2009-05-26 | Written By: Hannah
I caught C.C. Sheffield riding her white vintage bicycle down the concrete sidewalk on a sunny California afternoon. Clad in tight skinny jeans, a purple tank, and a sheer violet scarf flowing through her bob, C.C. is a chic bohemian; a well dressed free spirit, (think Ernest Hemingway’s Brett meets the cover of a Free People catalogue). As we introduced ourselves, C.C. reached into the basket fastened on her bicycle and yanked out Kiki, a teeny teacup terrier, and as we entered Hollywood's American Rag Café, inconspicuously zippered the canine into her leather pocketbook.
One shake, two straws, and countless secret rubdowns of Kiki later, C.C. and I got to talking about history: her (surprisingly unusual) life story, her hectic present, and her plans for the future.
Raised in Tucson, Arizona, little C.C was brought up as a religious Mormon. In her teens the budding rebel got a job at a local punk venue and began obsessively collecting CDs of bands like The Raincoats, Bikini Kill, L7, and powerhouse women like Liz Phair, and Fiona Apple. “The music I was listening to was such a departure from what I was supposed to be into – the screaming rock and roll, my developing interest in feminism – Mormonism is a very strict and patriarchal religion.”
“Originally I did not want to be a musician” said C.C, still struggling with her religious background. “I had to do some serious deprogramming on myself before that I could see that career as a viable possibility. Music was my secret rebellion.”
As C.C. came close to graduating high school she realized that her only option was to attend Morman College, just as her four older sisters (and current housewives) had. “I knew Tuscon wasn’t for me. So I grabbed some clothes, started my car and came out here. There was no safety net for me.” cooed the captivating entertainer, cup of coffee in hand.
After bouncing around local youth hostiles (telling the owners she was Canadian so she wouldn’t be kicked out for being an American homeless person), getting a job as nanny, babysitter, and working late night at as Abercrombie and Fitch employee, C.C. began to collect a myriad of unique experiences (and love affairs).
It was these “Tales of Running Away” that eventually inspired her band Le Rev’s debut EP of the same name. When C.C. was nineteen she met up with Nico Chiotellis, her soon to be guitar player. C.C. says, “Nico was the first person I ever sang in front of. Then we got obsessed with gong to open mic nights.” Pretty soon Le Rev was lining up gigs at Club Spaceland and tons of popular Echo Park spots, all the while supporting herself with lucrative modeling gigs.
Since Ms. Sheffield arrived in the City of Angels a few years back this troubadour has appeared on TV shows, commercials, music videos, DJed around the world, and written and performed tons of heart-wrenching, feel-good, and pop tunes. You probably recognize her face from one of the countless billboards she’s featured on as the face of Quicksilver Women. Right now she’s promoting her new flick “Street Dreams,” a feature film produced by MTV’s Rob and Big, which is coming out this June.
With Le Rev, as of a few months ago, officially behind her, C.C. is now in the works on her debut solo record. Filled with power pumped dance numbers, mellow love songs, break up anthems, and all around move to freak out to, Ms. Sheffield’s newest collection of songs is not one to be missed.
Her new tracks are about to infiltrate your brain. Her affable croon and catchy melodies provide the perfect soundtrack for a night out on the town, a night home mending a broken heart, and a day filled with dreaming. C.C.'s confident free spirit, raging creativity, and decision to defy her religious upbringing, made for a pretty interesting interview.
The mix of songs represents various genres and experimentation within the limits of pop/rock/dance music. C.C.’s new music includes power-charged club bangers, catchy acoustic folk, and even one track reminiscent of early Lou Reed. Although the mix is definitely eclectic, the assemblage is held together by a single thread: a cooing voice, and free-flowing emotion. In the track track "Golden Grime" C.C. sings of the idealized Hollywood life against catchy 50s-feeling doo-wop. In "Love and Peace" C.C. joins what sounds like a soulful church choir for the chorus, and in "Parasite" she turns out the party anthem for the summer of 2009.
C.C.'s plate is pretty full right now. Along with the biz’ she is also a budding photographer (she had her first photo exhibition in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood this winter) and a hot-spot DJ (she’s even spun turn tables in Egypt). She is a troubadour who takes chances, lives life, and always returns to her music.
Final Verdict: Catchy tunes that sound as good as they look. Perfect for Summer 2009.
Be sure to download: Golden Grime