Ceyeo shares ‘Machine Learning’ album along with Top Influences

"St. Vincent is smart, an amazing songwriter, a great singer and can absolutely shred guitar. What more could you ask for?"
11 August 2022

By Vanessa B

Chicago-based independent writer and producer Ceyeo has put together a selection of his top 5 musical influences for us as he promotes his brand new album Machine Learning.

The multitalented artist bends the conventions of genres of hip-hop and pop with an overarching, engaging alt-rock electronic verve. Things seem to come to life when you put an electric guitar, bass, and drums together with synths to create music. Ceyeo seems to be able to do that skillfully by uniting traditional instruments with more unusual ones, creating a diverse batch of emotive and thoughtful sonic art. Even with its many tones and colours, Machine Learning retains a certain consistency and cohesiveness with its deep musicality and attention to conscious lyricism. The ambitious album’s lyrical content gives thoughtful recognition to current events and challenges faced by humanity, like mental health, (Not Better), and the topic of death (Tops and Generations), while Trying addresses the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community. Our favourite is the rousing rock-flavoured opener Broken.

Have a listen for yourself and see what we mean. We’ll let Ceyeo take it from here with his top five musical influences.

It probably isn’t a surprise to learn that the music I listen to, the poetry I read and my life experiences have the biggest impact on the music I create. It also may not be groundbreaking news to hear that the deeper I dive into each of those, the better my music gets, though it can be quite a rabbit hole. From a music perspective, I’m always listening to something and I’m a fan of thousands of artists across all genres. That makes it really hard to list a top 5 of musical influences but I’ll give it a shot.

MF Doom: Hip-hop is an extremely expressive form of popular music. To me it is much more flexible than rock and it allows me to use musical ideas that are more classical in nature. An example of this would be the beats I wrote for ‘u can’t hide’, which would not work nearly as well as a rock song. When I first heard MF Doom, I was blown aware by his ability to tell a story and his intellect. I also like the sparse production that works so well for him. MF Doom was a treasure and it is such a loss that he is gone.

St. Vincent: For several years I’ve gone to the Pitchfork in Chicago, all three days of it, and I find it’s a fantastic way to see some of my favorite artists and learn about ones that I haven’t yet been exposed to. I’ve been going for years and in my opinion St. Vincent’s concert during the 2021 fest is my favorite performance of any act I’ve ever seen at Pitchfork. It was terrific. St. Vincent is smart, an amazing songwriter, a great singer and can absolutely shred guitar. What more could you ask for?

Lana Del Rey: I discovered Lana del Rey when the Born to Die album came out and I was immediately hooked – not just by the strong songwriting and her haunting voice but also by her persona. Was anyone asking for a noir, old Hollywood-style, torch singer on 2012? For sure, no, but there she was and it was fantastic. A regret I have is missing her concert in 2015 when Grimes opened for her in Chicago, what an amazing concert that would have been.

Bob Dylan: When I write, the music generally comes pretty easy but the lyrics can be a struggle. I love poetry and, while I won’t profess to be a modern-day Sylvia Plath by any stretch, I do try to write lyrics that will be meaningful, set a mood and tell a story to the best of my ability. Hands down, the best at the craft of lyric writing has to be Bob Dylan. He won the Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer for literature, need I say more? I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him twice in concert and both times were mesmerizing to me. Almost otherworldly. I also find the arc of his career amazing – he’s been making records since 1962, and the new stuff he’s writing in his eighties is as good as the stuff he wrote in his early 20s. What an inspiration.

The Clash: The last I’ll list is a sentimental favorite. I discovered The Clash in high school and Sandinista may be my favorite album of all time. Sandinista has 36 songs, well over 2 hours of music, and I’ll bet I know all the words to every song. It’s experimental, has a great vibe, and still sounds great to me. I just love that album. It’s been a while since I heard it, actually. I think I’ll go listen to it now.