Rural NSW Rapper Cecil On Changing The Hip Hop Narrative

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Whilst lo-fi hip hop has been making waves for years now, it’s been a completely new genre in Australia, not to mention coming out from rural NSW. Cecil is a rapper from Wellington, a rural town of NSW and he has just released a lo-fi album dubbed ‘Candlelit Comedown’ which is an alternative rap project that is an ode to the ‘comedown’. The rapper takes his influences from living in rural NSW and showcases that creativity can come from anywhere, especially remote ones where the youth are often taken a different direction.

We sit down with Cecil and chat about his latest EP, the rise of lo-fi in Australia and how he manages to write songs even though he gets easily distracted. 

You've just released a new EP, tell us about it

‘Candlelit Comedown’ is an alt-rap project. I wanted to make an ode to the arc of the comedown. The ascension, the euphoria, the fall and the inevitable rock bottom. It’s not just about a drug or a vice comedown, its more so about this cycle in everyday life and finding comfort and solace within the whole cycle.  

How did a NSW rapper from rural area get into lo-fi music?

I started out in 2016 just rapping at house parties to my drunk friends and eventually decided to stop free-styling and started making songs. I felt the usual sound of Australian hip hop didn’t really fit my narrative or how I was feeling, so I was kinda experimenting with a lot of different styles. I think the internet gave me exposure to so much underground music which really helped me find my sound.

There doesn't seem to be many Australians doing that type of music here right?

There isn’t a lot of lo-fi rappers that I’ve seen in mainstream Australian Hip-Hop, however if you know the right places to look, like Soundcloud, there is definitely an up-and-coming scene.

What's your writing process when you write for your music?

For me, writing is a long process. I get distracted really easily and find it hard to sit down and write a full song. So, most of my songs are written over a long period. I think it keeps my writing fresh and helps me breakthrough writing blocks.

Who are your influences and why?

I listen to a lot of rap, old school and new wave so I think I get a lot of inspiration from artists I’m listening too at the time of writing. However, I think rappers like Mac Miller, Rejjie Snow, Earl Sweatshirt, Loyle Carner, Benaddict and Allday helped me find my sound and made me realise how I personally fit into hip hop.

Tell us about growing up in rural NSW and the challenges you face? Can imagine it would be tough to be creative?

I loved growing up there, it gave me the opportunity to experience and see so much, not all of it positive, but it really helped to form me as an artist and a person. Where I’m from plays a huge role in my sound and the content of my rap, so shout out to Wellington and Dubbo. However, there really isn’t much going opportunity wise in anything creative, I just don’t think we have enough resources or platforms for young creatives, especially musicians, to excel. I really want to help change that.

What stimulates your soul?

Making music and doing my family proud.

Margaret TraCecil, Hip hop, lo-fi