The world of the singer-songwriter is crowded, to say the least. Although there are many excellent contenders out there, it definitely takes someone truly exceptional to stand out from the crowd and make a serious impact.
CeCe pretty much has it all: Not only a flawless vocal and timeless songs but a rare willingness to really put herself out there, whether with a band to back her up or alone onstage with nothing but a guitar and a microphone between her inner sounds and her audience. Then you have her inventive videos, dauntless stage presence, the epically cinematic production job behind her EP Framework, her status as an artist signed to the prestigious Quatre Femmes Records, and the brilliant and thoughtful answers offered in response to the questions below.
Read on, check out the links at the end of the interview, and enjoy.
What is your earliest musical memory?
I think my first real inspiring musical memory was at WOMAD festival when I was about 7 years old. My parents took me to see an amazing Portuguese singer named Mariza, and I was completely transfixed by her. I’d never heard of her before and barely remember her music today, but I just remember feeling this energy between her and all of us in the audience and thinking how amazing it would feel to be that person on stage. That’s when I first had that ‘I want to be a singer when I grow up’ feeling. It was amazing.
What and/or who inspires you?
Love, heartache, dreams, fear…I find love the most interesting and inspiring thing in life. Maybe because it fuels my favourite songs I’ve written, I don’t know.
I think I have been delusional growing up of what I thought love really was; I always craved this extravagant euphoria and suffering all at once, which is kind of messed up. It amazes me how if you go through a deep separation, you feel like you become someone else.
I also love to talk about all of my biggest fears through my music, it feels like a release and is the only real way I can find a slight sense of stillness deep down I guess.
Your music often deals with dark lyrical themes. What’s your creative/songwriting process like? Any habits or rituals to declare?
I try to stay as true to the process as I can when writing lyrics. It’s definitely a very introspective process otherwise I can’t write. I’ll usually write a non stop stream of consciousness for a while before writing a song, then I’ll reach something I feel I want to write about.
Most of the time I’ll come out with the darkest things I didn’t even realise I was feeling. But I am generally a happy person! I see it as almost a cleansing process in that moment. Although saying that, life isn’t that simple. We’ll never learn or completely heal as humans. There’s always something.
With regard to your career, what’s been the most valuable piece of advice you’ve received so far?
“No feeling is final, there is no end. Trust the process. If you decide to walk that path, know that it’s relentless. There is no satisfaction and you have to be okay with that.”
If you could collaborate with any living musician, who would it be – and why?
There are so many…I’d love to collaborate with Warpaint. Working with Lykke Li would be incredible too. I can really relate to her lyrics and she’s not afraid to talk about anything.
What are your passions outside of music?
I love art and the history of art. Film and fashion are huge passions of mine too.
What makes you happy?
When the people I love are happy. When I’m dancing. When I’m connecting with an audience through my music.
What does the future have in store? Is a CeCe album in the works?
Lots of gigs, lots of new songs, and a new release (EP). There will definitely be an album at some point in the future, but not until I’ve lived a bit more! I want every release to be as real and relevant to my life as possible during that moment and still don’t think I’ve experienced enough or opened myself up creatively or as a woman enough yet to write a whole album that I would be proud of releasing.
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