Get to know 2022 Dance Recording of the Year nominee, Ceréna in our “7 Questions With” series where we speak with first-time JUNO Award nominees from all genres.
Breaking into the music industry in 2012, much of Ceréna’s early career was one spent pretending to be someone she is not; succumbing to pressures and scrutiny at the expense of their authenticity. Opting for independence and the freedom of self-expression, Ceréna began immersing herself in the Queer community, which gave her the power to live as her authentic self. As an outspoken and trailblazing trans artist, Ceréna aspires to pave the way for other LGBTQ+ individuals in the industry.
Her debut album “resurrection” serves to be a reclamation of herself – elaborating on favoured themes of freedom, community, love and unity. Ceréna also continues her work as one of the co-founders of Club Quarantine, an online queer dance party, which has seen coverage in Paper Magazine, The Cut, The New York Times, Vice and more.
1. How did it feel to be nominated for a JUNO?
Surreal. My whole life flashed before my eyes, a rapid montage of the tears and all the moments where I’d succum to the barriers I was constantly facing. Fighting delusion and spiralling into self-doubt… and now I’m here getting nominated for the highest accolade you can get in this country for music. Wild…
2. Who are your biggest musical influences?
The ones who started it all for me were Tina Turner, Madonna and Pavorotti (my holy trinity lol). My mom would play their tour videos and I’d watch in my playpen, hypnotized. It was the way they would command the stage, and I knew I had to do what they do. I think about Britney and Janet, Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson. These artists solidified what it means to be a popstar and it’s what I strive to be.
3. What are 3 items you require when you’re on-tour?
I haven’t had the chance to go on tour yet, but all I demand is that my team and I feel safe, respected, and well taken care of.
4. What do you think is the best song you’ve ever released? What’s the story behind it?
“Resilience”. Just me and an electric piano. It’s the song that eventually became the JUNO nominated, “see”. I was even told that it was going to change my life, but you never truly believe these things until it happens. I wrote it in the depths of depression, and I remember feeling so lost and overwhelmed and afraid. I began playing the piano to soothe myself, and the song poured out of me, like I had to write it.
5. Which artist would you like to collaborate with most?
Bree Runway, Doechii, Tinashe, Doja Cat and Shakira. I want to work with all the dancers; our performances would eat. I also want to work with Arca, Björk, House Gospel Choir, MNEK, Exotic and Robyn! Oh, and it’s a dream to work with Max Martin.
6. What has been your favorite performance of your career?
Bushwig in New York with Club Quarantine. It was my first time performing in NYC, first IRL performance since the pandemic began and the energy was everything. There were so many people and the crowd went wild. I had never experienced an audience like it.
7. What’s next for you?
I’m taking this all the way. I’m dreaming big. I’m not gonna jinkx it, so you’ll just have to wait and see to find out. 🤪
Tickets for The 2022 JUNO Awards are on sale now! Don’t miss out on an unforgettable night of Canadian music hosted by Simu Liu on May 15th.