A Cup of Coffee with Cece Wyldeck
by Ilaria Mangiardi
Passionate wine curator in her free time and Director of Creative Development during working hours, Cece Wyldeck is one of many brilliant minds at MassiveMusic Amsterdam. She whistles Fleetwood Mac tunes while acting as a musical bridge between advertising agencies and production companies, always ready to take on a new challenge. Let’s find out how she juggles work, life, music, tattoos, wine and, most importantly, how she answers our million dollar questions. But first, coffee.
Since this series is called A Cup of Coffee With, let’s start with the important question: what’s your favourite drink?
Always wine but, depending on the season, the order might differ. Right now, I’ll be drinking a peachy natural orange wine.
Doesn’t surprise us since you curate natural wines. What are your top 3 and can you describe how they sound to you, for those among us with less refined pallets?
- Dom Lous Grezes Cuvee Treesor 2014 – Syrah, Grenache
(Where do I begin) Love Story – Shirley Bassey
- Croci Valtolla – Malvasia
In Alto Mare – Loredana Berté
- Les Frères Soulier – La Clastre 2018 – Syrah, Tempranillo
Will I See You Again? – Thee Sacred Souls
Coming from London’s cultural melting pot, now living in another one (Amsterdam), how important is mixing and matching cultural diversity to your job as Director of Creative Development?
Cultural diversity is imperative to the work we do on the Creative Development side of things. To do our jobs properly, we need to immerse ourselves in different perspectives to better understand the world around us and continue to educate ourselves on new trends, new genres and alternative ways of being.
Research is a large and enjoyable part of how we start every project – from diving into many different cultures and subcultures and discovering lesser known music genres to trying to bring these new inspirations into the work we do and conversations we have. There is so much more to gain creatively when we open our minds to the things unknown and start asking questions.
Apart from your cultural background, how would you say your job (both the role itself and the company) reflects your personality?
For this I have to reflect back to when the company launched. That was before my time, but I remember that Massive rocked up to the Cannes Lions festival with a bashed up BMW completely riddled with bullet holes. MassiveMusic are the original rockstars of the advertising music scene – doing it in our own style since 2000. And that’s pretty much my take on Creative Development. I’m not traditional. I do it my way, independently, and try to politely fuck shit up every now and then.
What’s your favourite MassiveMusic project and why?
I don’t like to live too much in the past (gotta stay relevant now), so it’s actually a project we just wrapped up. You’ll have to keep your eyes and ears peeled for that one. For this, we worked with director Tom Dream. The fact that he’s a musician himself brings a whole new perspective to the start up process. We were able to spitball and share references on a different level, get aligned super quickly and deep dive into some weird-ass music. I love these out of the box thinkers and people who are not afraid to trust us and take some risks.
You listen to a diverse portfolio of folk artists. Is there anyone from a completely different culture, who raises topics you find similar to our experiences in the West? What could we learn from how they approach them?
Oof, tough question. When I listen to artists from other cultures, they usually sing in their native tongue, which means I don’t actually know what they are singing. It’s more about how the music makes me feel. I listen to quite a few African artists like Lijadu Sisters and William Onyeabor from Nigeria and the more contemporary South African artist Bongeziwe Mabandla. Go check them out if you don’t know them already.
Folk music often talks about the culture it’s coming from. What is the current zeitgeist of the sonic branding industry?
There’s only one word to answer this question: AI
In your song ‘Smoke’, you sing: “I will never lose sight of myself”. How does this translate when it comes to your work-life balance?
Pre-covid, there was definitely an imbalance in my work-life. Being ‘locked up’ at home put many things into perspective. What became important to me shifted or rather became clear, no longer overshadowed by a very hectic work schedule. I now set boundaries to protect myself and my family time, something that has become even more important to guard since becoming a mother.
My whole job is built on having strong healthy inspiring relationships. This means I need to stay as human as possible, which means listening to my own needs first before the needs of the advertising industry. Stick to your boundaries!
At the current point of Cece Wyldeck’s Odyssey, what would your own sound identity sound like?
Probably my daughter’s laugh 🙂