want to color it and thought what could I do different?”

The new look had the blogs buzzing immediately. Publicity stunt? Never says Cassie. “I don’t want attention; it’s not what I’m going for. I just wanted to try something that I’ve never done and choose a crazy hairstyle.” Whether she wants it or not, it definitely can’t hurt the launch of her new album.