Lockdowns flipped things for everyone: paths were diverted, different priorities were realised, plans were changed. For Breda-based Caitlin Celie the lockdowns took her from pursuing a career in physiotherapy and healthcare and hurled her into the life of a drum & bass artist.
“Everything changed in the first summer of Covid,” explains Caitlin who was 19 at the time and was suddenly unable to commit to her studies. It had nothing to do with the pandemic – she’d torn her ACL (the main ligament in her knee) and couldn’t attend her internship. Injuries aren’t usually positive but in hindsight this one was genuinely life-changing.
“Recovery was long and difficult. Lots of physio. I had to take a lot of time off, so my internship didn’t go the way it should. So I had a lot of time to pursue production. Suddenly school wasn’t what I wanted to do any more,” grins Caitlin. Education’s loss became the studio’s gain.
This was October 2020. Prior to this she’d already taken up DJing and was developing a local name as CaitC. But it was only a hobby and not one she thought could possibly be pursued as any type of career. Less than a year later she was releasing music on local Dutch label LUX Music, an imprint run by events company NOX that champions new talent. Shooting Star landed in October 2021. It instantly pricked the ears of major league Dutch D&B institution Liquicity.
“They picked up I was a new producer and invited me to a writers camp,” says Cait who had only really started to take production seriously from January 2021. Unphased by the rapidity of her development, she found herself working with some of Liquicity’s most renowned talents. “It’s hard work but fun. It was crazy to be in the studio with a lot other producers and vocalist and composers. Everyone is looking in on each other’s tunes and you learn a lot from other people’s specialties.”
These specialities led to Caitlin meeting vocalist Synga and her breakthrough track was born. Come Back For Me landed in March this year on Ridmic, a brand new label from Liquicity dedicated to introducing and developing new talent.
A high energy, synth-blazed vocal cut, it set the scene for a whole series of achievements in recent months. Around the time of the release CaitC performed her biggest set to date, at monolithic Belgian rave Rampage. “That was crazy. The stage was very high and I am very short, they needed to find something for me to stand on,” she laughs.
“It was very dazzling and the lights were pointed in my eyes so I couldn’t see anything. But that was nice – I couldn’t see how big the crowd was getting.”
The crowds are likely to get larger in future: Following Rampage, CaitC’s latest track Everything You Say has recently landed on Balance Volume 1, a new series on Onyx Recordings, the Best Newcomer Label winning imprint at last year’s Drum&BassArena Awards.
“That was really nice, too,” she nods. “I applied for it when I was very early at producing, I couldn’t believe it when they got back to me and said I’d be on the release. That was actually going to be my first release but it took some time and I’m really happy it did because I could update the song and it made me realise how far I’d come already.”
Fresh from the Onyx release, CaitC now has a summer of festivals ahead of her, including a return to Rampage at their Open Air event from July 1-2. More releases are scheduled in the near future, although they’re a little too far ahead to confirm details. One thing is certain, however, CaitC has become part of three well respected brands in drum & bass – LUX, Liquicity and Onyx – and is now at the very forefront of a new wave of Dutch female producers.
“There aren’t many of us… yet!” she states. “There is of course Yorobi who has been doing this for a long time and is amazing and there are a few I know starting to produce but things are changing quickly here. I’ve had two girls get in touch and ask questions, which is great. We also have Dutch D&B group on Facebook and I’ve offered for people to come to me if they have any questions. If I can help anyone then I’d love to.”
If things happen as quickly as they have for CaitC, who is still only 21 and has a whole new set of ambitions that are a far cry from her original plans to become a physiotherapist, it won’t be long before she helps to bring through more exciting Dutch talent. Paths fully diverted, brand new priorities and exciting future plans, CaitC is setting exciting new benchmarks for the future.