Céci by Mia Haggi

Céci: “Whenever I get a no, it motivates me”

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Céci by Mia Haggi

The Danish crown princess of electronic music, Céci, finds herself in the middle of an audiovisual tornado. Now is your chance to whirl along with it, as she gives a quick forecast of her status right now. But hold on tight, because her speed is high.

Last time I spoke to Cecilie Dahlin, the Danish producer and vocalist better known as Céci, was around half a year ago. Already then, things were moving pretty fast for the young musician, based on the 3 singles she had just released. Now she has finally finished her debut EP, 4/4, and started to reap the fruits of her hard work.

Congratulations on your new title! And on everything that’s going on actually! So how are you feeling?

Thanks! I feel good! Although things haven’t stopped moving at all. But I do feel like I’ve finally found some space. Releasing this EP has been a project I’ve been working on for so long, and it had started to feel a bit like the cork of a champagne bottle, just waiting to pop. So now, when it has finally popped, I feel like I have been given more of a free hand to focus on my next projects.

At the same time, it doesn’t feel like the sort of redemption, that some might have expected it to be. I’m already so involved with my upcoming projects. So, I don’t feel like I’m not busy anymore, or that I can take a break, far from it! Now I’m just eager to move on.

How intriguing! But you must also be proud of what you have just achieved. What are your thoughts on completing this project all by yourself?

First of all, I’m happy that I chose to do this by myself. I’ve learned so much in the process, about me as both a musician and a human being, as well as how I work. Nothing chocks me anymore or shakes me to my roots. I also feel a lot stronger than I used to before. Like I finally have my own values under control.

But then again, I often have mixed feelings about it all, mostly because I would really like to get help, too. It just has to be given to me by the right people. So yes, I’m extremely proud of what I’ve done so far, but I’m not even near reaching the goals I’ve set. These things going on right now are just small steps on the way.

It must be quite exhausting, having to stay in control all the time. What do you do when you feel exhausted?

It can definitely be draining, because I have to take all the decisions myself. One day, I can be totally up to something, and then the other, not so much. But again, I’m keeping my own right to change my mind, and to say no.

But what do you do to cope with this fatigue? Where are you on bad days, when all the work becomes too much?

Then I’m dancing! As you know, I’m actually a very physical person. I work out a lot, and I like to use my body. I mean I need to. I can’t just sit the whole day in front of my computer without moving for hours straight. On that head I feel like I might have gotten myself into the wrong business, because I can’t just sit around producing for a long time together. I have to get moving.

So, the mental fatigue meets its physical match. That makes sense. You keep pushing yourself in every field, so that they can come together as a whole. And you’ve already thrown yourself into new ones. Could it also be that you have come this far, and that you’re still moving, that keeps feeding your creative process? It seems like you have this insatiable craving for more?

Yeah, but you know, in my mind I’m not even close to being where I would actually like to be. Even though it looks like I’ve come very far, I don’t feel at all satisfied. I still work extremely hard to go further. And I feel more motivated than ever. Whenever I get a no, it somehow motivates me. I mean, of course it pisses me off, if I don’t get to play where I want to play, but it also encourages me. I never give up, and I never take no for an answer. If I did, I would still be far from where I am today.

In addition to all the hard work that follows, how do you manage to improve yourself as an artist?

To me, improving artistically is no different than improving as a human being. Time flies, the seasons change, you grow older – and of course you improve, also as a downright consequence of the work that you do, and everything that comes with it. Luckily, the workspace is also where I get to listen to a lot of new music all the time, and by doing that, I always find new inspiration. It gives me a lot of confidence in where I would like to go next.

Is there anything in particular that inspires you right now?

Everything I’ve been working on lately has been very vocal based. But at the same time, I’ve almost only listened to instrumental music. Though pop music still speaks to me on a very intimate level. Maybe, because I haven’t really engaged in vocals other than my own for a long time, I pay extra attention to them now, when I come by them accidentally. To me, this is also about picking up those immediately inspiring coincidences, receiving them like a gift, and using them well.

Text by Sophia Handler
Photo by Mia Haggi