One of Toronto’s finest, CIndy LI aka CIel chats all things life, music and beyond, get to know this absolute gem below.
Where did the name Ciel come from?
It’s literally just my initials, as I’m not too great with inventing names. Its pronounced Ci- El, like how they say sky in French, The EL part of my name is pronounced higher..my name use to be just my initials but I had to change my artist name as there is a k pop singer called CL and her management asked me to change it.
What is something not many people know about you?
Before I started running dance parties in Toronto I was a northern soul DJ for two and a half years. I use to run a night called Soulvation in Toronto, I did it with another girl, we played northern soul, funk, disco and nobody came, except our friends on occasion. It was a complete labour of love, I did it for nearly two years, I can’t believe I did it for that long actually.
Did you grow up in a creative household?
Yeh, my parents really loved music, I wouldn’t called them creative per-say as I don’t think my parents were writing music. My dad would always play guitar at home and sing for my mum.
Did you learn any musical instruments as a young girl?
I started piano when I was around four years of age and trained hard, around four to six hours a day. My parents were super strict, I was an only child, they wanted me to succeed in everything I did, I would get in trouble if I lied or didn’t practice hard enough so you could say that my relationship with music hasn’t always been a positive one. I trained solely in classical piano up until the age of sixteen until my education became more of a focus.
Did you have any interests in pursuing anything academically related?
My parents really pushed for me to become a doctor, I was horrible at physics and hated math, I was decent in biology and chemistry though. I loved books, my favourite thing growing up was listening to rap music and reading books. I studied literature in university, which my parents were not really into…now that I’m older I actually wish I had studied to become a doctor because then I would have been giving back to the world and helping and contributing. After I finished studying I worked in publishing for five years working for a magazine and book publishing company and I fucking hated it.