Meet the female musician who supports Prince

She's 'Got the Look' and she's in the know when it comes to Prince.

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Cassandra O'Neal
Cassandra O'Neal

Meet Cassandra O'Neal, who as a musician in her own right, has performed live with Prince for the last four years.

The New York native will be on-stage providing backing vocals and displaying her impressive keyboard skills when thousands flock to the SSE Hydro to see the Purple One live for the first time in the city in almost two decades.

"It's everything you would expect from Prince, and you don't know what to expect," said Cassandra ahead of performing with Prince and 3rdeyegirl.

Cassandra, who has worked with Pink, Mary J Blige and Macy Gray, could be considered an industry veteran having performed for the last 20 years - but she admits working with Prince has given her a whole new outlook on herself as an artist.

She said: "I am a fan of his and it's really interesting I play for him because I studied his music as a student and he definitely had an influence on what I do even before I got in the band.

"He is one of the only people whose music embodied it all. It's jazz, it's funk, it's rock, it's soul - it's everything.

"In a very strange way, working with him is like a new experience. Every other artist that I had been with before him prepared me for being with him. It's all about learning from each experience and everyone I have ever played with I have learned from and I take what I learn on to the next gig."

Fans can expect a mixture of the old and new Prince when they go to the show, according to Cassandra who did not want to give too much away about the setlist.

"Prince is the ultmate headliner, just expect a funky show.

"There is no other artist out there like him. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I get to play with him," she added.

Cassandra, who is studying jazz vocal performance at university, continues to work on her own music which no doubt has been influenced by Prince.

"I'm working on music. Playing for someone like Prince, you learn so much not only about the music but about showmanship; how to connect with the audience; stage presence and of course he is the ultimate businessman, you get to see that first hand.

"He is open about education. He believes we are all artists in our own right and this is what we should be doing. He changes with the times. He started in the 70s but he is very much aware of where the music industry is now. You get to learn learn a lot."

See Cassandra live with Prince at the SSE Hydro tomorrow night.

For more, visit - www.cassandraoneal.com

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