Scottish jazz singer Georgia Cécile not only has a beautiful voice but also a wise head on her shoulders.
Take her perspective on social media. "There is a lot of pressure to keep up a presence on social media," notes Cécile. "Some days we just don’t feel like sharing every aspect of our lives."
However she also embraces its benefits – such as showing off cute animals. "I recently gave my kitten an Insta account because the world needs to see how beautiful she is, so I can't complain, really..."
Nobody can complain about additional kitten pictures in the world. Nor can anyone complain about more music from the extravagantly talented Cécile – she supports Gregory Porter at the Royal Albert Hall this week and released her latest album Only The Lover Sings last month.
Read our interview to discover more about one of the hottest names in jazz today.
What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?
I have known that I’m going to be singing at the opening gala of the London Jazz Festival with the Guy Barker Orchestra for almost a year now, so the excitement and build up has been excruciating.
It has always been a dream of mine to sing at the Royal Festival Hall with a live orchestra; the fact I will be singing one of my own songs with them too, feels like a real milestone moment.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
I would say completing my debut album to the standard I had always hoped is my proudest accomplishment so far. Myself and my co-writer Euan Stevenson worked hard for many years towards the goal of creating a classy, timeless body of work.
It was not without struggle, and I had to push past a lot of people who thought they knew better. I think when you have something that appears to people as a product on the outside, it can be easy to let others determine what you are going to do with your art and how you are going to market it. Finishing this album has been an opportunity for me to be courageous and learn to trust myself.
I am proud of the obstacles I overcame to present something that is authentic and true. To hold the finished record in my hand was actually the best feeling ever.
If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
Having a career in music is extremely fulfilling and rewarding, but you can't be afraid of hard work. Singing on stage and connecting to audiences is where I feel most alive and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
If there was something though, I would say there is a lot of pressure to keep up a presence on social media, and because we are only human, there are some days we just don’t feel like sharing every aspect of our lives.
I’m intrigued by other creatives like Saoirse Ronan and Lea Seydoux who have never used social media at all, yet somehow achieve and maintain mainstream success in their art forms.
Still, I love sharing new music and connecting to fans on social media, and I recently gave my kitten an Insta account because the world needs to see how beautiful she is, so I can't complain, really...
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What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?
I want to write and sing on the next Bond movie song – let's bring back the real Shirley Bassey glamour and sophistication!
Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?
Besides my family and musical heroes, I am inspired by the great poets and writers!
My album title ‘Only The Lover Sings’ was inspired by a book by the German philosopher and author Josef Pieper who wrote about the idea that music can open doors of the heart, and that through music-making and listening, we can discover, know and love the darkest and furthest corners of our souls.
This sentiment deeply resonated with me and so it was crowned album title.
Tell us something nobody knows about you…
Contrary to what my confident nonchalant persona might present externally, I am actually very sensitive and take things all too personally at times. I care so much about hurting others, sometimes at the expense of my own progress.
That being said I am becoming more aware of my feelings and try not to take criticism too personally, especially on my art.
What’s your favourite item of clothing – and what does it mean to you?
My mother has impeccable taste. She is my biggest style icon and I can always rely on her honesty when it comes to my own style.
Over the years she has passed down some beautiful pieces that I treasure. She gave me a hand-crotched long sleeve top which is laced with teardrop pearls around the cuffs and hem.
Anytime I wear it I get dozens of compliments. It's like a piece of art.
Favourite accessory – watch / jewellery / etc – and why is it special to you?
I love gold jewellery. I have a gold bangle that my best friend, who moved to Australia five years ago, sent me for my 30th birthday present. It's a simple gold bangle with a single black pearl attached.
I love simple timeless pieces and when I look down at it I think of her!
What items do you take on holiday and why?
Besides SPF 50 for my face, and an eye mask for sleeping, you can always find a notebook and pencil in my holiday bag. I find being away from home so inspiring; seeing new places, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures. They present a fresh outlook and perspective for me.
There is something about being outside of your every day space that gives permission for adventure and nostalgia. I use the notebook to jot down ideas for songs or poems.
Is there an item you threw away – or lost – that you really miss?
I recently gave away a pair of perfect-blue vintage Levi jeans to a friend, I thought I had outlived and outworn them.
Lo and behold, flares came back and I’m now living in full regret mode whilst trying to replace them.
What’s next on your shopping list?
A Taller Marmo gown for my next concert! They are currently my favourite brand.
There is a darling one-shoulder feather trim dress in cornflower blue which looks borrowed from Grace Kelly in a Hitchcock movie.
What would you buy if money was no object?
A big Georgian house by the sea, with large bay windows and a grand piano, with lots of space for writing and recording my music.
And a couple of dogs too.
Only The Lover Sings is out now