By Sebastian Buzzalino
When Selci first started writing music she was living in Winnipeg studying classical music, but her songwriting didn’t seem to jive with her program. After taking an experimental ensemble class, surrounded by synthesizers and found music objects, she began to discover a whole new language for her music, pairing the electronic and synthesized loops of the DJs she grew up listening to with the intimate, introspective lyrics she was writing.
“I used to listen to electronic music but I had no idea how it worked,” she says. “I kind of kept digging into it and it resonated with me. I felt like a detective. Every time I learned a new thing, it was so exciting. I could never really commit the same way to learning a guitar, for instance. With producing, I’m just as excited about learning about it as I am with singing.”
The seeds of what would become her debut EP, Effervescence, out August 28, were sown during that time. She continued to work on both her writing and production, feeling more comfortable in her newfound identities as she explored themes of freedom and self-realization through her music.
When it came time to actually produce and record her album, she enlisted the help of one of her heroes, Sylvia Massy (Prince, Kate Bush), to help her mix the work. Working alongside Massy in Oregon, she took the opportunity to learn about producing, engineering and mixing, and to shed some of the Imposter Syndrome baggage she had been carrying with her.
“I kind of devalued how much I knew about what I was doing,” says Selci. “When I went there and was working with her one-on-one, she really validated me. This was a woman I idolized and she was able to validate that I was on the right path.”
The result is an intimate and honest EP in which Selci emerges with a confident voice. Themes of societal and artistic liberation are couched in gorgeous ambient pop structures and ethereal production. She bridges the indie and electronic worlds with ease, bringing the storytelling of the former to the ghostly arrangements of the latter, all while finding her own artistic voice.
“How can you find yourself in a world that’s not made for you?” Selci asks. “The only way that you can find that space is through art, to commit to who you are and connect with who you are as a person. The whole process of writing, I felt like I was getting to know myself better as a person. Especially as an artist.”
Selci performs Wednesday, August 28 at McHugh House (1515 Centre St. S) as part of the Beltline Urban Murals Project (BUMP) and and Saturday, August 31 at the HiFi Club in Calgary.Calgary, Selci