After starting her career in acting, Gigi Cesare is now launching a music career with the release of her debut single Chemistry, and is currently working on a full-length album. Busy preparing for her continuing role as Jessy in the Street film franchise and in talks with people in regards to her music career, it looks like Gigi is in for a very exciting year. Taking time out of her busy schedule, we find out about her music career, what it’s like starring as Jessy and her upcoming projects.
Can you tell us about your new single Chemistry?
The song subject came about because of a real situation that happened to me, so my music producer (Grammy songwriter/producer, Tommy Marolda – Imagine Dragons, Cher, Bon Jovi) suggested I write my thoughts as lyrics on what took place between my co-star and me on an actual movie set.
What’s the response been like to it?
It’s been really great and captured attention of people that surprised me. We are in the midst of recording twelve other songs (nine of them are complete), Chemistry was meant to be just a snippet of what to expect as it is my first shot at a full-length album.
How’s your album coming along?
It’s the most unbelievably fulfilling experience personally and artistically. I am so excited and thrilled.
My album is melodic, subject-sensitive, powerful, playful and a mixture of retro and modern sounds. I’m having fun experimenting with my vocals and songwriting skills. I have an unbelievable team around me who are making this journey just epic.
Do you have a release date yet?
It’s a long and sometimes tedious process to get the songs to where they should and can be. Once we listen and get the goosebump response, then we’ll be ready to release it. Hoping for this summer.
What can people expect from it?
The energy and emotions are high and heartfelt, so I’m hoping they can relate and become inspired, energised and moved by the songs.
Will people be able to buy physical and signed copies?
Absolutely… Vinyl, CDs, downloads and anything else that’s discovered along the way! I always enjoy interacting with my fans.
How did the album artwork shoot go?
It was incredible – @adamhendershott was at the lens, Veronika Howard, my long-time stylist pulled four off the hook clothing looks for me, Coco Nicole Artistry HMUA glammed me up and we even shot some behind the scenes you may end up seeing in one of my upcoming videos. Shooting in Venice Beach was unbelievably cool.
Would you like to do a headline tour for your album?
I would love to! I already have a fanbase in parts of Europe and the Middle East and Indonesia, so they are asking now when I’m coming!
How did you get into acting?
My parents couldn’t find any sport or activity I liked other than singing. When I was six, my dad convinced my mom to let me attend an open call for Wilhelmina. The rest is history.
What’s it like starring as Jessy in the Street feature film series?
Playing Jessy was a dream come true. I had been in other films prior to Street, but this one was different in every way. I will be playing Jessy for many years to come and that’s a really cool thing. She’s a whole new Jessy in Street II Death Fight.
Can you tell us about the films and your character?
The Street franchise is basically the Rocky of MMA. It’s a story of a good guy from the wrong side of the tracks who is trying to protect his family while staying out of the illegal MMA. The very fights that he was known for and that earned him a reputation of being the best fighter. In the process of trying to protect his family, he crosses the wrong guy.
The first film in the franchise was a global hit, and surprised everyone for being a smaller budget indie, yet it outsold Deadpool in DVD sales on walmart.com on its first day. Street was a big hit in Russia, South America, Europe and Asia. The next film has a much bigger budget, bigger names, veteran Hollywood director, Dwight H. Little, and the plot twists and turns will keep everyone guessing. I can’t reveal too much except to say that my character Jessy is at the centre of this film. The storyline revolves around her and her being grown up. It’s a completely new and mature Jessy who has lived through and seen a lot. She will go through a huge transformation in the next film. I hear that Street 3 has even more in store for my character. You know in a franchise they have to outline the next few films ahead of time. I’ve been boxing training in the gym this past year, so maybe I have some boxing scenes…!
How do you fit music around your acting career?
I’m not going to lie, handling everything right now is a bit of a juggling act. Last night I was in the recording studio until 9pm, got home, ate dinner, showered and did homework until 10:30pm. I know that I am extremely blessed and lucky to be in the position that I am, so I have to keep up, stay organised and keep on top of things. I learned the hard way that ignoring one of my responsibilities can have a terrible snowball effect. Now it’s a matter of sacrificing a little here and a little there to stay on top of it all.
Honestly, we had to give auditioning a break. I’ve solely focused on school and music since Thanksgiving. I still do a video audition if a totally awesome role pops up, but travel into Hollywood weekly or several times per month just isn’t possible at the moment.
You know, I have a pretty solid resume in TV and film, I just joined ASCAP and I am joining SAG soon… I think a year of concentrating on music won’t completely derail my film career. Let’s hope!
What was it like being nominated for a 2017 Imagen Award?
As you can imagine it was a really big honour.
When we heard the news on a plane we had boarded and saw I was in the same category as Salma Hayek and Eva Longoria, we thought someone was playing a joke on us. It was a moment I will never forget, an evening I will cherish and truly poignant to my South American heritage.
Which of the characters you’ve portrayed are you most like?
I think there’s a little of me in every character I portray. I definitely have a lot in common with Jessy, having lost one biological parent young and having a single mom until the age of four. Another character I play in a film called The Kids From 62-F, Nina, is probably a lot like me as well, she’s Latina and funny when she’s not trying to be.
Have you ever filmed in the UK?
I have an amazing agent in Europe who sends me terrific roles in European films but the timing hasn’t quite worked out just yet. We have a few we are in talks with now. Recently I had to learn a rural Irish dialect for one role, that was incredibly cool.
Do you have any current projects you’re working on?
Meeting with record labels seems to be on the horizon here a little faster than we had expected, so that’s happening as we speak!
The King’s Prophecy is another film franchise that I will star in and should have lift off soon. I have some amazingly talented friends in both LA and Las Vegas who are talking about doing a Netflix series, also my film The Kids From 62-F will be on Netflix this summer. My focus right now is music, songwriting, studio, eat, sleep, repeat!
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