Back from the release of ‘Summer Drug’, Atlanta’s rising pop star Ci Majr returns with her second scintillating, anthemic, pop smash, ‘Guillotine’. It’s the second single to be released from her upcoming, debut EP and it features an incredibly vibrant and meaningfully layered new music video directed and edited by friend, Danie Harris.
Hey Ciara, it’s great to have you back again for an interview. You’ve recently released your single and music video for ‘Guillotine’ which has a really interesting origin story, could you explain to the readers how the concept for your latest single came about?
“I woke up in the middle of the night one day with the word ‘guillotine’ on my mind. Maybe I had a dream about it, but as soon as I woke up I put it in the notes in my phone because it seemed like it could be a great concept for a song.
I got a random bit of melodic inspiration over the next week and decided to try and flush out this ‘guillotine’ idea. When I was first writing it the inspiration came from seeing a lot of people around me having the worst conversations and confrontations with family and friends about the political state of the U.S. It felt like the political divide was coming to a breaking point and my one take away from it was that no one was really listening to each other. I mean you can read the entire first verse to first chorus with your head in this space. In general people were being let down by the people around them with opposing opinions and didn’t like the fact that these family members and friends they held in such high esteem seemed to fall so quickly from pedestal of love to a place of intense disgust and hostility.
Although it started with this political take, I ended up mentally translating it to having a more romantic perspective hence ‘I remember your love, but I forgot why we fell’ in verse 2, but everything I said before still stands. This issue of ‘not really listening’ to each other just because you can’t handle being wrong can happen in any sort of relationship whether romantic or platonic, and this is something I’ve had to learn in my current relationship. I’ve learned how much deeper your bond can be with someone when you each approach a situation from different points and view and you really take the time to hear each other out. You can learn so much, and I think in general this can just make you into a better person. “
You credit your relationship for teaching you the lessons that ‘Guillotine’ will hopefully teach fans and listeners, is your fiancé somewhat of a muse in your creative process?
“She’s definitely my muse and such an important part of my creative process. For one, I definitely write a lot of songs about our relationship in the most literal sense. Where it’s like we have a fight or we have a really fantastic day and I immediately feel inspired to write something because of it. On the other hand, this relationship has taught me so much about how to love someone deeply and healthily and because of that it has opened me up to a completely different range of emotions. Being in touch with myself in this way has opened my heart and mind in a way that has intensely enhanced my songwriting. Learning to become more vulnerable with her has made me more vulnerable in my music.”
‘Guillotine’ is not only an awesome song with a moral to it, the music video also has some hidden meaning to it, could you explain it for us?
“Absolutely! First of all I would like to commend my friend, Danie Harris, for her amazing job conceptualizing, directing, and editing this video completely remotely. After a couple of zoom chats Danie pitched three concepts to me, and as soon as I heard the idea of having these disembodied hands manipulating my face in different ways I was sold! It all kind of clicked in my mind. The song ‘Guillotine’ tells the story of what could really end up being a very toxic situation if no changes are made. I like to think of the white background as representing the inner you that’s untouchable by the rest of the world because you never see ‘the hands’ enter when in this white space. The yellow and blue backgrounds on the contrary are the version of you that you put out into the world that can either be built up or broken down by situations, people, etc. So with that context, the video tells the story of it just being you at first, then having this person (the hands) enter your life, and before you know it they start to become all encompassing and you’re slowly losing yourself in them in the worst way (the gradual addition of the paint). I think the best part of this is that the video ends on the all white background which hopefully shows that you can break out of the cycle and still have a version of you to fall back on.”
Knowing your story from your debut single release to now, it’s clear that working friendships and collaboration is super important to you, how did you come to know your UK based co-producer, Féz?
“So the best part about our friendship is that I’ve never met Féz in real life and the first time I chatted with him live was as we were creating the EP. Féz actually followed me on instagram a couple years back after hearing the first song I put on Spotify, ‘Cuffin’ SZN‘. Since then I did some vocals on one of his unreleased tracks, and generally I had just been watching the music he was putting out. After watching him put out some absolutely stellar tracks with other artists, I could see how stylistically aligned we were, I honestly was just waiting for the right time to bug him. So as soon as I had the idea of making this EP I knew I was going to ask him to work on it. There was no doubt in my mind that he was the perfect person to make these songs into what I knew they could be!”
Your debut EP Side Effects is out next month, how are you feeling about putting your first full-length project out?
“It feels absolutely surreal. I’ve been writing music since I was 12, and at that time I never thought I would get to the point where I felt comfortable sharing ONE of my songs with the world let alone a handful at the same time. So I think it’s so exciting because 1) I love each and every one of these songs on the project so it feels like it speaks to my growth as a songwriter and 2) it also speaks to the personal growth I’ve gone through because I’d say for me half of the fight is usually building up the confidence to put myself out there. I’ve said this before, but my music is an extension of me, so sharing it is scary because if people don’t like it, it feels like people don’t like ME. But I’ve done a lot of self-work to get out of my head and convince myself that in all aspects of my life my only job is to put out authentic, aligned, and uninhibited pieces of myself into the world, and it feels so good living my life this way.”
Lastly, to spread some positive vibes… what’s something that you’re grateful for right now?
“The support from my family and friends since I started making music as a kid. I’m grateful for my parents who got me a MacBook at 12 years old so that I could learn how to produce, my friends in college who had to listen to all of the random songs I was writing then, and my fiancé now who puts up with me destroying our home to make my first music video. There are so many other people and I’m just grateful for all of them.“
Listen to Ci Majr – Guillotine
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