Whipped Cream is an unstoppable force in bass music and if you don’t know what she’s all about, it’s about damn time you start listening!
Caroline Cecil looks sweet on the outside, but she goes harder than your average DJ and works harder than your average producer. In this interview, she talks all things Whipped Cream, from whipping up her name in the very beginning, through her Shambhala 2015 set that put her on the map, up until now as we anticipate her forthcoming debut solo EP — Persistence.
We caught up with Whipped Cream at Shambhala 2017, a day after she wowed the crowd with her hard-hitting, high-energy set at the AMPhitheatre stage. Your EDM has been proud to present “Error” with Hekler and her “Unforgettable” remix with Judge, and we hope to expose even more of her sounds and uncover more of her message through this interview.
This is an artist who is dedicated to her craft, her fans, and most of all, dedicated to spreading love! It’s about time you meet her… this is Whipped Cream!
Tell me about how your name originated…
I was thinking of names religiously for months and I was going to go with Caroline, my own name, but there are so many songs with “Caroline” in it. I thought it would be really hard to push that name out there. It’d clash with Neil Diamond… Outkast made a song… And, then that Aminé guy… “Caroline, thick as hell, mighty fine, whatever,” that new rap track.
But, this was beforehand — four years ago this was before all of the other food DJs. There was no Marshmello, there was no Slushii. And, the name just came to me. I thought it would be extremely memorable. People like whipped cream, ya know? I have the blonde hair — the white Whipped Cream.
It’s just something I felt suited me at the time, as well. I was really into R&B and club music so I felt like it was a G name, too. The universe just gave it to me one day to be honest. I was thinking for months! I’m insane with my art, and then it just came to me. Often now, I do have regrets because of all these marketable characters that are coming up wearing heads and shit, but I’m just going to run with it.
How much whipped cream do you consume?
I love it! I will put it on my pie… I don’t really like pie, but whipped cream I like! So, probably more than your average person. Photo by @chaneneveling
What did it feel like performing 2 years ago at Shambhala Music Festival 2015, compared to what you experienced returning yesterday?
I was very grateful that opportunity I was given at the Pagoda. It was right after an epic lineup. It was Zeds Dead, Mija, then I went on to close the stage out when usually they’d do a sermon. So, I had the choice to either do me or play to what I felt the vibe was going to be. I was very torn because I am first a DJ, I got into DJing before I started making music. I always get torn! So I just kinda felt the vibe out. I knew what I was going in with and just went with it. I don’t think many people knew who I was before that set. That set changed my life, so I’ll forever be grateful for that day.
Then, going in yesterday — any shows I play, even at HARD last week — I went and I was like, “No one is going to be there.” Just given the times I’ve been getting, they’re early time slots. I don’t expect people to be there. But, I think from two years ago, people have been hearing about what went down that night. I was just blown away. I feel more in my skin and in my bones and in my soul and more confident in everything I’m doing, so I think my set yesterday spoke to exactly what I am at this moment. It felt good!
I heard someone say this the other day — “Yeah, I don’t listen to the music I play out ever.” I was once that person and I realized why would I want to live my life and work my life where I’m not playing music I like? I get we have a show to put on. You can hear that in my set, I’m playing bangers here and there. But, it’s all art and it’s all shit I’m feeling. I’m also throwing in R&B and rap in… I’m throwing in shit I’d listen to anywhere. I want to be able to play my set anywhere and be like, “Fuck, this is dope!” That’s exactly what I did yesterday. I really showed people who I was yesterday.
What shows did you see at your first festival that had an impact on you? Because, people were definitely feeling your set and feeding off your energy!
Oh, man. To me that is success, hearing those words…
I grew up a competitive figure skater and I broke my ankle. All I knew was skating, and I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I saved a whole bunch of money working a full time job. Then, I was going to go to Australia and travel. But, a few months beforehand, I went to my first festival at Sasquatch at The Gorge. I was 18 and I was like, “Woo! What the fuck is this?!?!” Immediately, no drugs involved, I felt as one with these people and as one with the music. Like, I was music itself.
The very first shows I saw were Nero — Nero was a big one actually. I remember when the bass dropped and I was like, “Whoa!” Beforehand, I grew up in electronic music. I skated to it — we’d cut it up — we did a lot of M.I.A. tracks, I’d cut the vocals out. The Diplo produced “Paper Planes” one. That shit’s still a hit! It was all around me, I just think my path in life hadn’t brought me to that stage. As soon as I knew, I’ve had no doubt in the last four years when I gave up everything. I quit the job, I didn’t go to Australia, I broke up with the boyfriend, and I locked myself in my room. And, I said, “Alright, this is what we’re going to do…”
For you to say that you think other people experienced that yesterday — that’s exactly what I wanted. I want to give that feeling that I received at my first festival to other people for the rest of my life. Some other sets that have inspired me a lot would be any of the club guys years back. Falcons, Boys Noize, Dog Blood, Skrillex — all these hard-cutting guys, too. And, the bass heavy guys like Eprom, Ivy Lab, those kind of guys.
Other artists you’ve been inspired by musically?
Zeds Dead is a big one. Baauer was a huge one. I remember before I got into this I was at a Schoolboy Q show and he was standing in the crowd. This was before he blew up, but I knew all of his music and I loved it! I remember seeing him and I walked over — I fangirled so hard! Now, I have met him multiple times and I’m chill. I don’t think I’ll ever bring this up this story because I’d be so embarrassed. I fucking fangirled. I was like, “This dude’s so tight!” And, then he blew up like a month later because of “Harlem Shake.” It’s crazy how one song can change your whole life.
Falcons. DJ Sliink. Swizzymack is so sick, he’s one of my favorite producers. Skrillex is at the top of the list. A$AP Rocky. All of the R&B guys, Majid Jordan, anyone on OVO I’m with. Georgia Smith. I like the girls, too. Rezz is killing it! She’s obviously one of the leaders of the pack in electronic music right now — she’s just smashing it! At the top it’s Boys Noize, Dog Blood, Skrillex at the end of the day — those three. It’s the message they’re giving, too. Skrillex is so real. When I watch him perform I feel so lucky to be in that environment. He just gets it. There’s something that was born within him. I feel lucky to be on this Earth with that person. It’s crazy!
You said once you knew this life was for you when you finished an original… Which track was that?
It was “Suffocate” 8 months ago. When I wrote it, I couldn’t believe that I wrote it. Even when I put it on now! Not trying to sound cocky, but I just love it! I was so surprised that I was able to do that. You have this dream and this passion and you work every day and it feels like it’s not piecing together. It’s so frustrating — learning to produce music without a musical background other than just feeling it in your soul. You literally have to,– not cut everyone out of your life — but you have to make sacrifice to get anywhere in life. As a producer, there’s too much competition, so if you’re not making sacrifice you’re not going to make a living off it. I’m in no way making a living off it quite yet, I’m struggling. But, it’s worthwhile it to me.
With “Suffocate,” I did not follow any kind of formula. I don’t know what genre it is. I just wanted it to be dark. I found this fucking sick sound and I wrote the notes. It felt so haunting. I started chopping up all these bass synths and I’d layer them. I didn’t even use any additional plug-ins… I literally just chopped the fuck out of so many samples and reversed them, put shit on them. There’s like 80 tracks in that song. I’d just pull in little snippets and go into MIDI and write my shit. I remember when I put that out Josh Pan and Y2K hit me up like, “How the fuck did you get that bassline?” Yo, I just layered like six different basses. I’m breaking all the laws of producing by the way. I showed them and they thought it was sick. That was the first track that got me mad support. It’s something no one else touched — it was just me on that one.
When “Suffocate” was written, things just started flowing. Now, I can go into my DAW and put what’s in my head down. I don’t claim to be a phenomenal producer. I just hope that I can learn and grow and become even better. I just started really learning to make my own full tracks without collaborating and making edits a few months ago. I was that person that would half way finish a track, and send it to someone to collab, and put their name on it with me. Or, I’d try to make a track, but it was garbage. Well, sorry — it’s probably not garbage. I don’t want to make people feel like they should call their shit garbage. It’s work in progresses and you’re learning.
All I can recommend to aspiring producers is finish your project. That’s the only way you’re going to learn. If you think you can’t finish a song, you need to force yourself. I had to force myself a lot, but if you love something it’s an action. You can’t just say, “I love something,” and it’s going to happen. Or, “I love someone,” and you’re going to have a healthy marriage. No, it’s an action. Show your craft that you love it. There are days you’ll wake up like, “Fuck, I wish I could go party with my friends.” I missed a whole year of partying. No one else knew if this was going to work out, but I knew. You have to have undying self-belief too, and love. If you don’t — do something else. I think people can also do this for fun, but if this is your life and career, you have to make sacrifice… I feel that way about it. That’s how crazy I am… I’m obsessed with it!
My sound is going to keep growing and evolving. I want to make R&B and rap albums as well. I want to do everything.
Let’s talk about “Ignorant” — because I LOVE that song! It’s not out yet, but what can people expect?
My Persistence EP comes out in September, and every song has a lot of emotion because it’s how I’m feeling in every single song. The first track is called “Persistence,” the second track is called “Ignorant,” and the third is called “Selfish.” I wrote them all in different times of my life when major shit was going down.
“Ignorant” is really just about the industry and the judgement you get being a woman. People can be so fucking ignorant. It’s like, Yo — Ok, I didn’t work for this position here? Do you really think I’ve just been handed it because I look the way I look? How ignorant to think that. I don’t even want to call people out, I’m just going to let my music speak for it, because I think it’d be ignorant of me to be like, “Fuck you guys,” when they’re just not open to it. Let the music speak. That’s the message of the song. This can’t be ego driven… It’s art.
Looking forward, do you have any other projects in the works?
I’m already starting my second project which will be a group of more songs — whether that be another EP or maybe an album to come. I already have the concept. Whipped Cream is evolving rapidly right now. This Persistence EP, just envision the soil, and something is coming out right now. It’s kind of broken and edgy, there are some leaves falling off — it hasn’t fully bloomed yet. That’s what this EP is. The next project, you’ll start seeing an even better picture. There’s a lot of ideas floating around in my head right now!
I already have finished more music that sounds similar to the “Ignorant” vibe… I might run with that sound. But, I also want to incorporate the “Suffocate” sound, too. I don’t want to fall into one thing. As you can see from my live set, it’s all over the place. I put out the “Unforgettable” Remix [with Judge] with you guys, which is unlike anything I’ve put out. In a sense I want the Skrillex/Diplo vibe — not that I’ll make music like them but in that they’re all over the place. I want to be a female Diplo and Skrillex.
What has been your biggest “wow” moment so far?
It was Shambhala two years ago, but then it was HARD music festival last week. Because, I was given a 12:30 pm slot. No other stages were open. I heard from multiple sources that people don’t come until the second or third set at this stage. I got on — there was already 100 people there saying, “Whipped Cream! Whipped Cream!” And, within like 9 minutes there was about 1,000 people there, and by the time I got off the stage like 3,000 people out there. I just got off stage bawling. I couldn’t believe it!
Came out to this stage expecting to see maybe 50 people max…. no words. Best day of my life. I thank you so very much. @HARDFEST 🌹❤️️
Posted by Whipped Cream Music on Saturday, August 5, 2017
You were one of the many females repping electronic music at HARD — do you think it’s important to speak out as a women in the industry?
Your job as a woman in this industry would be a lot easier if you bite your tongue. The ones that are judging are the percentage that just doesn’t get it — what’s going on with successful women. If you bite your tongue, you have an easier ride up. That’s what I did. I knew I needed to, at least I felt that way. I’m not saying go bite your tongue, but there were times I faced extreme sexism, extreme attacking, and I just bit my tongue. I knew what was real inside. I don’t care if they don’t fuck with it.
But now, I’m at this stage where there’s eyes on me, and not going to bite my fucking tongue. I’m here to speak and change the way society is. It’s crazy. Sometimes you’ll speak on it, and get these women — haters — jumping down your throat. Then, sometimes you’ll get these men like, “Who is this bitch dancing on stage? Why are people spending money to go watch this bitch?” A man wouldn’t get that shit! I think it’s real and alive, but it’s getting better with more women in the industry.
Any double-standards you’ve faced firsthand?
The first two years I was a DJ, I DJ’d on a controller. So here I am, a woman on a controller. Think about the shit I got. A man — I’ve seen Oshi play at Boiler Room on a controller. No one said shit. If I went out to Boiler Room with a controller, people would be like, “What is this bitch doing?” It’s a double standard. Zedd plays on a controller, Hucci plays on a controller.
I’m happy I went to CDJs because they’re fun as fuck. I’m glad I learned on a Traktor though, because I think that’s why I’m such a good DJ now. I just know how to do quick chops and shit. I had it in my bedroom for two years, and I’m blessed. I think any kid that wants to learn on a Traktor — if they want to go headline a festival on a Traktor — so be it. Just know there are risks involved. I had some big shows that fucked up. I knew if I wanted to tour I had to learn CDJs so that’s what I did.
What would you like people to get out of hearing Whipped Cream’s music?
I think we’re all here out of love and we shall give off love. If you’re chasing something you love to do as well, I think it’s extremely important we’re not doing it out of a selfish motive. We only have each other here on Earth. It is that deep. We’re here to help each other. I’m not going to get to the top and act like I don’t know anybody. I’m a human, we’re both sitting here, we’re exactly the same! Just because I’m DJing at Shambhala doesn’t make me any different than you. I just want to let people know we’re all equals. I don’t come from a wealthy family at all. Nothing was handed to me — the only thing that was handed to me was love. And, I was taught from a really early age, “If it’s got to be, it’s up to me.”
Also, if you have a vision, if you love something, and you think it’s achievable, you need to try to push that self-doubt out. You need to try to follow it, because we only have one life to live. As cliche as it sounds, we all have the same amount of hours in the day so if you really love music and can feel it — you could be doing exactly what I’m doing, if that’s what you want. If you want to become an astronaut, go and follow that! There’s no point in doing something you hate. We should be enjoying life as much as we can!
Anything else we should know about your musical journey?
It’s just beginning… It just started 8 months ago in my opinion, even though I’ve been working at it for a little over four years. I’m excited to see what I can learn, and how I can develop through your guys’ energy. There’s a lot brewing right now with what’s channeling through me, through the universe. I have a lot of dreams and aspirations!
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Everything I've done has led me to this.Thank you to anyone who's listened, supported me or made me strongerThis is for youPersistence EP – out on NEST HQ 9/19