As one of the most promising acts in the independent music scene, Cecilia Gault is today a creative force waiting to be discovered by the world. A native New Yorker, she was shaped by the city’s vast diversity and inspired by her own bi-cultural upbringing, a curious mixture of Irish and Japanese descent. Currently a student at the lauded Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU, she has performed across multiple intimate venues across the city. It was her performance alongside NYC icon Patti Smith at City Winery in 2011, however, that has left a lasting impact on Gault as a solo artist.
A bombshell of emotions, Cecilia’s first single, If You’re Gonna Lie is a love song rooted in deceit and pain, told through the lens of a young, innocent woman navigating through life. Stream this song right now, on Soundcloud.
What is your song, If You’re Gonna Lie, about? Is it in any way connected to your personal experience? If so could you please elaborate?
Cecilia Gault: My song is about my high school sweetheart. I’ts super personal. I wrote the song to process the experience of being lied to and cheated on. It was my first time dealing with that sort of pain.
Do you write both music and lyrics? What happens first, music or words? Where do you draw inspirations from? How do you know an idea is a good idea? In short, what is involved in your creative process, from conception of an idea to its execution/finished song?
Music first. My co-writer Brandon Sheare and I figured out some chords that we liked, and started off some melodies. I never know when it’s a good idea. But, this song captured how I felt during this time, perfectly. My creative process flows a bit easier when I have someone to bounce ideas off of. It helps me hone in on a good concept and a point of view. I think it’s also very important to have supportive people to collaborate with. I was lucky to have Birocratic produce this song for me and Brandon to co-write it with me.
Who is your biggest critic, who’s opinion do you value the most and why?
I think that I am my own biggest critic. I have such trouble figuring out if I love a song I wrote or hate it, or if its good enough.
Who are your role models, influencers or inspirations? What is it you value in them?
As a woman I am always interested in how successful woman present themselves. Women like Madonna, FKA Twigs, Lady Gaga, and Grimes, present themselves, non apologetically. They are never afraid to be honest and be who they are. On a personal level, I admire my grandma. She is a traditional strong Japanese women, who’s so caring and loving. Right now, even though she’s struggling with lung cancer, she still shows up to chemotherapy in the most dashing Issey Miyake hat, gorgeous red lip stick, and a loud high-fashion shawl. Her attitude toward life is so positive. At the end of the day that’s what I strive to be.
Music is your main medium of expression, are there any other mediums you feel connected to?
I feel connected to many mediums. I love to mix and match, and create a story from clothing, pictures, words, melodies… Fashion is a big one for me, it is the first thing people notice about you. You can say a lot with what you wear. My cover art is a collage I made, through images I picked out. Throughout my life I pick out things (articles of clothing, images, words, songs) that intrigue me and I put it together to create my voice.
I was told that one of the reasons you started music lessons as a little girl was because you were shy? Do you have any recollection of the time? Of your first lessons and experiences with music? and how music transformed you, or your character?
I was super shy! It’s amazing that music was the thing that made me be the weird, expressive person I am now. I remember my teacher recommending me to cover “Nothing Compares 2 U” for a talent show. When people came up after me with such positive reactions, I dived head-first into my passion for singing.
What are the most important lessons or principles you have learned so far?
I think one thing I’ve learned, is that you really need to believe and trust in yourself. I feel like I’ve always been underestimated, and I’ve always underestimated myself. No one will believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. Everyone suggested I just go to regular college or any college that I get into, instead of going where I want to go. I learned not to listen to everyone. I only applied to NYU Clive Davis Institute. I only want to pursue music. There are absolutely no other options that run through my head.
You are the beginning of your career, what your big plan, aspiration, dream? Where do you see yourself in a few years?
Paying my dad back!!!
If you could let people know a few essential things about you, what would it be?
I am a silly little half Japanese, half Irish girl, who loves to dress up, play with my cat, and sing about real stuff! NO APOLOGIES!