Having just released her debut EP Side Effects, upcoming Atlanta artist Ci Majr creates uplifting, emotion-filled pop anthems. A specially curated five track project, the EP sparkles with a heartfelt sense of hope alongside a scintillating energy and twinkling hooks.
We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Ci Majr to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have shaped her as a musician. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch the recent video for ‘Guillotine’ at the end of the feature.
Daft Punk – Discovery
Discovery was such an important album in my evolution as a music lover and also as a future singer/songwriter/producer. This was one of six CDs in my dad’s car that I’d get to choose from on my morning rides to middle school. There was something incredibly infectious about this album from the beginning. At the root of it, it just felt so new and fresh. I hadn’t heard anything so purely “electronic”. Usually, I’d be able to pick out a multitude of instruments but with Daft Punk it was like a symphony of synths and my young brain was just infatuated. Plus, even reflecting now, the songwriting is so simple in a way but also so catchy, and now as a songwriter myself I can really appreciate how much harder it is to make a simple song that gets your point across. ‘Something About Us’ is a perfect example of that. A lot of repetition, very simple vocabulary, and it’s just so moving and catchy. It is something I aspire towards.
Yanni – Yanni Live At The Acropolis
Yanni is a Greek-American instrumental composer. I actually know this “album” as a live concert DVD (yay DVDs are old school now lol) that my parents had. I grew up playing classical music, so (as a kid) I only saw instrumental/orchestral music as being quite boring and old-fashioned. Yanni, on the other hand, was conducting an orchestra, while playing the bongos, piano and more, and the music was just so lively and contemporary. It was like listening to the soundtrack of a movie but the music is so good you don’t even need or want to see the movie. You can just imagine your own storylines. It was so filled with emotion and passion, and his charisma is just so palpable. I remember going through a phase where I was creating/producing incredibly intricate instrumental arrangements because of my obsession with this performance. Additionally, I loved this album/performance so much that when I was a gymnast as a child I made one of the songs ‘Nostalgia’ my floor routine music.
Christine and the Queens – La Vita Nuova
If you know anything about me, you should know that I’m a bit obsessed with Christine and the Queens. She’s like the queer pop queen I’ve needed for so long. This latest EP La Vita Nuova absolutely blew my mind and what makes it even better is the visual that goes along with it. I watch the visual for it at least monthly and it’s just as good each time. Christine is an artist across the board: musically, visually, her abilities as a dancer. She’s an icon aesthetically and in practice. She’s such an inspiration to me that when she used different configurations of colourful rhinestones on her face in the visual album, it was the inspiration for my use of colourful rhinestones in my music video for Guillotine.
Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience
So even before this album, I was a huge fan of Justin Timberlake, but what makes this album special for me is that it really feels like such an incredibly cohesive and intentional body of work. First off, each of the songs are between 4.5-8 minutes, which is unheard of for a pop album. So many of the songs start with the “radio edit” and then have an outro of sorts, and I was just so easily hooked to each of these songs despite the length. It was similar to hearing Discovery where I felt like the “style” that was captured in this album just felt so new and fresh that I was addicted to this album. I think what I loved most about this album is that it felt to me that Justin and everyone else involved weren’t trying to sound like anyone, it was just like whatever he created, whatever came out, he just went with it and that’s how I’d like to conduct myself as a creative. Not using others as guidelines but just trusting the art that emerges authentically.
Kanye – Life Of Pablo
What I love most about this album is that I wasn’t super into Kanye before this album (like I knew his popular stuff but probably never listened to an album from front to back). Kanye is a rapper but this album is so much more than a rap/hip hop album. It’s similar to The 20/20 Experience where you can just tell that there were just no creative guide-rails and the authenticity becomes the star of the show. It’s just a work of art.
Massive thanks to Ci Majr for sharing her Five Favourites!
Side Effects, the debut EP from Ci Majr, is out now. Watch the recent video for ‘Guillotine’ here: