CIESAY

INTERVIEW

Place
Atlanta, Georgia. Second stop of the Boiler Room x Places+Faces US tour

Faces
Sara Frost and Ciesay, co-founder of Places+Faces

How are you?

Feeling good. I never get hangovers.

I don’t really drink to get drunk. I just drink to loosen up and be more interactive. Normally I will just be quiet even when I’m DJ’ing I’ll just not even move if I’m not drinking. I never used to drink at all. Started when I was 22. 

Events got boring when I was the only sober one. Before I was like aight cool I can enjoy the same things being sober, but not anymore.

It was cool I enjoyed it. Seeing all these rappers that I listen to at my event that I put together. That’s like “oh shit I’ve done it!” type of thing. The whole night went better than expected.

I didn’t expect for anyone to show up. I think before every show there is always this nervousness. Thankfully i’ve never been in a position where i’ve had a dead event. I was more nervous because I’ve been to LA and New York I know my audience there and I’ve only been here once a couple of years ago. So me just coming in throwing a party without even being here for that long was the scary part.

1000 people came. Sold out show. What do you think made them come?

The line-up was all Atlanta and I think that’s why the event worked, because I didn’t come out here trying to bring in my own thing to this new scene. I made sure everybody who was a part of the event was a part of Atlanta culture somehow. 

You can’t fly in artists from other states?

You can. But imagine having a party in London with grime artists from Japan, America and Canada only. Even though there will be people, they will come and it will be a good night and all some people are gonna walk away feeling like they didn’t get represented. And why am I gonna come into this state and not respect the people. I would feel the same way if someone did that in London.

They’re protective of the scene?


Yea. When Outcast won the Grammys in 90’s at the height of the Eastcost / Westcost beef. André 3000 and Big Boi was walking up stage and they were all getting boo’ed and André 3000 picked up the mic and basically said “yea, now the South has something to say”, dropped the mic and walked off stage. That moment is what a at lot of Atlantans would say impacted Atlanta and gave everyone that wave that they are not part of East or West. They are their own culture, their own sound and their own purpose. Now that the spotlight is on them, they’re not gonna let it go that simple. For the last 10-15 years it really has been Atlanta controlling the music scene. The music and the cadences and influence. From Young Thug to Outcast to T.I. with trap music - all from here.

You had Cam’ron and Jim Jones on the line-up for New York. No doubt that was appreciated by a lot of people, but probably not artists everyone would’ve booked for a younger audience. What were your thoughts on booking for this tour?


These events is me being able to relive my golden era of hiphop and just book the people i grew up listening to and throw a party in New York with them as headliners. It’s that little boy inside of me going "wow i fucking had Cameron and Jim Jones there!". It’s not about hand selecting who’s the hottest rapper at the moment. I selected the people I enjoy. And that’s how I treat my brand.

How would you describe the identity of Places+Faces?


Music has been a part of it from the beginning. Places+Faces started as me and Soulz taking photos of the rappers that we like. We only take pictures of artists that we enjoy. We’ve been approached by labels like “oh hey can you take a picture of this artist and put it on your page” and they will pay for it, but that’s not what we do. Places+Faces is a curation of artists we enjoy who are current and also legends. Kind of like a playlist for pictures. Some people might find new artists from our Instagram. The same thing with clothes. We create fits that we like and would wear. We’re not going backstage at shows with 30 bags of clothing handing it out to the artist hoping he or she wears it. We develop a relationship and they come to our office, we hang out and that’s when we might give people things. it’s about genuine relationships. I think what keeps our identity intact - we’re doing it for ourselves and our friends. If people like it that’s great. If they don’t that’s cool too.

Places+Faces+Sounds+ ? 


If we ever started a modelling agency it would probably be called +Faces