Chicago-based independent musician Ceyeo writes songs that challenge rock and pop clichés with an attractive alternative electronic rock sound. His compositions are diversified, clever, and emotionally deep, and they have an alternative electronic rock sound. This musician creates music with an engaging atmosphere by combining unconventional instruments with traditional ones like electric guitar, bass, percussion, and synthesisers.
We had a few questions and answers with her. Below are exclusive details on Ceyeo and her new release ”Trying”. Continue reading to know more about this amazing artist.
What is your real name?
Well, on its face that seems like a simple enough question, but it actually gets complicated. Identities are funny things because they put you in a box. Are you white? That’s a box. Are you straight, gay, trans? They each put you in a smaller box. Add gender, age, etc. and the box starts to become pretty small and people see you differently based on the box you are in. In addition to writing music that is fun and enjoyable, I am also trying to give a voice to issues that go beyond the little box that I would be put in based on appearances, so I use the ceyeo ‘avatar’ as a means to free myself from the box, and the perceptions of that box. It’s creatively freeing for me.
What’s your official stage name (showbiz name)?
OK, that’s an easier one. ceyeo : )
What do you do (fashion, music, comedy, artist, dancer, etc.)?
I write, produce and perform music in multiple genres (Rock, Hip-Hop, R&B). As an entertainer I’m trying to give a voice to topics that I feel are important. My song ‘Trying’, for example, talks about a person who is weighed down by the lack of acceptance of their sexual identity. ‘U Can’t Hide’ is about the social injustices that fall on people because of the race, mental condition and sexual identity. It sounds kind of heavy, and the topics, of course, can be, but I work hard to make the songs enjoyable, entertaining and even fun. Because, despite great intentions, if I’m making music that nobody wants to hear, then I have no platform.
How did you get into what you do (music, modelling, art, dance, etc.?)
I’ve always loved music and started writing songs in high school. For me, writing music always came fairly easy from the first time I started. However, writing meaningful lyrics was more difficult. I think that’s because I needed experiences, and as I’ve accumulated those experiences the lyrics kept getting better. Once the lyrics clicked, I created ceyeo and started writing the first album, which is called ‘Machine Learning’ and releases July 15.
What field or genre are you into and give a brief description of what your career/profession/ field feels like?
As a person just starting in music, I’d say it feels like there is a mountain that needs to be climbed. To say that music is a field that is hard to break through is an understatement. The statistic that I’ve seen is there are some 60,000 new songs uploaded to Spotify every day. The competition is ridiculous. Yet, here I am.
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
Planet earth is a miracle. The odds of it and everything around us existing are astronomically low. Also, and I understand that it certainly does not always feel like it, but statistically the world is safer, more tolerant and educated than it has ever been in history. At the same time, we still have a far way to go to get us to a place where we are taking the appropriate care of ourselves, each other, and the planet. I’m motivated to further the dialog, in an entertaining way, and, in my little way, help contribute to that greater good.
What was your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
My first single, ‘U Can’t Hide’ was released February this year. Since then I’ve released 4 singles and my first album, titled ‘Machine Learning’ will be released on July 15. During the creation of ‘Machine Learning’ I would write and record the music and vocals. From there, if the song sounds good, then great, I’ll just send it off for mixing and mastering and it’s wrapped up. However, if the song needs something else, like, for example, a hip-hop or R&B vocal, live guitar or live drums, I’ve got a group of people that I can rely on to help out. The liner notes for the songs released so far go something like this:
Written, Arranged and Produced – ceyeo
Vocals (Broken) – ceyeo
Vocals (Trying & Summer Love) – Poetic Justis
Vocals (U Can’t Hide) – Maya Miko
Backup Vocals (Broken) – Liliia Kysil
Guitar – Max Honsinger
Mixed and Mastered by Max Honsinger
Mastered at Tileyard Studios London
How many projects do you have so far?
Four singles have been released so far since February of this year which is leading up to the full album release on July 15 which I’m very excited about.
How long have you been doing what you do?
I started writing the songs for ‘Machine Learning’ in September (2021). By January, I had the songs written and was focused on mixing, mastering those songs as well as writing songs for the second album. At this point I’d say I’m 80% done with the second album which I’m so happy about. It feels great to have that group of songs ready to go. It helps relieve the pressure a little.
What do you look out for in this line of business?
Technology changes everything and it is moving quickly. Right now, YouTube and TikTok seem to be the two most prominent ways that people discover new music. So as a musician, especially one who’s trying to get established, you don’t have the luxury of ignoring those two platforms.
Beyond that, I’d say to some extent that I am my own worst enemy in that I have to remember to always use my ears critically. With music, as in a lot of things, it’s easy to become your own biggest fan and talk yourself into liking something that is mediocre. To balance that, I work hard to hear the music and lyrics for what they really are and not what I wish them to be. You also can’t be too critical or you would never finish a project, so it’s a balancing act.
Have you won any awards or been nominated for an award? Or in short, any achievement? Both in and out of your career path.
I won a fishing trophy when I was 10. I think I still have it.
What is this new release about?
This single, ‘Trying’, is about a person who is weighed down by the lack of acceptance of their sexual identity. It’s a weighty subject but the song doesn’t come across as dire or preachy. I’m very proud of the song. It’s got a trap-style drum beat, a fat bass line and R&B vocals but, at its musical core, there is a big, cinematic string arrangement with cellos, violas and violins and I think it all works well together.
Who and how many people worked on it?
There were 3 people involved in the production of Trying, from start to finish. First, an extremely talented vocalist who I work with every chance I get, she goes by Poetic Justis, provided the vocals. Max Honsinger mixed and mastered the song as well as gave it a number of little touches to spice up the production. I wrote, arranged and produced the song and recorded most of the instruments.
What can your previous and new audiences anticipate from you in the future?
Great question. It’s certainly a journey and I think it will be an interesting one. Through my music, I’m going to continue to give a voice to groups that could use a hand, but we are going to have a lot of fun too. I think the album will contain a few surprises and can be genuinely light-hearted. I can’t wait for you to hear it.