As one of the UK's top vocal and performance coaches, CeCe Sammy is an incredible talent who we just couldn't pass the opportunity of interviewing on. Read on to find out what we spoke about and her plans for the near future…

CeCe Sammy

CeCe Sammy

When did you first fall in love with the world of music?

I first fell in love with music when I was a little girl. I saw Liberace on TV and was mesmerised by how dramatic he was; his clothes, his jewellery, the way he laughed and engaged the audience and of course how he played the piano. After that there was no turning back for me!

What are some of your earliest music-related memories?

My earliest memories are pretending to be on stage and singing to my dolls. I also started playing the piano and singing at church every Sunday, from quite a young age.

You were born in Trinidad but now split time between London and LA - how do the three locations differ?

Trinidad signifies family and love for me. It's full of people who believed in me as a child and treat me as they always have - very grounding. LA taught me not to be afraid to express how big my dreams are, but now London is home!

You were once a backing singer for Diana Ross - what was that period of your life like?

I learnt that a 'diva' is someone who observes other people and takes time to speak to young, unimportant people and make them feel alive. Diana Ross is not Diana to me. She is Ms Diana Ross, a true diva that encouraged me to fulfil my dreams and will always be one of my heroes. She may never remember those moments, but that was a time when I saw that I was a diva too - all talent, all hair and all belief in myself.

More recently you judged on The Choir: Gareth's Best in Britain - what was that experience like?

This experience was superb. I saw that Gareth has a very similar view about music to me, he understands the science of the voice, but he also believes that emotion is just as important. I am passionate about showing young people that music guides them in all aspects of life. He believes that too, which is what I liked about him.

CeCe reporting at the MTV VMAs
CeCe reporting at the MTV VMAs

Now you're a part of the judging panel of the BRIT Awards 2017 - what will you be looking for when judging?

My job is to be fair and equal to every genre, style and age. It is about diversity, being fair and acknowledging how forward-thinking Britain is creatively, and more of our BRITs need to see and understand this.

What would you say have been some of your biggest challenges in your career to-date?

When I had the fully ruptured brain aneurysm - the biggest challenge was the courage to tell people what happened to me. I did not want them to think I could not function any more so I played down what really happened to me until recently, when I explained to them fully that i literally had to learn to re-walk, re-talk and re-function again.

What tips or advice do you have for anyone hoping to make it in the music industry?

You will have low moments - everyone does - but you must not let it keep you down. Believe in yourself, study and understand that we discover more about our creativity to the day we die. Live life in the past, present and the future.

Is there anything else we should expect from you in the coming months?

I'm working closely with the Government, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, the Minister for Civil Society and Matt Hancock to see local charities be helped. I am also working with BBC1 to prepare for "Let's Sing and Dance" for Comic Relief which is all about giving back. Lastly, I will have my 17 year old protégé, Luena Martinez, who will be releasing her single and going on a school tour to encourage other young people to dream. She reached the six chair challenge on this year's X Factor.

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