NewTracks New Artist: Cee Blu

NewTracks New Artist: Cee Blu

“I made this lyric video myself so I’m really proud of it scoring a spot on the Wicked Sounds Youtube channel. They have 1.36M subscribers so this was quite a big achievement for me,” Cee Blu tells us. Previously performing as Carolyna Blu, you might recognise her voice from collaborations with the likes of Donell Lewis, Rei, Ty, and others. But now she’s going solo, and her new single Used To made it onto NZ On Air Music‘s NewTracks compilation this December.

What’s your full name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

Cee Blu. I was born and raised in South Auckland, moving between Manurewa, Takanini and Papakura. I used to play keys and guitar but no longer do, unfortunately!

Was any high school or other music training important to you?

I don’t remember taking music in high school as a subject but I do remember doing Smokefree Rockquest with my sister and a bunch of mates, which was pretty cool! I’ve never had any music training but grew up with my dad being the lead singer in country-rock bands and playing guitar. The whole whanau would road trip around NZ singing at country clubs and competing in competitions, haha! Music has been a huge part of who I am for as long as I can remember.

What other projects might we know you from?

I’ve been lucky enough to have collaborated on projects with quite a few of our talented local artists, some being Rei, Tazman Jack, Donell Lewis, Sweet Mix Kids, Ty and more. We’ve had songs on the radio too, so hopefully, you’ve heard us on the airwaves!

How has your music evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

Confidence. I can remember being too embarrassed to show others my lyrics, thinking they weren’t good enough, or that other people wouldn’t think it was cool. I now enjoy just writing for myself, having fun with it. My own messages and meanings, having that connection with my music because that’s what it’s really all about!

What makes Used To stand out for you as a single?

I’ve been working with a new producer EDY. My sound has really matured and levelled up since working alongside him. This is the first song of many that we have done together so it was really a celebration to finally release it into the world. It represents the start of our journey and got the ball rolling for other projects we have yet to release!

What is the story behind Used To?

Used To is about the infatuation and excitement of a fresh and evolving relationship. It resembles that point you get to when dating or seeing someone when you’ve caught feelings and want to take things to the next level.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

Definitely the bridge! The lyrics, ‘Telling you what’s on my mind, want ya to be mine.’ It definitely takes guts to tell someone how you feel about them and if you want them to be yours. I love the vulnerability but also the ‘telling you how it is’ vibe of this bridge.

Who did you write/record/produce the single with?

I had been following EDY on Instagram for a little while and really wanted to work with him. One day he randomly messaged me about my single with Rei, Tell Me Twice, saying he liked it. Literally a few hours later that exact same night we were in the studio writing and recording Used To. It was epic!

What would you like listeners to take away from the song?

Especially in this day and age, I want listeners to know that it’s okay if you’ve been dating someone and you’ve caught feelings! Not everyone can do the ‘no feelings attached’. I want them to know they are not alone and it happens!

In general, how do you work out what song would make a good single?

I like to secretly pinch the Aux cord if I’m with friends or at BBQs and put my song on. I can gauge if people vibe with the song and if it gets them in a certain type of mood. If you’ve got people grooving I like to think it’s a good one!

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on?

Yes, I have an EP set to release in the new year.

Can you please tell us three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song.

Rei – Too Easy feat. Lion Rezz
Mikey MayzWild People
Sam V x EDY – Dreamstate

Have any of your previous applications not got NZ On Air funding or included on NewTracks?

This is the first time I have applied for the NewTracks and I am beyond grateful to have had my song selected. My advice would be to believe in yourself and go for it! It took me a few years to be confident enough to send my songs in but I really wish I had done it sooner!

Was there an NZOA criterion you struggled with in the application? 

Yeah, I definitely had to brush up on my knowledge of all the different social platforms and how important the online statistics are. I pushed my music for playlists through DRM which helped me tick off some of the NZOA requirements. 

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I love Sniffers and I really enjoy Youtube channels with animation, cool lyric videos and visuals.

How can we find you on social media?

Any last words?

Make sure YOU are happy with your music. Remember all the time, sweat and tears you put in and be proud of your work. Celebrate your efforts! If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Thank you 🙂

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