Q&A with neo-soul prodigy, MISS C-LINE
On February 2nd, 2024, the Swiss singer-songwriter, rapper, performer and producer MISS C-LINE unveiled her latest track, a juicy jazzy number called ‘Flying’ that is bound to take the listener to faraway places. Influenced by Erykah Badu, The Roots and Robert Glasper, MISS C-Line delivers a vast array of sounds, her discography boasting a smorgasbord of soul, groove, jazz, elements of hip-hop and even European classical music. Her single ‘All The Time,’ produced by the Wasabi Duo from Lucerne, earned her a coveted nomination for the Kick Ass Award in the ‘Best Song 2018’ category. She’s also been a standout presence at the SRF Bounce Cypher, showcasing her lyrical prowess and her music made it onto national radios like JazzFM (UK) and FIP (France), gaining recognition all over the globe.
Listen to ‘Flying’ and read our interview with her below.
Did you have an ‘Aha!’ moment, where you realized that being a musician is what you wanted to do with your life? If so, what was it?
Growing up with musician parents already introduced me to the possibility to live from music. Be it teaching, or be it playing. I’ve always wanted to become a professional musician. I’d say that the first time I really realized that that’s what I’m going to be working for was when I played my first show, back in 2016. I was 17 years old when I released my first mixtape, grinding beats with my first MPC 2500 that I got when I was 15. The feeling of performing your own music, vision and creating your own style, kept me motivated and inspired to become a musician.
Break down your creative process for us. Is it spontaneous, or do you have any rituals?
Most of my productions are happening unplanned and spontaneous. Usually great ideas come to me at night. Lyrically I tend to get inspired by places, people and stories others tell me. Working from home can be difficult sometimes to get inspired so whenever I can, I love to plan trips and get out to gather inspiration. But eventually the music puts me already in a mood which then gives me ideas to write about. Music for me usually comes first. I love creating moods and vibes and then seeing what happens and where it leads me. I figured working with other musicians together also helps getting creative.
What has been the most defining moment of your musical career?
The most defining moment of my musical career was when I got to perform my music with a string quartet that I composed and arranged for. A festival by the name Project Agora approached me early 2023 to perform a set that is exclusively for that festival. The purpose was to break genres and to collaborate with other artists from other genres. For me I chose to collaborate with members of the Rasumovsky Quartet. Since I grew up with classical European music this was a huge dream of mine, to perform my music with strings and find a way to combine these two very different genres. It took me a couple of months to write and arrange for the quartet. On the day of the performance, 7th of May 2023, It was an incredible experience to me and everyone else in that room. It was the most special concert I’ve ever played and it made me grow as an artist and connect to music even more on a deeper level. I realized my abilities and that this is only the beginning of an exciting musical journey. I want to break boundaries with my music and stay true to it. That defined me as MISS C-LINE that day.
How do you engage with your audience when you are performing?
I figure the Swiss audience is quite a difficult one when starting off performing your own music, if they don’t know you yet. So I figure it’s great training. What I learned is that being present on stage and realizing that I’m sharing this unique moment with my audience is already helping to make them feel seen and appreciated. It’s about having a great time for everyone in that room. Depending on the songs but sometimes I make jokes, sometimes I say things that make one nostalgic, or sometimes it is just the performances that says it all. What always works and is fun is when making the audience sing or shout. Usually that’s the moment the connection is established.
Would you recommend studying music to other aspiring musicians, or do you think that it isn’t for everyone?
I guess studying music definitely helps in terms of being in a community and playing with likeminded people. Having a mentor or teacher can be very important for your own musical development, and that’s what I think was the most important thing during my studies. But if you’re willing to put work into your instrument, no matter the studies, one will do just as fine. I do think knowing about harmony, technique and other theoretical knowledge will help developing your language on your instrument and will give you more possibilities with it.
Do you have any ‘comfort’ songs, albums or artists that you keep returning to and never get tired of listening to?
One album I fell in love with is Black Radio III by Robert Glasper. So many good songs and artists. Another one is I Left My Heart in Ladera by Terrace Martin and Alex Isley. Erykah Badu is one artist that inspired me the most in my early teens. D’Angelo, Musiq Soulchild and The Roots are still essential for my musical growth. Such great artists.
Tell us about your inspiration and creation of your wonderful most recent track, ‘Flying’.
Working on ‘Flying’ was a very creative and inspiring process. My band who I play with as MISS C-LINE, we wrote the core of the song together. After that I took over the production and finished the song. When I was a kid, I often dreamt of flying. And I would always wish that I could just take off and hover around. When dreaming, everything feels so real and somehow these harmonies in that song reminded me of that feeling. Furthermore, this song is also about having faith in my own future and accepting that moments pass and that moving on is a good thing. We all have these moments when we miss the old days, or wish we could go back in time. So it’s also about flying forward and not back, then we’ll go higher and higher.
You have already infused your music with elements of so many genres, from soul to hip hop to jazz to classical – do you see yourself experimenting with other genres in the future?
I definitely love to explore interfaces of genres and could very well imagine experimenting with rock music more. I love the energy, and for example with the song ‘Never Mind’ I already went in that direction. I think it would be interesting to go deeper with that. Whatever inspires me, I guess. I’m open to anything new!
Do you have any non-musical hobbies? In another world where you aren’t a musician, what would you be?
That’s definitely a difficult one for me since all I have been doing as a hobby and professional is music. What I can say is that I love to cook, I love to travel and I like sports and art too. Maybe I would have become an artist, maybe a tattoo artist or a dancer. I think I would have definitely stayed in the art world and been surrounded by creatives.
What’s next for MISS C-LINE? Any upcoming tours, releases or collaborations?
This year I’m planning to go on tour for the first time. I’m going to be playing in a couple of countries in Europe. Also there are many more solo releases to come this year. I’m super excited about this year! So far that’s all I can say for now.
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