Whipped Cream Is Speaking Her DJ Dreams Into Existence
By Shirley Ju for BPM Supreme
Whipped Cream is exactly how she sounds: sweet, delicious, and a treat for her fans. The Canadian music producer and DJ describes herself as someone “who loves art and inspiring other people.” Her sound is unmatched, creating her own lane blending bass with hip-hop and sprinkling in her own unique, intricate style.
While she grew up figure skating, it was after incurring an injury that allowed her curiosity and innate passion for music to flourish. After experiencing her first live music show, real name Caroline Cecil decided that was her calling — to be shutting down stages all across the world.
Last year, the 24-year-old made her debut at Ultra Music Festival, proving the sky’s the limit when it comes to this music game. Fast forward to 2019, she’s featured on the critically-acclaimed Birds of Prey soundtrack, producing Baby Goth’s “So Thick.” In addition, she collaborated with Lil Xan on “Told Ya.”
BPM Supreme caught up with Whipped Cream in Los Angeles to discuss her upbringing, biggest influences, collaborating with Lil Xan, and her forthcoming project Who is Whipped Cream?
What was it like growing up in Canada?
I was born in Toronto, which is a big city like New York. When I was 10, I moved to an island in Vancouver with 80,000 people. I had the best of both worlds: a chill environment and a fast-paced environment.
How’d you get started in music?
I broke my ankle when I was a figure skater, then I went to a festival and I was inspired there. It was the Sasquatch! at the Gorge [Amphitheater] in Washington. I felt a sense of acceptance and a sense of clarity for once in my life. It was a wake up call of what I was supposed to do.
How’d you get your name?
It’s really quite silly, but the universe gave it to me. This was before Marshmello, Slushii, and all those food DJs were out. I wanted to go with Caroline, my name, but there’s so many songs. Between OutKast “Roses” to Neil Diamond to Amine, it was going to be so hard for me to brand the name. Come up on “Caroline” without a hot song? It’s not happening. I thought “what name is memorable? What word can people think of? Where could they be, see it, and think of me? I woke up one day and thought “whipped cream.”
Whipped cream is so bomb.
I love it, it’s so good. It’s not about the food group or branding it on my body. It’s a juxtaposition because you take this super commercial name where I could be wearing a whipped cream hat, I could be doing things that could resonate with people more. But the thing is, it makes people scratch their head. “Whipped Cream, is this a sex ad? Is this a marketing tactic?” No, go listen to the music.
It really fits me perfectly because my whole life as a female music producer has been an uphill battle. Constantly having to prove myself through my work. I don’t even feel that way anymore. Working like “okay take a seat, and watch what happens next.” Having this name that also makes people question, is really cool. I used to hate it, but now I’m starting to accept it.
“…it makes people scratch their head. ‘Whipped Cream, is this a sex ad? Is this a marketing tactic?’ No, go listen to the music.”
Who are your biggest influences?
Musically, Sevdaliza is a big inspiration because she’s really catered to being straight up herself and living literally for art. Not even for herself, for art. I really respect that because sometimes it’s hard to defend your vision, with how many cooks are in a kitchen with each artist. I really look up to her. Electronically, Active Child, Gesaffelstein, Boys Noize. Production-wise, Pharrell, Kanye, WondaGurl.
Do you miss ice skating?
No, I like the feeling of being able to express myself through music. That’s why I liked skating because I was always super artistic. But I can just make music now. I can actually be music now, you know?
What music were you listening to when you were skating?
A lot of music like Dallas Green, which you probably don’t know who that is because he’s Canadian. He was in Alexisonfire, another Canadian band. I listened to a lot of artists who I still listen to this day: Frank Ocean, Tyler the Creator. James Blake is probably number one. Music-wise, although he’s not right at that A-list act because he’s just catered to him and himself. I’ve always listened to him, since when I was 13 years old.
At what point did you realize the music thing was for real?
This is going to sound stupid, but as soon as I went to that festival. I hadn’t even written a song. I hadn’t even played anything. Something woke inside of me, I thought “kay cool, that’s what I’m supposed to do.” If you’re in a sport and that’s all you do, you don’t go to school and it’s just for that one thing, you’re not really exposed to anything.
I was 19 years old and I hadn’t been exposed to anything but skating. You’re getting exposed to something, then your fucking light inside of your soul has been awoken for the first time. You think this is your life path, and whoa. There’s a huge shift. It’s like a drug, I can’t describe it. There’s no words, I can only create.
What’d you do to pursue music after that festival?
I went home and told everyone I’m going to make music now. I had no idea what I was doing. I bought Ableton. I saved up all my money that I was going to do something with. I quit my job and locked myself literally in my bedroom for 2 years. I had my family write me off, friends write me off, boyfriends. Completely lonely with no money for 2 to 3 years. It felt like suffering. It felt like “if I don’t learn how to make music, this feeling’s not going to go away.” It was painful, but then I learned. [chuckles] It was great after that.
Talk about linking with Lil Xan on “Told Ya.”
Me and Baby Goth had linked up. Her manager Fu and Xan’s manager Stat [Quo] are business partners. While I was in the studio with her, Fu had casually mentioned “you should totally get in the studio with Xan and see what happens.” That’s how it happened. [claps]
How was that session with Diego (Lil Xan)?
Really cool! You hear a lot of shit online about Diego and I never judge people on anything I ever hear online. Dude, there’s shit about me online that I know is not true. People like to talk on successful people. He’s young, he’s made mistakes. How are we to judge someone because of one interview? He’s never hurt anyone, he’s just here to create. He’s got his own issues and shit.
I always liked the kid though, I really like some of his music. We brought him in. It’s so funny, he was half an hour early to the session and I was an hour late. He’s thanking my managers profusely, “thank you so much, I love electronic music.” One of his first shows was Diplo. It was an absolute pleasure working with him, he’s super talented. Anyone who talks shit: to judge him over one interview is super upsetting. He’s really trying. He gets so much fucking hate and I don’t know how he stays sane. I deal with a lot of hate too, but I can’t imagine the level he gets. No fucking way. It’s sad to watch, it pisses me off. Because I know the kid, he’s actually not what you think. He’s a sweetheart.
The visuals are crazy! Who thought of the video concept?
[chuckles] Thank you. The vision of the video was my idea completely. We were going to do the music video, but there was this girl Paisley from Sweden. I’ve always followed her art. I thought “as soon as I have the right song, I’m going to hit her.” We hit her, told her the vision of our project and what I wanted people to perceive, and she went crazy with it. She’s such a brilliant creative.
How was seeing your name on the Birds of Prey soundtrack?
It was dope! Really, really cool. It’s funny because around this time last year, I made some status on Twitter on Facebook. I was going through some shit, I said “you can talk all your shit but you’re going to hear my music in the biggest movies. I’m going to be playing the biggest festivals.” I have goals that are beyond myself. I literally wrote it all out, I had no idea I was playing Coachella or be in the Birds of Prey soundtrack at this time. A year to this day, we’re going out to play Coachella and we’re on the Birds of Prey soundtrack. Not to sound cocky, I already knew that was all going to happen no matter what. I just know. Everyone can doubt me and continue to doubt me, but I’ll keep going.
“A year to this day, we’re going out to play Coachella and we’re on the Birds of Prey soundtrack. Not to sound cocky, I already knew that was all going to happen no matter what.”
Did you see the film? I loved it!
I did, it was really good! I love watching movies, super fun.
What goes into your live performances? You bring a lot of rap-fueled sounds to the stage.
Everything from screamo to… I play country sometimes. [chuckles] House music, techno, cinematic Hans Zimmer-style stuff. My new sets are very hip-hop influenced for sure, but they’re very electronic influenced too. I can’t describe my set because my music’s shifting so rapidly at this time, bringing out all these hip-hop artists and trying to create a new genre. This hasn’t been done before.
What’s your set-up like?
Just CDJs. If I’m bringing out a live act, then an extra microphone. I’d love to eventually bring out a live pianist or a guitar. For certain songs, maybe a ballet. This’ll be in the future though, a whole production.
Favorite song to drop in a set?
Oh gosh. [chuckles] They really like XXXTentacion, whenever I drop “Look at Me!” They fucking go off. They love that. They also love when I drop my “Press” remix by Cardi B. They want me to put it out so bad. What I’m going to do is make it an original so that I can maybe put it on my project. It’s the last song that’s on a question mark right now.
What are some goals for yourself at this point of your career?
Right now, my number one goal is to drop this project and move on from it. This is my short-term goal. I chose Who is Whipped Cream? because people don’t really know what the fuck is going on. I’ve been dropping singles and been all over the place, all sorts of kinds of music. This project showcases everything of who I am. In every song, you’re getting a taste. Once this project goes out, you’re going to see where it could go (when you hear it).
The next goal would be bringing a visual aspect to the music. Not enough artists are bringing a visual aspect to their music. Sevdaliza is a perfect example of doing that. She’s creating 7-minute movies, I literally feel like I’ve watched an Academy Award-winning movie when I watch her music singles. I’d like to create my live show to be so involved in a visual experience as well, that it’s more than just music. You’re leaving like “whoa, this is something I’ve never witnessed before.” Still releasing music that’s very cinematic based too, because that’s what I came up on. If you listen to my early shit, I’d love to introduce the hip-hop game to my early cinematic shit — which I am with a few rappers right now. Bring it out and make fucking exotic hip-hop, industrial, insane shit.
My third goal is really starting to speak out on how I can influence other people to do what they love. Right now I’m really focusing on myself, because I have to. Every fucking ounce of me. Once the snowball really goes in the next months, I’m going to have more time to build schools for other female producers or use my money to invest in people’s ideas. Give people a shot that maybe their parents or society didn’t give them. That’s a huge long-term goal for me when I have the finances.
“When you’re in your flow in life, the universe is going to send you all these signals. Energy doesn’t f***ing lie.”
Is there anything you’d tell your younger self now?
Oh, fuck yeah. [chuckles] I could say so much about that. Your gut is usually never fucking wrong. It’s about testing it. Every time I’ve had a really shitty feeling about something, but someone else told me to do it and I listen, I’ve been right. When you’re in your flow in life, the universe is going to send you all these signals. Energy doesn’t fucking lie.
Because my younger self believed that. But as I grew up, more chefs in the kitchen: “no you can’t do this, you have to do that. That’s a stupid idea, how could you think like that?” I wish I turned it off more. It fucking impacts art and it impacts people. I love to watch children in a non-creepy way. You see a kid picking up a table or talking about how the wall looks like a crazy color, we as adults shouldn’t lose that. As we start losing that, a lot of things get boring around us. There’s no new ideas. Children haven’t been told no. If I could go back, I’d tell my younger self: don’t be worried about what people have to say. That was huge for me, it’s easier said than done.
About Shirley Ju
Shirley Ju is a Los Angeles-based journalist as well as a Digital Content/Artist Relations Manager at LA’s Power 106. She lives and breathes music and if there’s a show in LA, you can find her there. Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, the hyphy movement is in her blood. She also graduated from UCLA and is going on 10 years in Los Angeles. Shirley contributes to several publications including Variety, LA Weekly, REVOLT, and more. Follow her at @shirju on both Instagram & Twitter.