McKinley grew up outside of Boston and began training as a singer, dancer and actress at the age of 14. She began working with vocal coaches while attending The Boston Conservatory of Music, and after college, McKinley took advantage of city living by attending open mic nights and jam sessions in Boston.
Boston native Cassandre McKinley is a singer, recording artist, composer, producer, vocal coach, and educator. As an artist and singer, she channels genres ranging from soul, jazz, and blues to R&B, pop, and country, unifying them into a singular sound. This freedom from stylistic boundaries defines McKinley’s approach to making music. In her youth, McKinley studied voice, dance, and theater, and by 19, after attending Boston Conservatory, she was signed with an agent and working as an actor, singer, dancer, print model, and voice-over artist. She has five solo records, including 2006's Til Tomorrow: Remembering Marvin Gaye (Maxjazz/Mack Avenue), hailed by JazzTimes as “a rich, sensual salute,” and 2018's Dragonfly, which features the robust vocal interpretations that she'd become known for.