Caroline Cecil believes in faking it until you make it. Her career as DJ and music producer WHIPPED CREAM started about a decade ago, when she worked as a coat checker at the now-closed Spice night club in Nanaimo, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, and heard that British producer Lazy Rich was coming to the venue.
“I told the bar owner, ‘Hey, I’m a DJ, you should let me open.’ And he said OK,” Cecil tells Pollstar. At the time, she’d only had her Traktor controller for three months, had never played in front of an audience and didn’t yet have a stage name. She hadn’t started producing yet, instead playing songs she enjoyed and figuring out how to mix them. Cecil admits her first set probably wasn’t the best but she kept working at it. The show inspired her to pursue DJing and music production as a full-time career, coming up with her moniker and booking more shows.
Almost a decade later, Cecil says she sometimes has to still pull similar moves. “You really have to go into it delusional,” she admits. “That’s life. It’s all in your head and you have to make it work. You work really hard for things, you sacrifice a lot. But, there are times where you have to go in like, ‘Why can’t you do it?’ And that was one of them.”
Cecil stayed local to the Vancouver scene for several years, honing her craft. Five years later she got her break on a larger stage, performing at Shambhala, the electronic music festival in the British Columbia mountains. She says the performance opened the door for her to get a visa and play her first shows in the U.S. Cecil was discovered by her first agency, Spin, at Los Angeles’s Sound nightclub; prior to that, she had been booking her own gigs.
From there, word spread and she’s been on a roll ever since. She’s released songs on popular dance music labels including Skrillex’s Nest HQ and Monstercat and had a song featured in the “Birds of Prey” movie: “So Thick” featuring Baby Goth. Her only box office report submitted to Pollstar features a sold-out show on June 17, 2023, grossing $10,000 at Meow Wolf Santa Fe in New Mexico. On her first headline tour, she played clubs all across North America, with stops in Montreal, Toronto, Salt Lake City and more. Among her most recent tour dates was NOVA in San Diego, a stop Cecil recalls as her favorite on the trek.
“What I’m doing now, I wouldn’t classify it as ‘3…2…1… Put your hands up! We’re here to get crazy,’” she says. “It’s more of an experience. Sometimes you’re standing there and just thinking. It’s not a typical nightclub show.”
When touring in support of her latest project, Someone You Can Count On, WHIPPED CREAM performed as a character from the EP by dressing in suits. She explains it represented a person she needed in the relationship she had written about, the role a masculine mirror of herself.
“Why couldn’t I be that person?” she says. “Why did I have to keep going back? So I was playing him, and that’s why I wore the suit.”
She hints the next project will focus on self-evolution, with more of her voice woven throughout.
This has been a year of changes for WHIPPED CREAM. She signed with new management at The Ogunlesi Group, Geoff Ogunlesi and Christina (Boemio) Discon, and also recently signed with CAA, where she’s represented by Phil Quist, Jonathan Rodrigues, Ron Jordan and Mark Cheatham. She says it was time to try something new, and the changes feel right.
With her tour now wrapped up, WHIPPED CREAM’s next dates are on her New Year’s Eve run in Chicago and San Francisco. For now, she’s catching her breath and readjusting to life back home.
“I just went on a six-month tour, out every weekend,” Cecil says. “I think it’s important that the touring cycle is a fair thing, where you’re not out on the road every weekend, so you can keep being creative and live a somewhat normal life. … I get more joy having that yin-yang of being able to come home and write music rather than be on the road every weekend. And then I find more gratitude in performing when the tour starts.”
On most dance tours, headliners won’t take the stage until closer to 10 p.m. in most cities and in New York or Las Vegas, a headliner won’t come on until 3 a.m., playing until sunrise. Tours are difficult on an artist’s body. For DJs who are up all night, catching up on sleep becomes a challenge. Cecil wants to prioritize her health.
“I’m doing longevity studies and reading a lot of books and podcasts,” Cecil says. “As a DJ, if you’re touring, you’re going on the road for six months. If it’s not planned extremely to the benefit of your health, you’re not sleeping enough… It’s not to the benefit of yourself or to the others around you when you’re not properly booked.”
Cecil meditates before each performance to better her health. She forgoes alcohol and avoids caffeine on the road, instead opting to drink peppermint tea. Cecil also limits the number of people in the green room with her so she can gather her thoughts and mentally prepare for her set.
“I think on my last tour, the first drink I had was on my last stop and it was half a glass of champagne,” Cecil says. “After the show, I love meeting people that want to see me. It’s just before the show, it’s a very calming time. That’s important to me.”
Public Relations, Monstercat
Vivienne Hill: [email protected]