Photo credit: Cecilia Meadows Instagram – @cecilia_meadows
Cecilia Meadows is a London-based folk singer songwriter. From the first time I listened to her music, I was floored. Not only does she have a gorgeous vocal tone, but her guitar skills are excellent as well. The whole package on her music was fantastic. In invested some of my virtual currency on Tradiio and got in contact with her for the interview. Check out her sweet and humble responses here.
1) How long have you been playing music? How did you get your start?
Hm, I’m not sure, I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember! Me and a friend actually started a band when we were about 6 years old. We wrote our own songs and all of them were about fruits and berries. We were convinced that our song “Min lilla apelsin” (“My little orange”) would be our big breakthrough song!
I guess I started writing music “more seriously” (don’t get me wrong, for a pair of 6 year olds we were pretty serious about our music) when my dad started teaching me how to play guitar when I was 14. I’ve studied at music schools on and off since I was 16, but the most important part has always been the songwriting. That’s how I get to say the things I find hard to communicate by speech.
2) Who are your musical influences? Being from the UK there’s a longstanding folk tradition. Does that influence your sound?
I’m originally from Sweden, but I’ve been based in London for a bit more than 2 years now. When I was in Sweden I was kind of struggling to find my sound, but when I moved to the UK I found a lot of inspiration in the folk tradition over here. I quickly started picking up some influences in my own songwriting and I think you can tell when you hear my music.
I get a lot of inspiration from British acts such as Daughter and Marika Hackman, but also from Scandinavian artists such as Ane Brun and Lykke Li.
3) I can’t talk to you without asking about Tradiio. What’s it been like being on the artist side of things? Do you recommend the platform?
Yes I can really recommend it! Tradiio has helped me to reach out to a wider audience and I’ve been fortunate enough to be selected “Artist of the day”. Investing virtual coins in your favourite music to influence the charts is a cool idea. And it’s a great platform to check out if you want to find new independent music.
4) Your track “Maybe We Do” is a big hit on the Tradiio charts. Can you tell us the story behind it?
The song is about two people that are in a relationship and both are a bit lost in life in general.
They both really love each other but sometimes it seems like the stress of not knowing what’s going on in life causes them to fight over all these silly things. It’s about that moment when you stop for a second and think about what the hell you’re really doing. Like “we love each other, why are we even fighting!?”
5) What does your songwriting process look like?
Oh it’s a mess! Half of the time I’m not even sure of what I’m doing. Often my inspiration can get triggered by coming up with some nice chords on the guitar or something. I usually come up with the melody as I come up with the guitar parts. I find lyrics to be the hardest to write. I’m so picky when it comes to that, so I tend to wait quite a while before I start writing them. Just to let the music sink in for a bit.
6) Are you working on a new album or are you touring? Maybe a little of both?
Right now I’m writing new music for my next release and it’s really exciting! I’m definitely pushing my new material towards a more alternative sound, but you will still recognise it’s me when you hear it. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
I’m taking it easy with the gigging at the moment since I find it’s easier to write when I can give it my full attention. But after New Years I will start gigging again and later this spring and summer I will do some touring as well.
7) If you could open for any major artist today, who would it be? (and why)
It would be really cool to open for a band like Daughter or The Staves. I really respect them as artists and I love their music and I think our sounds could go quite well together. But there are a lot of artists and bands out there that I would love to open for so it’s hard to pick just a few.
8) Your vocals are polished. Do you have a stage/theatre background as well?
I actually have a background singing a lot of music from musical theatres. When I was between 16-18 years old I almost exclusively sang songs from musicals such as Phantom Of The Opera and Chess etc. Unfortunately I’m a horrible dancer so I never got accepted to any of the schools for musical theatre that I applied for. In hindsight, I think it was for the best. I think I’m much happier doing what I do now than I would have been doing that. I still enjoy musical theatre, but I’m definitely more of a artist/songwriter than a show artist.
9) Many of your tracks begin with a beautiful fingerpicking melody. Do you write and perform all of your guitar parts? What inspires the melodies that you write?
Thank you. I normally write the guitar parts myself, but every now and then when I do a co-write someone might come up with something really nice that I like. All the tracks on the “Cerulean Blue EP” are written by me alone though. I don’t consider myself being a great guitarist or anything, so on some of the recordings for my last EP my guitarist is playing. He’s a much better guitar player then I am, so it just felt like the songs “came alive” more when he was playing them. But live I always play guitar.
It can be different things that inspire what I do melodically and musically, but I tend to always look inwards when I’m writing music. I play something on the guitar or piano and then I let my body decide how “it feels” and what emotions are triggered when I listen to it. My brain tends to overthink things so I’m trying not to listen to it too much.
10) What would you like our readers (mostly folk fans in the US) to know about your music?
I’m a hard working artist who always try and follow what my heart desires. Both in life in general and in music. My music is true to who I am as a person and there’s alway a strong connection between me and the songs that I write. If people don’t like my music, that’s fine. At least I’m doing what I love and I’m true to what I want to do. I’m just being me and I want to inspire people to be who they are and know that that’s enough.