Montaigne

Montaigne aims for ‘Glorious Heights’ with debut

Montaigne. Montaigne.

Get used to this word – how it sounds; how it feels as it rolls off your tongue – because you’ll be hearing, and saying, a lot of it.

For those who haven’t yet come across the alter ego of 20-year-old Sydney singer Jessica Cerro, here are the Cliff notes.

Made the finals of Triple J’s Unearthed High contest in 2012. Check. Finished high school. Check. Named herself after 16th century philosopher Michel de Montaigne and released first EP. Check. Supported San Cisco and Washington. Check. Collaborated with Hilltop Hoods. Check.

Now, Cerro will go it alone with the release of her debut album Glorious Heights on August 5.

The down-to-earth performer says she can’t wait for the world to hear the record, which has been in the making since April last year.

“I’m very excited,” she says.

“I’m so sick of waiting. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”

Did it turn out the way she’d hoped?

“I didn’t really have any expectations. My only expectation was for it to be good and I think it’s good, so it did meet my expectations in that way.”

The album artwork is something special and depicts an illustrated Cerro on bended knee, flanked by two dragons, having slain one of them.

The artwork, explains Cerro, is partly inspired by the video game Kingdom Hearts and symbolises the continuous cycle of good and bad that happens in our lives.

“The idea is that there is adversity and pain and hardship and suffering, and then you figure out how to overcome all of those things or they pass and fade away,” she says.

“The dragons represent problems that you need to tackle or emotions or whatever, and then me with sword in the head of the first one is me getting over that and overcoming it.

“What I want people to take from it is to remember there are good times and it’s not just eternal suffering. You are the hero, and even though things are trying to tear you down, you’re not going to let them because you’re a bloody brilliant masterpiece of a human being who can fight through this.”

You are the hero, and even though things are trying to tear you down, you’re not going to let them because you’re a bloody brilliant masterpiece of a human being who can fight through this.

Speaking of life’s challenges, first single Because I Love You is Cerro’s take on something many of us have experienced – being in a relationship and not being able to see how unhealthy it is.

Cerro says it’s a lesson she learned the hard way, but is richer for it.

“The problem with the relationship that I experienced was that I didn’t realise I was making excuses for him,” she says.

“I think once we stop making excuses for the people that are treating us like trash, then we’ll realise. But it’s hard to identify. We just want to be like, no, it’s okay. It’s fine. I can deal with this. Even though most of the time it’s probably not and if you’re constantly making excuses for a person who’s treating you that way then you should probably end it.”

How does she approach relationships these days?

“I always assess first. If it isn’t like ‘eff yes’ then I’m not into it. I won’t go there.”

Self-awareness and improvement is a theme that clearly preoccupies Cerro and comes through in her music.

“A lot of people blame others for things that have gone wrong or for their own faults or they aren’t willing to change things because they’re too scared, even though the change might be for the better,” Cerro says.

“Imagine what this world could be if people had a little bit of self-awareness and external awareness; understood that their actions have serious consequences. It’s empowering not just for the individual but for the entire community for people to want to be better. I don’t see any drawback to everyone just treating each other better.”

It’s empowering not just for the individual but for the entire community for people to want to be better. I don’t see any drawback to everyone just treating each other better.

Even those who haven’t heard any Montaigne releases will probably be familiar with her voice, which featured (and frankly stole the show) on Hilltop Hoods’ catchy single 1955.

What was it like working with one of Australia’s most decorated hip hop acts?

“They’re really fun guys. I love them a lot. I got along really well with them and the professionals that they are. Family forever now, probably.”

Asked whether there were any more collabs in the works, Cerro lets on that she’s been approached by several artists for ‘co-writes’, but isn’t at liberty to say who.

“I don’t know how much I can say because some of it might not even happen,” she says.

“I can tell you that E^st and me and Asta and Tony [Buchen], my producer, have been working on some stuff. We don’t know if we’ll actually release it, but yeah. That’s been fun.”

Montaigne will be on tour throughout September and October.

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MONTAIGNE ‘BECAUSE I LOVE YOU’ TOUR DATES

 

TUE 13 SEP | THE SPIEGELTENT @ BRISBANE FESTIVAL, BRISBANE QLD (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.brisbanefestival.com.au *On sale Thu 30 June

FRI 16 SEP | CARNIVAL OF FLOWERS, TOOWOOMBA QLD (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.tcof.com.au

FRI 23 SEP | FAT CONTROLLER, ADELAIDE SA

Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

SAT 24 SEP | JACK RABBIT SLIMS, PERTH WA

Tickets available from www.ticketbooth.com.au

SAT 01 OCT | BEYOND FESTIVAL, CANBERRA ACT (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.beyondfestival.com.au

SUN 02 OCT | WILDWOOD FESTIVAL, PORT MACQUARIE NSW (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.wildwoodmusic.com.au

MON 03 OCT | CALOUNDRA MUSIC FESTIVAL, CALOUNDRA QLD (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.caloundramusicfestival.com

FRI 07 OCT | UNI BAR, WOLLONGONG NSW

Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

SAT 08 OCT | OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY NSW

Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

SUN 09 OCT | LIZOTTES, NEWCASTLE NSW (ALL AGES)

Tickets available from www.lizottes.com.au | 02 4956 2066

FRI 14 OCT | WORKERS CLUB, GEELONG VIC

Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets

SAT 15 OCT | CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE VIC

Tickets available from www.cornerhotel.com | 1300 724 867




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