Anyone who knows me knows that I will die on the “Chicago is the most overlooked music city in the world” hill, so I’m psyched to be sharing the latest track from one of my favorites in the city. Cece Maravilla (they/she) is a 20-year-old singer/producer who truly lives and breathes creativity. Originally from Madison, WI, Cece moved to Chicago for college, but eventually dropped out to pursue music full-time. They’ve been locked in since.
Derived from a voicemail recorded on a beach, “Malbec” is a song about processing a breakup and coming out stronger on the other side—which I can certainly relate to: “Can’t believe you lost me, could give a fuck bout what your friends think, they won’t care if you change anyway.” With a saccharine hook, verses full of short melodic bursting flows, and a stripped-down outro recorded on Voice Memos, “Malbec” packs a punch that’s sure to remind you of your worth.
“Malbec” was Cece’s first drop of 2022, and only their fifth official release. Yet for many in Chicago, the song was one of the most highly anticipated drops in recent memory. But this buzz wasn’t a product of a viral moment on TikTok, or a co-sign from a big artist. Instead, Cece focused locally, playing a flurry of gigs and connecting with like-minded artists nearby. In 2022 alone, they’ve rocked some of Chicago’s premier venues like Reggie’s, Schuba’s, the Hideout and Subterranean, and even threw a hometown show called “Lit! Crazy! Movie!” in Madison. As far as building community, it’s rare to find Cece in public without fellow Chicago artists Heartgaze, Senite, Victor Internet, FINGY, or Lev UFO by their side.