CCL - Headline DJ FF#19
On Saturday 27th October, Seattle based DJ, promoter and curator Cecilia Corsano-Leopizzi aka CCL will be bringing their eclectic beats to the basement of Dalston Superstore, for our 19th edition of Fèmmme Fraîche.
CCL is the founding member of TUF, formed in 2015 - a Seattle based inter-sectional female / non-binary / trans collective, whose members include DJ’s, producers, sound engineers, writers, dancers, promoters, curators and designers. TUF is focused on community-building and creating visibility for underrepresented artists with the aim to engage, uplift, and celebrate the community through collaboration, workshops, skill-shares, and events.
A revered DJ in their own right CCL has been gaining a lot of traction recently, from being selected as best FACT Best Mixes of the week back in March 17, included in Mixmag’s 30 artists under 30,000 plays In Jan this year, to more recently, Pitchfork Best Mixes from July this year.
Hi CCL, thanks for having a chat with us, we’re incredibly excited to have you play for our Halloween and what will also be our third birthday edition of Fèmmme Fraîche this coming Saturday. So let’s take it back to the beginning, when did you first take to the decks and what inspired you to do so?
Thank you so much for having me! I’m really excited that this will be the first stop of my tour - I have heard great things.
I had been playing around with DJing, but I got much more serious after moving to Seattle - mostly because I had knew absolutely no one when I moved here. I kind of did it with the intention of never playing out, to just hear interesting combinations in my room myself, at first. I secretly practiced in my bedroom for a good while, and felt I was making no progress. I soon met other folx who were not men who were into DJing through TUF and there was a lot of mutual learning together and that really got me to where I am now.
Mutual learning is always great, having people to bounce ideas and feedback off! So we hear you were actually born here in London, when and why did you make the move over to Seattle? And how does it feel to be playing back on your birth-home soil?
Funnily enough, I actually had no intention of moving to Seattle - I came here to visit my mother (who’s American and was living here), and I ended up missing my flight. It was a pretty emotionally turbulent time, so I decided to get a job at music venue to save money a bit… and many years have gone by! It’s kind of hard to believe but I feel like a lot of my life has been happy accidents like this one.
Happy accidents are the best indeed as fete would say. Ok so tell us a little bit about the music scene out in Seattle, how does it compare to London or Europe?.
The music scene here does feel smaller and more tight knit than Europe, but it’s definitely growing and it’s really great to see. It revolves around a tight knit community of generally very supportive people, who are very low key. I’ve noticed a strong lineage from Seattle’s punk scene in it’s electronic scene, there’s a lot of raucous live hardware sets, an affinity for more gritty sounds and most of it’s players are pretty under the radar. I feel like there’s definitely a very punk DIY vibe to a lot of what happens, and I really like that.
So let’s talk a little about your musical style, your mixes and sets are a real melting pot of eclectic sounds, from breaks to techno, from Acid to Italo, what inspires your eclecticism and the desire to keep a fluid sound throughout your sets?
I feel my biggest frustration about DJing is often I can’t play “everything” that I want to …or at least I’m not as skilled as I’d like to be to do that yet. I like to dip into a lot of different types of tracks and often become restless when I’ve sunk into a specific type of sound for too long, but I also like to make sure things flow. I think my desire to do this stems from feeling moved by DJs that do this extremely well, DJs that re-contextualize different types of sounds that are seemingly unrelated.
I completely agreee about the juxtaposition of diffrent genres. Ok if you had to name three key songs, that have most inspired your music career so far what would they be?
Nice, three pretty trippy monster tracks there! So moving on to talk a little about TUF, your collective that has an agenda which aligns very much with our own here at Fèmmme Fraîche. Tell us a little bit about when, how and why TUF first came about.
TUF was a Facebook group to begin with several years ago, it was mostly people sharing music and being a sort of online support system for one another. One day we all got together and decided we should put on some events and skill-shares for one another, and things quickly took off from there. We applied for a grant and do a free all day, all night festival and it’s still going to this day!
It’s really inspiring to see more and more collectives of female, non-binary, queer, POC and other marginalised groups springing up, bringing the heat and making huge noise in the music industry. We still have a long way to go until we reach total equality, but in your eyes, what else do you think we need to be doing to keep pushing things forward?
I’ve seen some progress for white cis-gendered women, but really there’s so much work to be done for QTPOC folx, WOC, disabled folx, etc. I think being very mindful at making progress inter-sectional in as many ways possible is very important. I also think there’s a false notion that “visibility” = progress, which for the most part isn’t true.
Very true! Now I immediately noticed your use of ‘they’ as your preferred pro-noun, (most typically adopted by non-binary people) and as a queer person myself, I’m more socially aware of its use, but do you find yourself actively correcting people during interviews or at gigs if you’re mis-gendered? And has this ever caused you any difficulties?
Yeah, I identify as non-binary! I think people do make assumptions because I sometimes wear make-up, have long hair - but, I think that’s a part of a binary way of thinking that I have had to unlearn, too. There is no “way” for a non-binary (or any person for that matter) to look, and I think it’s good to not make assumptions and ask what people’s pronouns are. Or better, make sure you introduce people to one another and emphasize what pronouns they use from the get go!
Absolutely, So here at Fèmmme Fraîche, we are very much about supporting Female / FI / Non-binary artists and creatives, are there any that you’d like to give props to and recommend that we should be checking out?
I might be biased but I feel like some of the most underrated and best creatives are in the US and North America right now :)
I have to give a shout out to the TUF collective, and the many amazing DJs, performers and visual artists in it. In terms of DJs in particular, I’ve been enjoying Reverend Dollars, she’s got such a fire flow and is very underrated. Lately, I also am loving DJ Having Sex, T.Wan, IVVY, Goo, livwutang, <, Cruel Diagonals, Bloom Offering, Sighup (who performs live footwork and jungle sets). Russell EL Butler from Oakland has got to be one of the best and most inspiring live performers and DJs I’ve seen, as well. I was blown away by their set at the Motherbeat party we had with Eris Drew, and of course, Eris is a constant inspiration. Hi Vis and Sold are my favorite free-form and ambient leaning DJs.
The queer collective from Ohio, InTraining, is another group I think everyone should know about. Midwest DJs are the most inspiring to me and these folx are the cream of the crop. Check out Kiernan Laveaux, Father of Two, Mx Silkman, ADAB. Some of the best DJs in the world! Visual Artists: TUF angels Olivia CPU and Micl Stevens are amazing installation artists, as is Mariko Yoshino!
That's a pretty tasty list for us to be getting on with, some creative inspo right there. And so now finally, apart from Fèmmme Fraîche, what other gigs will you playing in the up-coming months?
This is the first stop of my tour and I’m excited to go to Leeds, Manchester, Paris, Berlin.
My tour dates :)
11/2 B2B Peach - Hope Works, Sheffield
11/5 Rinse FM
11/8 NTS Radio, London
11/9 Open Source, Leeds On Rotation's 4th Birthday
11/10 w SVN - Yes, Manchester
11/17 w DJ Bone & Josey Rebelle - Griessmuehle, Berlin
11/23 TBD London
12/7 TBD Paris
Pretty tasty line-up of gigs there. Well we're happy to be the first point of call on your tour and massively lookig forward to seeing and hearing you at Fèmmme Fraîche this Saturday! Thanks for the interview and for those of you reading, there's a little taster mix from CCL!!! just below and don't forgot to follow them on their socials just underneath. And see you Saturday!!!