Only recently have pop entities been doing away with the perfect, pure sheen and embracing their insecurities, idiosyncrasies and flaws. Like Billie Eilish's unapologetic weirdness or Halsey's unadulterated angst, New Zealand-born Cecily is another such voice in the industry and is a breath of fresh air.
She's not afraid to call herself a loser, isolated, uncool, introverted, and it's for this reason that her debut single Thinking Bout Me was so compelling. Though she sings in the last line of her song, "I'm not afraid to be alone," it's ironic that in her acceptance of her lone wolf nature, we can relate to her. She's not alone at all. Now she's onto her latest release, i, another dark pop gem that with theatrical vocals and synth lines that bring to mind CHVRCHES.
We sat down with the young singer to pick her brain before her name is inescapable.
You’re super new to the music industry, how are you finding everything?
I am actually so new to the music industry that I have barely experienced it haha. Currently my job is to lock myself in a room and feel things and hope they have a catchy chorus.
What were you like growing up in school, were you in the orchestra or band? Did you sing when you were young?
In high school I was a small blip. I went to a public high school but it was Catholic and single sex so quite a different experience from anything on TV on The CW. I was in the junior orchestra (playing the oboe) and the barbershop choir hahahaha (I was a tenor - I have a very high pitched voice). I did sing but I had a very weak voice. A music teacher at high school told me to my face that my voice would never be strong enough for me to be able to make it as a singer (and I was 11 at the time).
What kind of artists did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to music that my brother listened to. He's substantially older than me so he introduced me to foreign kinda indie artists and I LOVED my little iPod nano with Oasis, Eliza Doolittle, Beirut and Kanye.
When you’re writing music, do you have a particular method? Do you put your feelings down then try and form something around that, how does it work for you?
Every single song has a different method. I do play the piano so around 60% of my songs derive from me figuring out melodies on the piano until I find something that inspires decent lyrics.
Do you write for yourself or do you write so that it’s relatable for your listeners?
I never planned on being a professional singer/songwriter - I got amazing grades in high school and got my Bachelor's degree last year while working part time as a gym instructor. Initially my songs were 100% for me since I never showed them to anyone else but once I was noticed by people in NZ (namely Mike Chunn from Play It Strange), I made my lyrics a little more vague so anyone could relate.
Who do you want to collaborate with, dead or alive, and why?
Would love to collab with ABBA, omg.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years?? Hopefully climate change hasn't destroyed the Earth by then. If the human species is scraping through. I would love to be Brilliant, Bold, Beautiful and Terrifying.
How would you describe your musical style and sound in 5 words?
Pop Music for Emo Bitches.