All posts by Cecily

Lessons of 2016: Affirmations

I wholeheartedly believe in the power of affirmations and positive speech. Showing ourselves kindness, patience, and compassion is the foundation of all else we are able to do.

The following phrases have changed my whole state of being:

All will be well
I am more than enough
I radiate love
I love myself
I believe in myself
I am supported
I am loved
I have all the time I need
Breath

Feel free to add to my list with the words or phrases that center & uplift your spirit.

Lessons of 2016: Happiness

I’ve realized this year, I do not need a reason to be happy.

Any little thing is enough. Any big thing is enough. The sun. A nice cleansing breath. A good nap. My loved ones. The color of my nails. Someone else’s laugh. I don’t have to feel how I’m expected to feel.

I don’t have to feel how I usually feel or how I used to feel. Happiness doesn’t have to be a smile, although it often is. It can be a quiet, knowing peace with what is right now.

Forgiveness

I tiptoe to my hurt place
The soft spot on my soul
My fingertips are gentle
Touching moments turned to coal

Every feeling has a story
A mistake I’ve come to own
I forgive them one by one
I don’t have to be alone

I forgive myself for abandoning him
I forgive myself for falling over drunk
I forgive myself for yelling in anger
I forgive myself for resigning to flunk 

I have more love than regret
Enough love
Enough love to set
Myself free

God said, “Love your enemy.” So I obeyed, and loved myself. – Khalil Gibran

#MusicMonday Part 4

“Every Time He Comes Around” by Minnie Riperton

“Every Time He Comes Around” by Minnie Riperton from her 1974 album Perfect Angel.

Minnie is one of my favorite artists of all time, and people often compare me to her. Although that scares the mess out of me, I decided last year to start performing one of her classic songs, Every Time He Comes Around.

I really appreciate how Minnie was sexy and passionate without ever coming off as vulgar. That’s not easy to pull off, and was one of the many things that made her so unique. I tried to embody that passion here in this acoustic version, and I hope you all enjoy it!

Thanks to Zach and his cat Otis for having me over their lovely apartment, and thanks to my boyfriend for filming!

Guitar: Zachary Cutler
Vocals: Cecily
Videographer: Tirop Sambu

#MusicMonday Part 3

“Midnight” by Lianne La Havas

“Midnight” by Lianne La Havas from her new album Blood.

I’m a huge fan of Lianne and this is my favorite song from her album. I went over to my good friend Zach’s lovely apartment and we played an acoustic version of it. Thanks to Zach & his cat Otis for their hospitality!

Guitar: Zachary Cutler
Vocals: Cecily
Videographer: Tirop Sambu

#MusicMonday Part 2

“Rise Up” by Andra Day 

“Rise Up’ by Andra Day from her album Cheers to the Fall.

I was introduced to this song when the incredible tap dancer Chloe Arnold asked me perform it as a duet with her at the 8th Annual DC Tap Fest. I enjoyed singing it so much that I decided to do a cover for you all. Hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think of my rendition.

Keys: Jacob Ungerleider
Vocals: Cecily
Videographer: Tirop Sambu

#MusicMonday Part 1

Leading up to the release of my music video, I decided to do a new Youtube & Facebook video series. Every Monday I will release a cover of a song by one of my favorite artists.

“Been to the Moon” by Corinne Bailey Rae

“Been to the Moon” by Corinne Bailey-Rae off her new album The Heart Speaks in Whispers.

I love this song and I was excited to sing it in my own way! I drove down to Richmond to play with my friend, an awesome musician, Jacob Ungerleider. Shout out to my boyfriend for filming & editing! I hope you all enjoy it!

Keys: Jacob Ungerleider
Vocals: Cecily
Videographer: Tirop Sambu (Entiropgalaxies on Youtube)

New Song – NPR Tiny Desk Contest

I decided to enter the NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest this year. It was a good excuse to introduce you all to one of my newer songs. It’s called “Your Idea of Beautiful,” and I had an amazing afternoon recording the video with my band 🙂

Let me know what you think!

Composers: Cecily & Nii Quaye Aryee
Guitar: Zach Cutler
Bass: Eliot Seppa
Keyboard: Colin Chambers
Percussion: Dante Pope
Videography: Tirop araap Kiituur Sambu

Thank you Nyota Magazine

I would like to thank Niara and Carol Wright for featuring me in their December issue of Nyota Magazine. I met up with them in New Jersey in November on my way up to NYC. We met for about 3 hours, talked about my inspirations, my goals, my influences, my challenges, and my triumphs.

Next, we walked around the quaint town of Haddonfield for a photo shoot. I even did some Christmas shopping at their mom’s boutique House of Flair.

Read my full interview at http://issuu.com/nyotamagazine/docs/final_magScreen Shot 2015-12-17 at 12.46.16 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-03 at 6.39.27 PM

Follow NYOTA Mag on IG @NyotaMagazine and on Tumblr at http://nyotamagazine.tumblr.com