SR: Hello Cesca, you have a degree in Art and Design and now you play a central role in the clubbing scene. Do the two activities coexist or do you focus only on music?
CESCA: In terms of my own life – the two subjects have always been intertwined . When i was studying art – the work was facilitated by music. Listening to music whilst i worked allowed me to focus, it defined a space where i could experiment and effortlessly. The body of work that formed my final project at university was heavily inspired and informed by music. Now I tend to focus on music more because I see it as an art form that can impact & galvanise people in a way that ‘high’ art cannot. Music feels like a more egalitarian discipline that has helped to unite people, its something people engage with regardless of their background. However In terms of the wider world, and particularly in the context of the music industry ; we live in a visually driven society , and that has significant impact on how we consume and understand music. Music is made, and released with a visual attached , whether it’s the artwork, or a music video, or how the artist is styled, there is always some kind of stylised image that comes as a part of the package. I think we don’t fully realise how pervasive semiotic elements are in dictating or influencing how we consume and interactive with different entities.
SR: Apart from the tracks that you mix in such an extraordinary way , what do you like to listen in your free time?
CESCA: Being totally honest, a lot of music that i play in my sets is just pop music and I would listen to that at home/in my spare time, whilst cooking dinner or driving around. I listen to a lot of radio; what type of radio depends on my mood or what i’m doing. so for example if i’m reading or stretching i’ll put classic fm on , if i’m driving i usually try to listen to a full album or just put on a station called smooth fm – its commercial and kind of corny but it easy to listen to and AMAZING to sing along to. I try to listen to latin american radio [this love affair was started by a radio station in GTA called San Juan Sounds] to keep my level of spanish up & because reggaeton brings me so much joy. Radio garden is an amazing site to listen to radio anywhere in the world.
If i’m cooking i’ll go to check some of my favourite shows on NTS or put on a mix from a DJ i like. I think the reason why i love radio is because its such a simple way to be exposed to music you don’t know about yet, or to hear things i love and appreciate but wouldn’t play on my own radio show or out in a club. It’s like the musical equivalent of going out to a good restaurant & getting a set menu. you know the place is good so your trust that what you are going to be served is going to be delicious.
SR: You traveled a lot thanks to music, but which place really inspired you so far? And why?
CESCA: I feel like i’m just getting started on being able to travel thanks to music & club culture, but still extremely grateful for the experiences I’ve had so far. Its close between New York and New Zealand for totally different reasons. I’ve been in London my entire life, so i’m extremely lucky to already live in a place where so many people aspire to move to. Because of that, from my perspective growing up , the only metropole bigger and harder than london is New York – I’ve played there a couple of times & the energy is just different – crowds are tougher , but if you get them they are really with you. Also all the DJs & people working in venues over there have been so full of life, some of the most charismatic, direct, hard working, & entertaining characters i’ve ever come across. On the other hand I got to visit new zealand whilst working with UK rapper Nadia Rose as her tour DJ at the start of 2018. Its the furthest away from home you can possibly get, and i felt an instant connection when I got there – again, i met incredible people (shouts to JessB and Half Queen) but everything there is so much smaller (im quite literally talking about the population & the size of venues etc) – and to me , thats not a bad thing, its refreshing, and allows community and club culture to mean more to people there because there is less of it – it makes the experience more special when people go out there to play. The best parties i’ve ever played in my life are smaller , intimate , community based parties . It feels like the nightlife scene in Auckland isn’t totally saturated and theres room for communities to put on parties and build things up from the ground. There’s still so many places i’d like to experience in the context of club culture that i think would be inspiring, Japan is pretty high up on the list & I’d love to play in Jamaica – that would be the ultimate milestone. One closer to home & to my heart would be playing in Italy, Spain & Portugal more.I feel like Italy in particular has a lot offer as I know there is a pretty strong love for dancehall and bashment & i’m half italian so it gives me a great excuse to wear my old azzuri football shirts out.