Every musician uses musical references to guide certain aspects of their creative process. While I am in the midst of conceptualizing, writing, producing, and recording my album, I’ve been listening to many of my favorite artists for inspiration, specifically soul music from the mid to late 1970’s. I want to share some of these songs with you, so you can reside in this soundscape with me. I titled this post Auditory Album Inspirations, because so many other things outside of music influence my work, particularly nature, certain colors, and visual art. I’ll share more in the coming weeks. For now, here’s some of what is currently curating my thought patterns.
“Almost Lost Detroit” – Gil Scott-Heron
“Voyage To Atlantis” – The Isley Brothers
“You Are My Starship” – Norman Connors feat. Michael Henderson
“Every Time He Comes Around” – Minnie Riperton
“Sign of the Judgement” – MacIntosh County Shouters
“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!
“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!
“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
Videographer: Tirop Sambu
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
Videographer: Tirop Sambu (Entiropgalaxies on Youtube)
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
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.
I wrote a blog post for the site Sound Effects responding to the question:
How does sounds effect you?
Sound is memory….
Sound has made me who I am. I was raised on sound – ordered sound, what we call music: Jackson 5 in the morning, ZZ Hill in the afternoon, Bob Marley at bedtime. These sounds were as much a part of my life as the music of my mother’s jingling bangles, my father’s melodic whistling around the house, and my sister’s tap dancing down the hall way.
I just want to thank DJ Jus Music and Singersroom.com for writing about my EP. Here’s an excerpt:
“Cecily describes her sound as Minnie Riperton meets Teedra Moses, and we couldn’t agree more. The Washington, DC-based singer-songwriter releases her self-titled debut EP, a blend of Old School, R&B, Folk, and Jazz that’s welcoming to the ears.
Packed with five songs and a bonus track (A cover of Mary J. Blige’s “Everything” by way of The Stylistics’ “You Are Everything”), Cecily delivers a body of work that’s soothing and nostalgic.”
This week I’ve been obsessing over Nao (pronounced Nayo) from the UK. Whooo I love her songs. She’s like Coco from SWV meets Nile Rodgers. Just listen. These are my 2 favs off her newest project February 15 EP