Hey Cenza!! We are so excited to be chatting with you about your debut single!!! Can you tell us what this song means to you?
Now that we are living in a post COVID-19 world, this song represents the freedom I felt when I lived in NYC that I know will take a really long time to get back to. I wrote it about first moving to NYC, starting over, and breaking free.
What’s been your reaction to the fans anticipation for your debut single?
I honestly expected about 100 people to listen it, so having over 8,000 listeners in the first month has been truly incredible and I am so grateful. It’s a little scary putting your music out there for the first time and having people actually listen to it! But it feels pretty amazing, especially seeing that folks are listening from all over the world.
How excited were you to get this single out into the world?
Pretty excited, but also nervous. There’s this pressure these days to brand yourself a certain way, have a really distinct sound, and I was always nervous to release my first single because I felt as though it needed to define me totally as an artist. Realizing this is completely stupid and letting go of that idea has been so liberating, and I am excited to put out things totally different from this.
Where did your love of music come from?
My Nana always had music playing, and she loved country music, folk music, show tunes, and jazz. She really fostered my love of music at a really young age — I don’t remember a time when music and old movie musicals weren’t a huge part of my upbringing. I was very involved in musical theatre as a teenager, I sang in church, played many instruments as a kid, sang into my hairbrush at any free moment I had — performing and music have always been essential to me.
Do you have any other release plans for 2020?
Oh yeah — I have my next release basically ready and a full album written and sequenced. I have put off my original release plans to focus on the Black Lives Matter movement and doing anti-racist work.
What do you hope your supporters will think of the new music?
I’m not sure what I want them to think necessarily — I want my music to comfort people and make them feel connected.
How do you want your relationship to be like with your supporters?
I love talking to people who have listened to my music and connecting with them over stories of when they listen and why they listen to specific songs. That’s an interesting question, though. Cenza (perhaps obviously) isn’t my real name. I’m a pretty private person, and Cenza is definitely more of a musical persona that I created to separate this notion of being a pop singer/music maker with my actual identity. I have been connecting with people as Emily Keefe over my music. I’m not sure how that will change in the future, and I’m certainly curious to see how my musical persona develops in terms of my relationship with supporters (and otherwise). This is just the beginning, and I am excited for things to shift and to take on the Cenza persona more as time goes on.
What’s something your fans don’t know about you?
I am a black belt in karate.
What do you want your fans to know if they ever see you in public?
I feel like I’m not nearly at the point of being recognized on the streets, but if I ever get to that point, I would love for people who listen to my music to not be afraid to talk to me! I love meeting new people through music.
What do you want your message to be towards your fans? What do you want your fans to take away from your music and shows?
I want to empower people to understand that they don’t need to just be one thing. As Cher says, “I don’t have to be the same person I was five minutes ago.” We are always in flux, and I want my music to represent that.
What’s one word you would use to describe what your fans have allowed you to accomplish?
Is there anyone in the music business you are dying to meet?
CHER! Liza Minnelli. Ariana Grande. Stevie Nicks.
Why do you think social media is so important for artists like yourself?
Not only is it a way to connect — at this point in time, which we have so clearly seen, it is a way to act, to change, to make a real difference, and to protect each other.
What would you say is your biggest dream/goal right now?
Personally, I would just like to be a full time artist and cut out everything else.
Any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Thank you for listening to my music. Truly.