January 11, 2009
"We don't always live what we portray so don't always believe the hype!!!"
(By Mondale smith)
On New Year's night 2009 thousands enjoyed the finals of the Kashif and Shanghai at Providence Stadium and the after show that followed but Linden was not void of international entertainment.
More than 3000 flocked to the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground and got a full taste of Jamaican Dancehall artistes Serani and Cecile on New Year night but none in attendance can complain of the female artiste not having her voice this time around. But that story will be told in another installment.
Hopper caught up with the "Ride or die," "Waiting on my baby" singer who for the first time in her career spent New Year's away from Jamaica as she celebrates the release of "waiting" her new album. She says "It's a new year and you just want the people to know that whatever bad is going on in yah life you really still need to be thankful because you have life and with life there is hope."
Cecile is one of several female artistes who represent for women's rights and speak out against abuse in her home land via the women's organization Sisters for sisters and she says in 2009 she aims to become a mentor / big sister and has already consulted with probation officials on the way forward.
Speaking to the ladies she told Hopper "It's very good that you can idolize artiste but you need to know us and don't always believe the hype many of us don't live what we sing and portray and if you get to know some of us you'll probably hate us or get some sound advice.
What I do is a job and I'm not necessarily living what I portray and sing. This is how I make money so I can be independent but I don't live that way and that's my message always. Some other artistes sing and live the same way and young people are seeing them and are taking example especially with the violence but for me contrary to popular belief: I don't drink and I don't smoke and I'm always in the studio writing or reading a book says Cecile.
Unlike most dancehall artiste Cecile does not come with a bad girl ghetto youth story and Hopper learnt that while she's not the type to boast she is a sticker for education who left high school with a distinction in English, and is an ardent literature lover whose fluency in spoken French and Spanish is enticing. A graduate of an all girls high school she loathed piano lessons and music classes.
While toying with the idea that she may consider Guyana as a location for a video shoot Hopper got up in her business one-on-one.
Hopper: what are some things that people don't know about you?
Cecile: As a child I never played any sport, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't party and I can't swim. My mom's not rich by any means but she is smart and took a rich boy friend. On my father's side my Grandfather was a mayor and he was chief among people who never expected me to go into dance Hall in fact that subject was taboo but they are now warming up to it since they are seeing that it's not as bad as they thought.
Hopper: What do you think is the package for making it in the music industry?
Cecile: The package is talent, looks, education, attitude and being humble etc
Hopper: You've been to Guyana on five occasions now what is your impression?
Cecile: I really like Guyana. My first two visits were like really crazy shows and I was here with lady Saw and I'm learning a lot about the many happening here and until this trip I did not know that Linden existed. But when I was here for the Private party a few weeks ago me and Bennie Man went to the races and this was my first experience of watching live racing action and now I'm a racing fan thanks to Guyana.
Hopper: The last time you performed in Guyana your voiced failed what happened then?
Cecile: The last time I had just come off a European tour and I was really sick and when I got home I was diagnosed with asthma which I did not know I had before.
Hopper: What does 2009 hold for Cecile in the music industry?
Cecile: For me it not just about doing the music and the sexiness part of it's also me trying to motivate people to focus on positivity and I hope to share a little bit of that for the New Year. My album, more like debut, is out for the Caribbean and North America to enjoy and it has a lot of crazy new songs and some old favorites as well as some weightiness kind of songs too that I release Guyanese like. It gives listeners a chance to see who Cecile really is and I'm working on some videos.
Hopper: What is your message to people thinking of getting into the Music industry based on your experience?
Cecile: You really have to believe in yourself because it's a very hard business to get into so you really have to be focused. A lot of people think that we are always partying but behind the scenes of music its really about sitting down and writing and being in studios for hours upon hours and it can actually become really boring and at the end of it all you hope that you get play on radio and TV so that you can start reaping the benefits. So if you want to get into the business know it's not a joke thing. You have to have tough skinned and get ready to be criticized. Success is preparation meeting opportunity so if you prepare and your opportunity come you can reap the benefits but you must be prepared always.
Hopper: Many believe that as woman in the dancehall industry you have to be ruckus and common placed and sell skin and be very sexual and explicit always to make it what says you to that?
Cecile: To each his own and you have to be your own person and know what is your objective and you can't blame anyone. On the ladies side you have Cecile and Lady Saw or Queen Ifrica and Etana. On the men side you can listen to Beanie man then you have Tarrus Riley and Warrior King. Over all it's always good to respect yourself.
Hopper: Many opine that being a dancehall artiste one does not have to be smart or educated. How important is education to your job as an artiste?
Cecile: Back in the day dancehall music was something that you did when you never had anything else to do. Not anymore: it's not necessarily Ghetto music anymore and ghetto does not mean uneducated. Check Shaggy, Sean Paul, Busy signal, Alaine, Etana among others look at the way they write and you know that they are educated. Especially if you don't want to be ripped off by a manger, your lawyer or your financial adviser you better get educated and keep your head on. It helps you to make decisions for yourself. If you are stupid and you have people around you who see you as a money making tool they will make money off of you and you'll end up with nothing.
You need to be educated to do your interviews also or you will be laugh at and you would not recognize your fullest potential.
Hopper: What's your News year's resolution?
Cecile: If you are not educated you react with violence because you don't know how to make educated decisions and you wreak havoc on a country. I'm totally into reading and it's always been my escape to where I wanted to be so I'm working on my charity that will focus on teaching children to read. A lot of children can't read and that is causing them to act out with violence especially in the third world. So I'm starting my charity "Charley's Angel" in Jamaica because I think reading will help kids to dream bigger and go after opportunities that they really need.
With education young people realize that they can be anything not just doctor’s lawyers and police. And if you learn another language it increases you chances on the employment lien even more.
Hopper: What do you want the public to understand about Cecile?
Cecile: Understand when I'm on stage I'm singing for women that have been abused and under aged pregnant mothers and while I'm doing what I do as a job I'm as human as anyone else who is seeking to help charities and causes for women and children even though I'm singing something sexual and about money.
Hopper: What is life's most important lesson thus far for you?
Cecile: As youth the things you see as most unimportant and stupid are actually the things that make sense when you are grown up.
Life's resolve: if the Fame, hype and popularity ends today I'll still be writing music that's how much I like music. Some people use drugs but music is my get away.