Mz Mahogany Chic, media sponsor of the 2013 5th Annual DC RAWards, is giving you a taste of each semi-finalist. Cecily, competing for the ‘Musician of the Year’ title, tells us about her inspiration and sense of style when it comes to the entertainment industry!
What inspired you to start singing?
It was very simple. I liked the sound of my voice. I enjoyed listening to myself and the way the vibrations felt in my body. Once I realized that I liked it, I wanted to become better at it, so I began taking voice lessons at the age of 12.
How do you channel your sense of style through your songs?
My sense of style is usually classic and simple. I think you hear this in my music as well. It has a throwback feel, with pure vocals, and not too many extra sounds. I also tend to wear things that are more fun, colorful, and funky. Basically I like to mix it up. Same with my music. I have songs like “Too Much,” which I believe is striking in its simplicity, and I have songs like “Heaven In Your Eyes,” which makes you want to move and clap your hands.
How does beauty influence your sense of identity?
I’m the type of person that finds beauty and inspiration in everyday things. I’m constantly admiring the sunset, the moon, and the trees. Somehow these natural beauties make me feel more beautiful. And when I feel beautiful and blessed I’m inspired to create. The moments I feel connected to the universe and want to contribute to it are the moments I feel most myself, and they are always inspired by beauty.
Do you have any fashion rules when putting together an outfit for a performance?
I try not to be overly sexy when I’m on stage. I want my music to be in the forefront. I also try to wear things that have visual interest: a little sparkle, a little sheen, some volume. Lastly, one of my former voice teachers told me that you should always wear an outfit that is slightly more formal than your audience. I always keep that in mind, because I think it is important to stand out as the performer in the room, so people know you came there to do something important.
Do you have a fashion or beauty icon?
My style icon is Solange. I love the way she mixes classic pieces and silhouettes with more bohemian accents and styling. She takes something simple and makes it funky. She’s also not afraid to take risks, which is something I am working on.
As a performer, what does fashion mean to you?
As a performer, I am my own brand, so the way I present myself is of the utmost importance. Fashion is the first way people are going to connect with me, even before they hear my music; therefore, I want what I wear to be interesting enough that people want to stick around and hear me sing. I think a lot of artists underestimate the power of image. I know that if people don’t connect to my image, they won’t be as invested in my music. Fashion is a key element.
What is your biggest fashion challenge when it comes to being a female performer?
My biggest challenge is expressing my femininity and sex appeal in nuanced ways. I like to wear things that are form-fitting without being over-the-top. This is sometimes hard to get right. I’ve definitely looked back at outfits I wore on stage and said to myself, “That was not the right choice” lol. But I’m always confident that it’s my voice and music that leaves the most lasting impact on my audiences, not my tight skirt.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself going on a world tour to promote my sophomore album. I think I should have won a Grammy by then as well.
Get more information about the 5th Annual RAWards Event here.