Georgia Cecile Spotlight 07 Oct 2019
Tipped as 'One To Watch' by BBC Introducing, and winner of ‘Best Vocalist’ Award at the 2019 Scottish Jazz Awards. Showcased at BBC Quay Sessions and sold out festival appearances across the UK throughout 2019, Georgia Cécile is receiving acclaim from audiences and critics alike on the strength of her live performances and song-writing partnership with award-winning pianist and co-writer Euan Stevenson. Inspired by a range of musical influences including Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone and Stevie Wonder, Cécile is currently working on her debut album.
Cecile will be performing at the opening night of Gallus- A Scottish Jazz Weekend at St.Bride's Centre, alongside upcoming vocalist and trombonist Anoushka Nanguy and her Quartet. We interviewed the singer to get her thoughts on the upcoming year and the new projects she has in the pipeline.
What was the inspiration behind your single ‘Blue is just a Colour’?
Blue Is Just A Colour started life in 2013 as an instrumental jam entitled Daisy Chain, before becoming a finished song in 2017.
The song lyrics tell the story of breaking out of unhealthy patterns and relationships, and finding empowerment and liberation in doing so.
The meaning of the age-old expression ‘being blue’ is challenged, because in every struggle lies great potential for breakthrough. We just have to find motivation and courage to push through.
This live recording features my live band of international players which, alongside my co-writer Euan Stevenson on piano, includes Mario Caribe on bass, Konrad Wiszniewski on saxophone and Max Popp on drums. We recorded it in Solar Sounds, a cool studio in Glasgow with engineer/producer Gus Stirrat.
You’re working on your debut album, what has been the biggest challenge in whole process?
Well, it’s taken quite a while for me to develop as an artist and develop my ‘sound’.
I’m extremely grateful to my audiences and peers for supporting me throughout this process. Sculpting the songs with Euan and the other great musicians I work with has now given me a clear vision for this record, and I’m very excited to reveal the final product. With some special guest musicians to be revealed too!
You credit you Aunt Ann as one of your biggest influences, what advice would you give young female musicians just starting out?
It’s a cliché, but I believe that seeking and taking opportunities to perform anywhere or place is key in starting out.
Studying music at an establishment is of great value of course, but the true learning comes on the gig. That’s where you find the space to explore yourself as an artist and refine your craft.
Also, finding musicians to work with whom you admire, will, by osmosis, improve your musicianship and skill.
You presented an incredible performance at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival- what was it like opening for Jacqui Dankworth?
That night was very special. It was an honour to open the show for Jacqui; she’s an artist I admire greatly. Playing at Assembly Halls was a wonderful experience, the energy I felt from the audience was magic!
You’re going to be performing at the London Jazz Festival for the first time next month, what are you most looking forward to and what can audiences expect?
I’m excited to be entering onto the London stage. I’m looking forward to seeing some other great acts at the festival (Cecile McLorin Salvant is at the top of my list!) I’m also excited about meeting new audiences and letting them hear my music for the first time. I’ll be performing at The Pheasantry with my trio featuring Euan Stevenson and Mario Caribé on November 20th.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about being a musician? Why?
Favourite - The ability to spread joy to others through music.
Least favourite - The constant late nights. I would love to go to bed at 11pm every night and wake up early to do my yoga. I’m not very “rock n roll”
‘If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?’
As much as streaming provides a platform and is great for the consumer, I do believe creativity and art work are now valued less as a result. Song writers and producers are being encouraged to seek other ways of making a living from the exposure of their work - Instagram and brand sponsorships etc. I heard someone recently describe it as the “Kardashianification” of music. That being said, there are still a huge number of music lovers who support artists at source, and I love the vinyl revolution, it’s my favourite way to enjoy music!
What does the next year look like for Georgia Cecile?
Recording and releasing my album, an album launch party and an album tour!
Why do you think everyone should come to Gallus- A Scottish Jazz Weekend?
It’s a weekend showcasing a wide variety of home-grown talent, and there is something for everyone!
Georgia Cecile will be performing at St. Bride's Centre on the 18th October following a set by the Anoushka Nanguy Quartet- Click here for Tickets.