Rising star on the DJ scene, Alex Cecil took the non-traditional route to the top. While growing up on the Upper East Side, he decided to develop his creative talents early in life. He took up the cello when he was only in the second grade “I was talented at it, but it wasn’t the right medium for me,” he admits.
He was also very good with numbers and remarkably received a a perfect score on the math of the SAT which earned him a spot at Georgetown University where he majored in finance and minored in art, indulging both sides of his brilliance. Bowing to pressures from his parents, he decided to prursue a career in finance and took a job at Citibank, until he could no longer deny his true creative calling.
Today, he is one of the hottest in the country. From disco, to house, Cecil is providing the soundtrack to some of the country’s hottest clubs and lounges including Tokya, The Box, No. 8 and 1Oak in NYC to name a few.
We had the chance to catch up to the DJ between beats.
Did your parents pressure you to follow a traditional career route?
Yes, but my parents also pushed me to follow my passion, whatever it might be.
Were you a nose-to-the-grindstone student?
Yes and no. In the subjects I enjoyed like math, the drive to do well came naturally.
How would you describe your time working at Citibank?
It was a great experience but more importantly it made me realize my passion and enabled me to pursue it.
What motivated you to give up your old life for DJ?
My desire to do what I love at the risk of comfort and familiarity. And no regrets.
Was it something that was always in the back of your mind to do?
No, it wasn’t in the back of my mind – it was in the front of my mind.
Who are your greatest influences in the field?
Eric Prydz, Daft Punk, Lee Burridge and Carl Cox.
Do you draw upon your work at Citibank in any way in your new career or does it just give you more motivation to never return to banking?
Of course, there are aspects of my time at Citibank that apply to starting out as a new DJ. At Citibank I also got the chance to interact with people all around the world, which is a lifetime benefit.
What do you think you bring to DJ’ing that is unique?
A whole element of not only the music, but the vibe and culture I bring to a room when I perform is unique – I can guarantee you will have fun when I am DJing no matter what type of music you enjoy.
How did you become so successful, so quickly?
Well thanks. Doing the right thing by others and surrounding myself with likeminded individuals who support each other. People wanted to give me the opportunity to do what I do best.
Do you have a lot of celebrities in your corner?
Yes, the talented people I surround myself with and who are close to me are always celebrated.
What are some of your favorite venues and why?
Marquee has one of the best sound systems, as does Provocateur. Lil Charlie’s is the quintessential New York City underground spot equipped with stripper poles and dark caves in the back (enough said). The Raven is also a great spot with different nights dedicated to different genres of music – not to mention the dark lighting and red walls.
What are your goals for the next year? For the next five years?
In the next year, definitely booking venues and festivals not only in New York but internationally as well. I’m also looking forward to releasing some tracks that I’ve been working on over the past year.
Where do you live Downtown?
What do you like most about it?
The culture and energy. The restaurants, clubs, stores – it’s all there. There is always something going on. Every day and every night people are in the streets, filling up all the area has to offer. I love that when I am in my apartment I can hear the music playing from the venues nearby.
For more information on DJ Alex Cecil, please visit: djalexcecil.com