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June 10, 2022

Interview with CeCe

We had the pleasure of interviewing CeCe over Zoom video.

Singer/songwriter, CeCe, recently released her single, “FUEO. The accompanying music video, brings CeCe’s new era to life with its high-octane, filmic visuals. As a multifaceted creator,...

We had the pleasure of interviewing CeCe over Zoom video.

Singer/songwriter, CeCe, recently released her single, “FUEO. The accompanying music video, brings CeCe’s new era to life with its high-octane, filmic visuals. As a multifaceted creator, CeCe also created multiple pieces worn in the music video, and can be seen riding her own Royal Enfield motorcycle, for which she is a brand ambassador.

Drawing inspiration from her own life, “FUEO” showcases a combination of CeCe’s confident writing ability, strong sense of style, and commanding vocals. ““FUEO” is an anthem about instantly connecting with someone, friend or romantic, because you sense they may be damaged in the same ways as you. Inevitably, you spend all your time together, and “hang out till you hate each other,” which is the first lyric I wrote for this song. It’s a joyful celebration of being broken, together.” CeCe explains.
Written by CeCe, Chase Stockman, John Samuel Gerhart, and Joe Henderson; “FUEO” was inspired by CeCe’s diehard friendships and learning to love her own chaos.

Hailing from Illinois, CeCe has always known she wanted to become a singer since the age of 5. Growing up on a farm in a town of about 300 people led her to start singing locally at events such as town fairs. After dropping out of college and spending the following years performing in dive bars and sleeping in a van as she toured the midwest with her first band; CeCe eventually landed in Los Angeles where her creativity started to permeate into nearly every area of the entertainment industry. She quickly honed her skills as a songwriter, but her creativity could not be contained by her music alone. From directing music videos, to working on the design team developing concepts for one of the largest shows on network television, to designing fashion for herself and other artists; CeCe is a force in the industry and has continued to define her own rules for the artist she wants to be.

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Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with CC over zoom video CC was born and raised in a very small town in Southern Illinois, and she talks about how she got into music. There were only 300 people in her town. So when it came to going to high school, all of the kids from all of the rural areas around her would all come together at one school. So it was like about 40, 30, 40 minutes to get to this one school, which was still super small. She got into singing at a very early age, around five years old. 8 (2m 34s): She wasn't too stoked on singing show tunes or the choirs. She just kind of did it for herself. She ended up moving a little bit north when she was 15 years old for her sophomore year of high school. When she went to the school, she talked about going in as a cheerleader, but she would also sing the national Anthem during the games, even at the away games, which is pretty crazy to think. CC tells us about starting her first in college and then dropping out of college to pursue music. Crazy enough, the band member she started her first bandwidth is Matthew Russell of cheat codes. She talked about her time on the show. 8 (3m 15s): X-Factor releasing her first single after the show, a project she worked on right before COVID hit, which was all written basically for sync, for TV and film. She told us about the project that she worked on, basically from the beginning of quarantine till now she has a whole project ready to go. She's released the first song and music video. The song is called fuck up each other. You can watch our interview with CC on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It would be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tech-Talk at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music or Google podcast, wherever you get your podcasts would be amazing. 8 (3m 57s): If you follow us there as well, and hook us up with a five star review, 9 (4m 2s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 8 (4m 7s): We're bringing it backwards with CC. 10 (4m 11s): Oh wow. I 8 (4m 12s): See. See, how are you? 10 (4m 13s): I'm good. How are you? 8 (4m 15s): I'm fantastic. I appreciate you doing this. 10 (4m 18s): Yeah. Thanks for having me. 8 (4m 19s): Of course. Awesome. Awesome. We good to go, Samantha, 3 (4m 25s): Mute myself. 8 (4m 28s): Awesome. Thank you. 10 (4m 30s): Chime in. And that'll be great. We'll 8 (4m 32s): Just, yeah, we'll just everyone can join it. It's all good. Awesome. Awesome. CC. Thank you so much for doing this. My name is Adam and this is about, hi. This is about you and your journey and music. And I want to talk to you about the new song you just put out, which is incredible. At first I thought it was like, I'm like, how do I even say this? And then I'm like, give me two seconds to listen to the song. And then it all made sense. 10 (5m 1s): Well, I, so when we decided what to call it, I was like, listen, let's, let's just abbreviate it. Cause it's kind of like a long title, but then everybody was like, oh, I'm still excited for way out to come out. I'm like, I sanded out, but that's fine there. 8 (5m 18s): And then I was doing, I'm like Lego. And then you had like fire on the car. I was like, is this, 10 (5m 25s): There's this typo in this title? Like, I don't know why you go, like, what's wrong with this girl? Like, yeah. 8 (5m 32s): And then I'm like, oh, fuck up each other. Okay. I got it now. It all makes sense. I love it. I love it. Well again, I appreciate you being here. Thank you so much. And I just, I love your Instagram that you put that you had 28 billion followers and then your account got impact. Okay. That's solid. And then I was even like looking at your really funny, I will say. And I've watched your X-Factor audition tape because I saw you were on X-Factor. So then I watched like the original audition that you did, you like re you did the Christina Aguilera song, but just like the sass, you were, you were spilling out to the, to the judges that I was like, this girl's rad. 8 (6m 18s): Like, 10 (6m 20s): Well, I don't know if you saw my, but I think by, well, I manager hit me up because he was like, so your bio on Spotify just says, you're 8 (6m 29s): Your mom. 10 (6m 31s): I was like, yeah. And he's like, can we change that? I like, like, I don't know. I just, I don't take myself too seriously. And actually what's funny is a friend of mine hit me up and was like, they saw that's been my bio on Instagram forever. And they hit me up. They're like, oh my God. I just read about your Instagram being hacked. That's terrible. That one bad luck right before the single comes out, I was just like, it's there already been 28? 8 (7m 3s): Yeah. Yeah. Four times the amount of people living on this earth were following me. 10 (7m 11s): Yeah. Like, come on, let's lose our noggins, you know? But yeah, no, I just, I don't like to take myself too seriously. And yeah, I think that, I think that kind of made me an easy target on X-Factor because I'm just like, I'm just kinda always clowning, you know? And, and so they were able to like, take me clowning and make it look like I was being dead serious. And I'm like, oh my God, 8 (7m 39s): It's obviously the reality show they saw. They're like, okay, she's funny. It has a personality let's lean into that. They were probably just so stoked that you could sing too. 10 (7m 49s): Right. 8 (7m 50s): But they were like, oh, she can sing really well. Okay. So that works. So we don't like, we can build this, we can build this story. Cause if you didn't do well, 10 (7m 57s): They're like, 8 (7m 58s): Ah, man, like a very, very, very funny, well, and then you're like interviewing some couple, I think, or some duo. 10 (8m 8s): That's hilarious because that, I always, I love when people bring that up because that couple I was hanging out with all day, like we're homeys and the producers were like, got to them and just like, you know, since you guys like have a rapport, like at like go ask them these questions and I'm like, okay, fuck. Yeah. Like, let's go, you know, like these are my friends anyway. So then like, it was just so funny, like watching it back and watching it edited. Cause I was just like, let's just not have that conversation happened at all. I'm like, I remember when the, when the episode aired, they both texted me and they were like, oh my God, this is the most ridiculous, like fake bullshit I've ever seen. 10 (8m 51s): I'm like, okay, well, 8 (8m 52s): Yeah, I kind of figured as much when I was watching it, I'm like, Hmm. And I just kind of figured just because of the way that you presented the questions, I'm like, this doesn't sound like, I think you would have went like funnier than what they actually asked you to do. 10 (9m 8s): I'm pretty animated. Like I'm like all about like making faces and like, like I that's just like my personality, so I favor it whenever they would take me making these faces. Like I would be like, like I would look at somebody like joking and they would take that and they would put it during like someone singing. Like they did that during bootcamp, all the, the, the bootcamp episodes. It was all that like people would be singing and like, I would be talking to a friend and I'd be like, oh my God. Or something like that. And then take that as they would put it while someone else was sitting, I was like, this is some bullshit now. 8 (9m 52s): Yeah. They're just trying to make you look like the villain in the show like, oh look, and now she's just trashing these other people or they're going out, of course, 10 (10m 0s): This girl. 8 (10m 3s): Well, right. And then you ended up making it really far. So that was also funny, but again, very, very funny stuff. And I appreciate you again doing this. So first off I, I read that you're from Illinois area. Is that correct? 10 (10m 18s): Okay. 8 (10m 21s): Tell me about that a little bit. 10 (10m 22s): Oh yeah. So I, I grew up in a really small town in Southern Illinois. My dad was a farmer whenever I was growing up. And so I, yeah. Literally lived in a town of like 300 people till I was 15. And it was Dell, like, you know? 8 (10m 40s): Yeah, 10 (10m 41s): Yeah. Like, like our, our, my town was so small that that to go to high school, all of the other rural towns sent like their grade school kids to this one high school, because there wasn't an enough Pete, like, you know what I mean? Like 8 (10m 58s): Have like a school. 10 (10m 59s): Yes. They had to like gather all of us for like the out, like the outside rural areas areas to take them to high school. So, yeah. So I just, yeah. Lived there till I was like 15 and my nearest neighbor was like two miles away and it was kind of a dope, a dope way to grow up. We had horses and four wheelers and, you know, just, it was a good, good ass time, you know, seven. And I, then we moved up to Decatur, which is in the central part of the state. I love whenever anybody hears Illinois, they go, oh, Chicago. I'm like, 8 (11m 38s): Yeah, that's the very tip of the, <inaudible> 10 (11m 42s): The hearing loss. The other thing, like, why do you have an accent? Like, are you from Texas? I'm like, no, again, the bottom part of Illinois is very close to Kentucky and Tennessee all, you know, so, but yeah, it not a whole lot of opportunity for where I grew up. So, 8 (12m 4s): But I'm just curious on the, on the high school thing, just because grabbing people from this whole area, like a ruler area, like how long would it take? Like where was the school then and how long did it take you to get there? 10 (12m 18s): Another fun fact is my parents decided, because our commutes to school were so long that they would be bus drivers. So both of my parents drove our school buses so that they could like be with us. It was very, very, it's very cute, very like little house on the Prairie type, bullshit, you know? And so yeah, to get to high school, it took like a half hour, I think, to get there, which isn't terrible. But then the other, you know, the flip side to having mom and dad be bus drivers is that you get on the bus first and you get off the bus last. So you just kind of ride around for 45 minutes while everybody else gets dropped. 8 (12m 59s): Oh, sure. And then did you have like the class clown, like Dick kids are trying to be mean to your parents as the bus drivers are not really 10 (13m 7s): Not really because my dad's terrifying. 8 (13m 10s): Well that works. 10 (13m 13s): They always called him Mr. Smiles, because he, because he did it, he was like, he's a very like sweet man, but he's very like, you know, very, very serious. So like if he began to laugh, it was like a real, it was a real win. And he's got like this big beard and everything too. So like people don't, people don't fuck with my father. They just do that. And my mom is scary in her own. Right. So 8 (13m 41s): That's good. Well, that's very good to hear. Cause I was, I was just scared for you when you said that I'm like, oh, are these kids just going to like tear you apart? Because you're like, oh, you're Bob drives the school bus. Like, I don't know, kids just suck. So I was just curious, 10 (13m 54s): Definitely suck that isn't the fact that 8 (13m 56s): They have to have my own. And, and I know, yeah, like I'm an older, my oldest son just like, just he's just finished middle school. I technically, or not yet almost. So it's like the kids that are around his age or like the middle school was like the worst. And then my other son's going to be in first grade and yeah, it's just, just seeing other children. I'm like, okay. Kids are mean, 10 (14m 20s): And I'm sorry, but girls are absolutely brutal like that. Like girls are not, the guys can't be mean, but like guys are mean in a way that like, I can take it, you know? Like I like the guys could, can tease and shit like that. And if you, if you like give it back to them or whatever, then it's done. Then you've like gained respect, girls and guys will be like, like if you're, if you're going to fuck with me, do it to my face. All right, dude. Like, come on, like say with your chest and do it through to my face so that I could like, you know, 8 (14m 56s): Respond 10 (14m 58s): Girls. Like, can they like to be real? Do you have a daughter? 8 (15m 5s): No. Tucson's 10 (15m 7s): Oh yeah, bless you. 8 (15m 10s): But I have a younger sister and I remember her just like, yeah, not her. She was like the target. So I felt so bad for her. Cause like, I'm like, I didn't have this experience in middle school and she's like, oh, like it was the worst days of her life. 10 (15m 24s): I don't know. It's so God, now that you say that is so true, like the worst, the worst of it was in middle school. Cause I, I in middle school, I vividly remember, well, so this is the thing in our grade school, we all grew up together. But then since we all joined this high school from rural areas, it's all these kids that you've never met before. So then you go to lunch and you're like, what the fuck am I going to sit? You know, that was my big thing. I'm like, fuck. So I go over to this table with all these girls and it was like these round tables that didn't have chairs. Like the stools were like attached to them. Do you remember those? 10 (16m 4s): So, so like the idea of like pulling up a chair was like, 8 (16m 10s): Get on the bench. Right. 10 (16m 14s): So, and there was only so many spots to like pull up chairs in between them. I woke up at this table and there was definitely room for me. But I remember I went to sit my tray down and this girl goes, oh, I'm sorry, but this table is kind of cramped already, but you can nail if you want to. 8 (16m 33s): Wow. A middle-schooler that's bold. 10 (16m 37s): I was like, I am not going to kneel at this motherfucking table. Stayed over there. Oh yeah. Girls are like that with a smile on their face and be like, wow, I can do anything. Like why does that make you feel 8 (16m 57s): Offering her space next to us? Gosh. Wow. 10 (17m 5s): So I, yeah, I guess I get that. So at least you don't have any daughters that you feel he go kick some middle schoolers ass for being mean to them. So. 8 (17m 15s): Sure, sure. I mean, yes. That's a great point. Wow. So you, you moved away from the, you moved to a different part of Illinois at 15. Is that you said, was that a bigger area? 10 (17m 26s): Yeah. It's slightly bigger area. And that's when that's when high school got a little bit easier. Cause I, I moved up to Decatur when I was a sophomore and which I thought would be really difficult starting a new school as a sophomore, but oh my God, I had just gotten my braces off and I learned how hair and, and I was like a cheerleader at that point. So I walked into this school. I was like a new woman and I was like, all right, I'm going to make this school, my bitch. And I, I did damn it. I really did. High school got a lot easier after this. 8 (18m 0s): Oh, that's good. Cause I, that could also went sideways too with all the previously popular girls that were getting all the attention, being like, oh, who's this like, who's this girl thinks she is. 10 (18m 11s): Yeah. I think it, it could have gone that way, but since I immediately started in cheerleading, I like kind of had, 8 (18m 18s): Oh, you'd be friends. 10 (18m 19s): I had a group already before school even started. So it was yeah. And my mom hooked that up. God bless that woman. She, the cheerleading tryouts had already happened whenever they moved. And she went in and she like talked to the coach. He was like, listen, she's really good. Like let her just like audition for you. And I like, she's, she's really good. Just let her try. And so then I did and I made the team and I was like, mom, you are G you know, so I kinda had like the summer to make these friends or whatever on the truly. 8 (18m 52s): Oh, that's good. That's good. Well then how did you get a music? Have you always been singing? 10 (18m 57s): Oh yeah. So I, I was always in, I've been seeing it since I was five and, and yeah. I was like in plays and all of that shit. And then whenever I started high school, the only thing that they really had musically in our school was show choir. And I was like, I don't think that's my bag. You know? Like you just don't eat just the, you know, I just like, I don't think that's really me. So I'm like, I'll just stick to cheerleading. But what I did do is I sang the national Anthem at like all of the games and different things like that. So I'd be like cheerleading and then I'd run over and like, and then like come over and you know, wow. 8 (19m 43s): Again. So you just, that's interesting because I bet you, the kids that were in the choir wanted to do that so badly. And you're like, I'm not even in this, but I'm going to, I'm such a better singer than all of you. I'm just going to go ahead and do the national Anthem as well. And you guys just sit back. 10 (20m 1s): I don't even know how I did it up in those scenarios, but somehow I just like kind of doing it. And then I started doing it at away games. So like, I don't know how that works out like other schools. And I would be doing it as like the away team at these other schools. So we're not like I've never actually considered that, like how that actually happened, but that is that's strange. That did happen. 8 (20m 28s): You're like, not only is our choir not good enough to do the national Anthem. Your choir team sucks too. So I'm going to go tap in for you guys. 10 (20m 37s): Oh, so there's like, like also, how did the principal explain that? Like, Hey, so the away team is coming and one of their cheerleaders is going to do the national Anthem for this. 8 (20m 48s): Not only, it's not even one of their like singer band people, choir, but it's the one of the cheerleaders she's better than all of you. So she's going to come and do it 10 (20m 57s): Yeah. To this day. I'm really not sure how, how that all transpired, but it's, 8 (21m 3s): That's awesome. That's I mean, that's obviously we're still singing where you just doing. Was it basically just for fun then? And then the national anthems when you could step in and do that. I mean, it doesn't sound like you were in chorus or anything like that. 10 (21m 16s): Yeah. I mean, I was like, I was in high school, so I like the idea of pursuing music as a career at that point was like, I don't really know how to do that. You know? So I just, I also, because I have, because my, oh my God, I completely lost my train of thought. Holy shit. Do you ever do that whenever? 8 (21m 41s): Like all the time 10 (21m 43s): And the entire idea escapes you, 8 (21m 46s): So you weren't inquired chorus. You said I was going to try to pitch it to you. I guess 10 (21m 56s): Pursuing 8 (21m 56s): Music. You said, oh, you said 10 (21m 58s): Yes. Yes, yes. Okay. Thank you. Thank you. God bless you. Okay. So, so I CA because my parents like didn't know anything about like getting into music, like, like there, the whole thing is like, well, maybe you'll get discovered someday. If you just keep putting yourself out there, maybe you'll get discovered like, like that used to be the, the, the, the way that you make. 8 (22m 27s): Right. Well, you, that's what they probably grew up hearing. Right. Like, oh. And they were discovered at the mall. It's like, 10 (22m 34s): Yeah, yes, exactly. That you, like, you sing at a bar or something, and miraculously, somebody's going to be there. That's like this girl's a star, you know? So, so I think that's why they were like, let's just keep putting you in, you know, if you want to go sing it, fairs around town. So that's what I did. I was like, go to fairs and sing in their talent shows and all that bullshit of yeah. It's just 8 (23m 3s): Covers or like, I mean, where you just uncover songs or, 10 (23m 7s): Oh yeah. Whitney Houston. That was my go-to. I, I I've won many eternal show with odd will always love you. Not, not going to lie to you either that one, or I was also doing country at the time. Cause that's what you do in Illinois. You think country, Carrie Underwood and all that, you know, real departure for more of that mouth. 8 (23m 30s): But 10 (23m 32s): Yeah. So, but yeah, that's the, that's kind of how, how that all started. That was me pursuing music at the time. I didn't realize that that wasn't really, 8 (23m 46s): I mean, 10 (23m 46s): Much other than it was good experience. 8 (23m 49s): Did that land you on X factor two? Was your mom like they're doing an audition for the excellent there's the show I saw on television. 10 (23m 59s): That's a funny story actually, is that I, I was in, I went after I graduated high school, there's a, a fine arts university in, in our hometown. And so I was like, oh, well, if I want to be in music, I'll need to go to college for music. That's about the way maybe for somebody, but not for me. So I would, I went to, I went there and I was like learning Italian opera and music theory. And I was in, I was in a godforsaken choir, which my ass with my main character energy is like, I don't need to be in this pocket. 10 (24m 44s): I'm like, I'm in the back. I don't like it. I don't like it. I'm sorry. I'm not the star of the show. Find me out. No. So I was like, I, I was there and I met this guy that was like, help. Always help me with my music theory homework, because music theory is basically like math, which also find me out. No, no, thank you. I can do a lot of things. Math. It's not one of them. 8 (25m 16s): Same here though. That's why I went into communications. What, what degree can I get? Where I don't need to know any math or science. 10 (25m 25s): I found that I would be here with music, but definitely not. And music theory is damn near like calculus. Like that's like how I can equate it. Especially if you're doing like classical and that type of shit. It is, it is a completely different language. So this, this guy, I was like, oh my God, I hate this. Like help me with my homework. And he'd always help me. And he was like, you know, if we want to be in music, this isn't really what we should be doing. And I'm like, what should we be doing? Tell me. He was like, we should start a band and drop out. I was like, that seems like a lot to like, Hey, your hat on, since you and I have only helped each other with homework, I was like, well, he goes, let's write a song together and see how it goes. 10 (26m 13s): So we wrote a song. We thought it was the greatest thing ever. It was not. But we thought at the time we were like, oh my God, we are fucking genius at school. We're dropping out. We're starting a band, 8 (26m 29s): Get water on the line. 10 (26m 34s): And it is great. So yeah, we're so ready. We're so ready to take over the world. So he was like, let's drop out. Like, we've got this, look at this. We're fucking awesome. And so I did, I went to my parents and like, guys that, this guy, when we started the band, we wrote the song I want to drop out and we're going to go on tour. And he was, my parents were like, Hey, there was ever time to do it. Go ahead. You can go back to school. Anytime. I was like, 8 (27m 4s): Whoa. 10 (27m 5s): I was like, yeah, my parents are like, 8 (27m 7s): So supportive, 10 (27m 8s): Like very supportive. They know this is what I want to do. So they, like, they I've been telling them that I was going to do this since I was five. So like, they, for them to be like, oh, you want to like say fuck it to college. Sure. You know, whatever. So yeah. Started, yeah. We started our band and you know, as, as all bands do, we, we did break up. It was a real tragedy, but, but he is still like one of my greatest friends. And he's actually, you know, that DJ group cheat codes. 8 (27m 41s): Yeah. 10 (27m 44s): Okay. Yeah. That's that's Matt L Fritz is my old band mate. 8 (27m 49s): No way. 10 (27m 51s): Isn't that wild? It's not like, yeah. Yeah. But he is like such an incredible guy. And, and like so much the guy that was just always like, yeah, this one I'm doing and I'm going to figure it out and he fucking did it. You know? So 8 (28m 10s): He from the same town as you then, 10 (28m 13s): So he's from St. Louis, but we went to college together. 8 (28m 15s): Oh, okay. Yeah. Cause I interviewed Trevor doll. So that's why I was the other, I was wondering, I'm like, I don't remember his name. And then I, and then I was like, oh yeah, because I only interviewed one guy from Chico's 10 (28m 28s): That's the guy with the real short hair, like mine. And yeah, I remember that like, God, we were in this group, it was called Valhalla. So cool. 8 (28m 37s): Wow. So maybe did have a hit on your hands. 10 (28m 40s): Yeah. Listen. 8 (28m 42s): Yeah. Like you should've labeled full circle here and that guy's now running the local Del taco in our hometown, like, 10 (28m 57s): Dude, we were for real. So this day he'll like him up and be like, animals is still a bop. I'm like, it is, it is 8 (29m 5s): So, 10 (29m 7s): But actually, so the leopard print started with that band because we used to tour the Midwest, going to dive bars, it, packing up his mom's minivan. 1 (29m 20s): Hey son, how you feeling? 2 (29m 23s): I find pops 1 (29m 25s): What's on your mind. 3 (29m 26s): Just, 2 (29m 28s): I can't explain it. 3 (29m 33s): I just really started to want to remember who you talked to us 7 (29m 38s): When your kid can't find the language up and find the lyrics, listen to the sounded out album and get tips and tools to start a conversation. It sounded out together. Dog brought to you by ad council and pivotal ventures 10 (29m 50s): And going to these dive bars. And so I used to, I was like, Hey, our songs called animals. I'm gonna, I'm gonna paint leopard print. I don't know nowhere why that occurred to me to do that. But I started doing it. And so naturally there was videos and stuff on YouTube of the band. And I did like a couple little cover videos like that type of bullshit. Cause that's what you did back at that time. Cover videos on YouTube was like such a huge thing. 8 (30m 19s): A lot of people made it doing that. I mean, Tori Kelly got her to start that same way. 10 (30m 25s): Yeah. Yeah. They feel like people could like blow the fuck up during that. I posted a couple of those and then I, and then one day like a producer from X-Factor just emailed me and hit me up and was like, Hey, we really want you to come be on the show. And at that time I was like, fuck, that I'm a real artist. I'm a real fucking poem writer. And I don't need this. They have show I'm in a band, you know, like we're going to make it. So, and then I remember I, I was working two jobs at the time and I came home from, from work one day and I was literally working in a pharmacy in their postal department. 10 (31m 7s): Why this pharmacy had a postal department is beyond me. But that's where I worked. I was, I was in my Dale's south, like pharmacy, like smock. And I came home and I was like, man, fuck this. I shouldn't be doing this shit. And I might never make it out of this town if I don't do something like drastic. So I hit up the producer and I was like, listen, I'll do it. But I don't want to be a joke. And she was like, oh, you're not going to be a joke. It's going to be, it's going to be so great. So they're like, you're just going to come to Kansas city and we're going to fast track you. And you're going to just sing directly for, for Simon and the judges. And I was like, I was like, oh my God, I like this feels so crazy that this like just dropped in my lap, you know, like it, but that's honestly how, like some of the greatest things in my life has happened is they just, I wasn't looking for them. 10 (32m 2s): Wasn't asking for them. They just kind of dropped in my lap and I'm like, all right, we're going to roll with this. So that's kind of how all that came to pass. 8 (32m 12s): And then obviously you're not stage, you're not afraid to be in front of people in, in, in work the crowd. I mean, I mean, it was so like obvious in that first video or the one I watched, it was just you on stage doing the regular thing. Like you had the, the moves, the like winks, like, oh, everything was like, it was, 10 (32m 32s): I still flip that, you know, my imaginary, you know, but no, I, I do, I actually get like plenty of nervousness before the anticipation is always what kills me is the anticipation of like right before I go out. But then once I'm out there, it's like, blinders, go on. And you're just like, oh, these people came to see a show. So 8 (33m 0s): Yeah. You brought him a show you're for sure. And just being quick weighted, like you're like, you're like roll the track or something. 10 (33m 9s): I can't even like, like, it's like, you know, like for me, it's, X-Factor talk for me is like, when you are reminded on Facebook of statuses that you posted, like, 8 (33m 29s): But it was awesome. It holds up, it holds up. That's funny. It does, 10 (33m 36s): Honestly. 8 (33m 38s): I would say it holds up because you just 10 (33m 41s): Bombarded by, by Facebook memories of those captions. And I'm like, I, I could not have less in common with the girl that wrote these statuses than I do right now. That's how I, that's how I feel about XR. And I'm like, I don't even know that bitch. 8 (33m 56s): Well, I didn't, I only watched to be fair. I only watch the seven minute clip I found on YouTube. And just from the quick, just from that, and then reading about you obviously, and then your Instagram and your, your Spotify descriptions, I'm like, okay, she's funny. And then when you then roll the tape, I was like, okay. Or roll the track. Like, I'm like, this is 10 (34m 19s): Good. 8 (34m 20s): No, just like the sass. You were like the fact that they stopped you and you weren't like, okay, I guess I have another song. 10 (34m 29s): I was fully pissed. I was like, I was like, these fuckers really just fucking stop me in the middle of, well, really what was going through my mind is all day. They had been putting me in the, in these scenarios and like coaching me on how to behave and like really like egging me on to like, be the most over the top version of my self and, and like encouraging me and like, oh yeah. Like the executive person would be like, CC, you got to go out and fucking kill him. Like, fuck you have a fucking killing. Are you kidding me? Like I was born for this shit, you know? And then, and I'm like in the back of my head, I'm like, I wonder if they're setting me up. 10 (35m 14s): I wonder if they're setting me up to like embarrass me because they're like, egging me on like, being like, oh, you're a fucking superstar. You gotta act like a fucking superstar. And so then when I got out there and they stopped my mind track in the middle of like right as I got started on, like these fuckers are trying to embarrass me. And, and if you're trying to embarrass me, oh, it pissed me off. So, but that's why I was like, roll the track. I'm not now, now, now you've done it. Now, 8 (35m 49s): The fact that you did that was like, right. And that just added so much. It was instead of being like, like deer in headlights, like what, how do I even react to this? It was like, oh, you're like, I didn't even get the hit to hit the high note yet. I can do it. Like, do you want it in there? Just like, 10 (36m 7s): You know, what's weird. This might be purely like conspiratorial, if that's a word, if that's a word. But like when that tracks, so you, you submit your tracks before you go out there before you audition. And it's the tracks that you've been preparing. So they started playing that and I was like, this is not mine. I'm like, I don't recognize this. This is not something about, this does not sound right. It doesn't, this doesn't sound like my track. So I don't know if they got the track and pitched it up or pitched it down or, or, or like change the key or something. 10 (36m 51s): But I was like, this does not sound right at all. And then after like talking to like a couple of other people that have done these shows, they're like, oh yeah, they all do that to like, fuck with people, because then it makes you, like, when you start, it makes you like, come in in the wrong key or like, you know, whatever. Like 8 (37m 11s): That makes sense. I mean, they don't want it all. Yeah. They don't want everybody to come out sounding great. Cause then it wouldn't be a show. 10 (37m 17s): No. Are you kidding? So I was like, yeah. So it was, it was just the, but also I'm kinda like, I was so down to just like give the people a show, even in the, like the TV aspect of it. I was like, hell yeah. It's like acting. I'm just here to like, do a job, you know? So I'm like, if you guys would've just let me in on this, I could have even amped it up for 8 (37m 43s): You. We could have made this even better. 10 (37m 47s): Like, listen, we want you to go out there and fuck up first and then really turn it around. And like, it's going to be this big moment. I would've been like, oh shit, I'll fuck up better than anybody you've ever seen. But no, they didn't let, they did not let me in on, on. 8 (38m 7s): Okay. Well, we can move away from the trauma of living X back. So you obviously make it pretty far in the Sheridan far and the show six, and then that's over. And then what goes on next from leaving the show to obviously years later and what you're doing now? 10 (38m 26s): Yeah. You know, I think, I think people just assume that whenever people like me get off of a show like that, that all of these doors are open and that you just miraculously get to have a career after that. And that's just not how it, how it went for me. It was kind of like, I, I went off the show and I went from, you know, being immediately in the public, ah, high in it and everything like that to really being back at square one and having no money, no job like Beth, like nothing but still everybody's watching you. So like you don't have any resources and people are expecting you to, well, you're off the show. 10 (39m 10s): So let's hear your music. Let's see. We really want to see you like catapult in like become an artist. Now I just didn't have like any of those resources. So I moved out to LA in, I stayed in LA for a few months after the show and it was really, really hard. I was brand new to the city and coming from a very small town. I was like, 8 (39m 38s): Horrible now. Yeah. Now you're in this massive, you know, one of the biggest cities in, obviously in, 10 (39m 45s): And like, I was not in a great group of people whenever I was first out here. So I was like, this place is fucking hell on earth. It sucks. And I hate it here. So I'm leaving. So I went back to Illinois for a couple of years. And then in 2015, I think I was like, I had a new single come out and I was like, you know, I really need to be in LA to be doing this. So packed up the Corolla and drove out here. And I actually lived with, I moved in with B Miller whenever I moved back out to LA. 8 (40m 27s): Oh really? 10 (40m 29s): Yeah. So I went with her and her mom when I first moved back out here, I lived with them for like six or seven months I think. And then, and then I got my own place after that. And you know, I just, I basically moved out here as a brand new artist and I was just doing the indie thing and I was trying to meet other people to collaborate with songwriters producers so I could keep making music. And yeah, I put out, I put out a few singles broke as fuck is one of my favorite ones that I put out during that time. And that was so fun. 10 (41m 9s): And then, yeah, that's been, you know, cut to over. 8 (41m 15s): Like I 10 (41m 15s): Had basically right before the pandemic started, I had all of this music ready to go, that I was to start rolling out and then the pandemic started and I was like, 8 (41m 26s): Yeah, because yeah, the only other song on your Spotify is broke as fuck from yeah. 2017, I believe. 10 (41m 32s): Right. So, so there was songs that I released in between them, but what I did was a sync project. So with that is for anybody that isn't familiar with, that is like a project that's specifically forcing, is it songs that you make specifically to be placed in movies? TV shows, commercials, video games. So like, it was a completely different sound for me, but I had met this producer that I was like, oh, we should do a sync project. And I was like, okay, great. Let's do it. So I put out those songs and I love those records, but they, they aren't indicative of like the type of artists that I am really like, that it was more of a project for a specific purpose. 10 (42m 14s): So those came down and I'll probably release them like maybe under a different profile or something like that, because I do have people that are like daisies and little hoe and all that. Like, it just doesn't really fit like the trajectory, you know? But yeah. So then after that, the pandemic, or while I, I started my new artist project and in the pandemic hit and I was like, maybe instead of rolling things out during the pandemic, I will just keep writing and try to finish a project while, while we're like stuck in the house doing this. And yeah, like during that time, I know it was such a horrible time for so many people. 10 (42m 59s): And, and I think I was definitely one of the lucky ones that I got to keep working during that time. And I got to keep collaborating and making music and everything during that. And it was really a honestly like it was a great time to just be super creative and, and like, I think, I think the pandemic was a real ego death for a lot of people. It really snapped people into reality of, of life and how fragile it is and, and really stripped back a lot of the bullshit. And so, yeah, I really think that that's kind of where I'm so proud of this project that we wrote during that time. 10 (43m 39s): Like, it is like truly like such a great body of work and, you know, fuck off each other is just the first one off of it, you know? 8 (43m 49s): Okay. So this is something that came out of those locked down songs that you had put together. 10 (43m 57s): Yeah. Yeah. 8 (43m 58s): Okay. Well, tell me about putting the record together then, was that some, was it because everyone was inside, did you have to do like a zoom right record type deal? Or were you able to, 10 (44m 8s): Yeah, we did some zoom zoom sessions, but it just so happens that my partner chase, you know, we, we lived together and we lived together for the pandemic and everything. And so we, we literally built out a studio in the living room and of our apartment. And so we Wake up in the morning and make coffee and, you know, get writing and, and create. And we're like, you know, really no rules during this time. So let's just, let's just make music for fun and, and, you know, do shit that feels good. And that's kind of, I think that's freedom is really, it was really, really good for us. So that's how we started it. And then once things started lifting a little bit and it got safer for you to be around people, if you were wearing masks or if you had been quarantining together, then we started collaborating with like, John Samuel's, my producer, who I loved so dearly. 10 (45m 5s): He's so dope. He's like this 22 year old kid from South Africa, that's like, he's like a savant. Like he's, he's crazy. And so we met him and, you know, we had these songs that we were like, we could really use like a dope producer to come in and really help bring these to the, you know, really elevate these. And so then to kind of like nurture this, this young producer that was like, yeah, I moved out here by myself when I was 18 and I've just been trying to make it happen. And we're like, yeah, come with us, come under our wing. And well, you know, so we basically, we call him our adopted child, you know, 8 (45m 49s): How'd you find him, 10 (45m 51s): He's just a friend of a friend. We were at like a birthday party or something. He was there and we were like your coolest shit. And you're really cool. Do you happen to make music? He's like, yeah, listen to my stuff. I'm a producer. We were like, wait, you just have to be like so dope. So yeah. So we started making music with him and then fuck up each. Other's actually the first song we did with him. 8 (46m 16s): Wow. I love the production on the, the, I mean the, the lyrics, the melody, everything else is, is amazing. But the intro, like, I love just the choice of like the music and the production on it. It's awesome. 10 (46m 28s): That was our first session with him. And that was the first thing that he did was that intro. And he started that and I was like, I was literally like chase and I looked at each other. We're like, oh, I think so. Yeah. That was the first one that we, that we did that we did together. And then like, we've got a whole project since then, so 8 (46m 51s): Amazing. That's so cool. And then you did a video that just came out a few days ago for the song as well, which is a killer video. What? It's 10 (47m 2s): Nice Thursday. I came out yesterday. 8 (47m 4s): Yes, sir. Sorry. I had a little, a preview link of it, so yeah, I thought it was a couple of anyway, it's out now. That's all that matters. Right. Will tell me that. So the video is awesome. I love the concept of out. I skateboarded growing up. So watching the guy, like, you know, all the trash cans sideways, I was like this like brought me back to my youth and everything else. So what was the concept like, did you come up with the concept of the video and tell me about putting it together? 10 (47m 32s): So, so for the video I had, what I usually do for my videos, cause I've done a few of them most of the time, like either I direct them or a chase and I direct them together, but this one, I was like, I really would like to not, I'd really like to just be the artist on set instead of like trying to wear all these different hats. And, but what I like to do because you know, the, the creative and the visual aspect of what I do is, is so dictated by me and my taste and all of that. I I'll put, I put an aesthetic together. So I put an overall like creative direction of what, what I wanted. I had references of kind of how I wanted it to feel and what I wanted it to look like and color palettes and different things like that. 10 (48m 19s): And then I knew that I wanted it to be this group of friends that were, you know, kind of maybe involved in some different situations that might not be the best, you know, but there we're having a lot of fun doing it. So you kind of overlook the fact that it might be a little bit maybe dangerous, what they're doing or whatever, that's that type of thing. And so then I had the overall idea and then I met Connor and Connor was like, I really want to do the video. I want to see what you have statically, but I'd like to put together a treatment first and then we can kind of marry them. 10 (49m 0s): I'm like, great. You do do your thing. And then we'll, we'll reconvene. It just so happened that the treatment that he submitted was using 90% of the references that I had already pulled. 8 (49m 12s): Oh wow. 10 (49m 14s): Our aesthetics matched completely. What he brought in though, was the idea of doing it at a racetrack. And I was like, wait a minute. That is so fucking genius. I would have never even thought of that as an option. Like, I didn't even know that we could do that. And I said, you know, that I ride motorcycles. Right. And he was like, no. And I'm like, yes, I would, if I were a brand ambassador for Royal and field, I have so many friends that ride as well. Like let's just, let's make it about that. And genuinely it all, it really all came together. Like it was predestined. It was amazing, like all of the Royal infield and there's a local custom shop that, that we're close with. 10 (50m 1s): They were so supportive. They're like, hell yeah, we'll bring the bikes out. And then that's actually my friend Bailey driving the Bronco. That's her 8 (50m 11s): Really the you in this passenger seat. And you're kind of going around and circling. 10 (50m 14s): Yeah. So I, that, that dope bitch with all the tats and shit amazing. I hit her up and I was like, Hey, I'm shooting a video. Do you want to be in it? And she was like, oh yeah. Do you want my Bronco to be in it too? I'm like, 8 (50m 28s): I 10 (50m 28s): Was like, I didn't even consider that. But yes. And so then Connor was like, okay, we're going to Mount a camera to the Bronco and it's going to be so sick. And like the, the, the film beak and meat was absolutely gaped about mounting the Bronco with the camera. And then he did this super dope thing that you can see in the bridge where he mounted a camera to one of the motorcycles. So that's that really amazing shot where like the racers are coming around the side of the motorcycle and I line up the wheels and that type of shit. Oh my God. I was like, this is so cool. Fun fact too, is the, so the, that, that scene where that, that racer comes around the Bronco and like fist bumps me. 10 (51m 14s): There's, there's two women in the actually all but two, wait, three of the riders are women 8 (51m 23s): Really, 10 (51m 24s): Which is like, which I really wanted. I really, the whole reason that I started writing is I want to show other women that like, this is not just a guy thing. Anybody can do it. Like you're not too small to do it. You're not too late. I always thought it was too small to ride. And then I learned, I was like, oh, it's really just about like, learning how to position your weight in that tech shit. But Royal infield has a build, train race program where they pick women to essentially build their own racing bike. They teach them to build their own racing bike and give them all the resources to do it. Then they train them to race. 10 (52m 5s): And then they joined the race team so that those women were actually in the video as like, they were the ones that were like fist bumping me in that sucker shit. So like, I think that is just so, so cool. And I'm just so excited. I want everybody to know that. Cause I think that's like the coolest thing 8 (52m 23s): That is amazing. And with the video as well, like, or I guess with the motorcycles, when did you get involved or interested in riding or is that something you've done for a long time? 10 (52m 32s): I've, I've always loved motorcycles. My dad always rode whenever I was growing up. 8 (52m 36s): And, 10 (52m 37s): And then like on the weekends and stuff, my guy, friends from school would ride their four wheelers and dirt bikes over to my art farm and stuff. Cause we had a Creek in the back. So we would like mudding and all that shit. And, and so then as I, but I never thought that I could ride a motorcycle because I'm like, I'm too small. Like, you know, I can't do that. But then last year I was like, I hit up, I got connected with Bree, Poland who is the lead brand manager or whatever for Royal Enfield. And she was like, you know, you really could ride, you know, you, you're not your size. Isn't really that big of an issue. If you can, like, you just have to learn how to have to do it. 10 (53m 20s): And so I started learning and it's been like an incredible experience, like being brand ambassador for them and writing for Royal Enfield. And there's, it's such a supportive community too. Like I hit them up to, I hit them up about the video and they were like, hell yeah, we'll help. Like we will definitely send out riders and bikes and all of that. And so, yeah, it's been a, it's been a really, it's been a really fun thing to learn how to do. I'm not definitely not as good of a writer as those girls. They were like Holland ass around. I'm like watch. And I'm like, I don't have to do that. 10 (54m 1s): Right. They're like, no, no, no, you can go. And the assistant director was freaked out all day. Cause it's his whole job to make sure that nobody gets hurt on set. And these videos are just walking back and he's like, and then I'm hanging out the window of this Bronco. And I'm like, I hear we have a walkie inside the Rocco. He's like, see if you could not do that. That would be great. 8 (54m 26s): And then 10 (54m 29s): The director would get on Connor. He'd be like, don't don't listen, don't listen to Nick. You can keep doing it. It looks so. Yeah. So it was a very stressful day for Nick Johnson, but we, you know, we got the shots about what 8 (54m 45s): That's great and no one got hurt. No one died. Amazing. Well, that's awesome. I love the song in the video and I appreciate you taking time to hang out with me today. CC, this has been awesome. 10 (54m 58s): Yes. Thank you so much. You asked amazing questions. So thank you for having me. 8 (55m 3s): Of course. No, this has been great. I have one more quick question before I let you go, though. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 10 (55m 11s): Don't stop. That's it like really? Don't stop. Keep getting better. I read, I read a quote once that said be so good that they can't ignore you. And I like really, I really took that to heart because I think, I think that the, the music industry that the content industry with tic talking Instagram and all that, we're so oversaturated with, with people that are creating and putting their art out there, which is amazing. And it's so great that there are so many platforms for people to put their, put their art out and share, share their creations. However, it does make it a lot harder to really cut through. 10 (55m 54s): But I do believe that that quality will always speak the loudest. So keep going, do not stop. If you really want to do something, just don't stop. And B B make yourself so good at what you do that people cannot ignore you that when they, that they, that if they do see it, that they're like, you know that you cannot, that you can't be ignored. So that's kind of, that's the really, the only advice that I, that I have, and I really don't think there's that much of a, I don't really believe in luck that much. I really just think that there are people that give up sooner than others. 10 (56m 36s): So just, just outlast all the people that can't, that can't cut it.

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Singer, songwriter and designer, CeCe, releases her single, “FUEO,” today. Drawing inspiration from her own life, “FUEO” showcases a combination of CeCe’s confident writing ability, strong sense of style, and commanding vocals. ““FUEO” is an anthem about instantly connecting with someone, friend or romantic, because you sense they may be damaged in the same ways as you. Inevitably, you spend all your time together, and “hang out till you hate each other,” which is the first lyric I wrote for this song. It’s a joyful celebration of being broken, together.” CeCe explains.

Written by CeCe, Chase Stockman, John Samuel Gerhart, and Joe Henderson; “FUEO” was inspired by CeCe’s diehard friendships and learning to love her own chaos. The accompanying music video, releasing on May 23rd, will bring CeCe’s new era to life with its high-octane, filmic visuals. As a multifaceted creator, CeCe also created multiple pieces worn in the music video, and can be seen riding her own Royal Enfield motorcycle, for which she is a brand ambassador.

Hailing from Illinois, CeCe has always known she wanted to become a singer since the age of 5. Growing up on a farm in a town of about 300 people led her to start singing locally at events such as town fairs. After dropping out of college and spending the following years performing in dive bars and sleeping in a van as she toured the midwest with her first band; CeCe eventually landed in Los Angeles where her creativity started to permeate into nearly every area of the entertainment industry. She quickly honed her skills as a songwriter, but her creativity could not be contained by her music alone. From directing music videos, to working on the design team developing concepts for one of the largest shows on network television, to designing fashion for herself and other artists; CeCe is a force in the industry and has continued to define her own rules for the artist she wants to be.