Photo: Graham Smith / Press

CMMND — Celica

There’s nothing better than an early 2000s throwback and CMMND is doing exactly that with their new song “Celica” — a song based on a car we all remember. Everyone had that one friend with the 2005 Toyota Celica that you always found yourself in the back seat of, squished and blasting music and smoking cigarettes after school. The CMMND collective takes that nostalgic feeling and throws it into a song. “Celica’s” funky chill beats over soft sexy vocals gives us our vital windows-down-sun’s-out song.

We got to talk to the multitalented group that met at UCLA about making music together, favorite pastimes, and writing “Celica.”

Tell me about how all of you met.

We all met at UCLA — we were brought together by KP [Karl Perkins], who was friends with all of us. He saw all the creative things each of us were doing and wanted to make something out of it. Each of us has a different medium of art we work with, whether it be music, fashion, photography, videography, graphic design, or even creative direction. Despite this, we all still give creative input to the others even if their medium isn’t our area of specialty. Cross pollination between these different areas of art is what drives CMMND as a collective.

What’s it like making music together?

Our creative process is always different because our individual artistic process and approach to music differ. Because of this diversity though, we are always able to come up with something novel and exciting to all of us. In terms of instrumentation and production, Seiji works very on the spot and off of feel, while Coleman works off of concepts and often will have fully fleshed out ideas coming into a session. Bryan is the tastemaker and will often have input on the beats even if he’s not behind the computer. For lyrics, we usually write together in the room and try to have a set concept, throwing ideas back and forth to push each other to come up with new content.

What was the inspiration that sparked Celica? How was the writing process?

Seiji made a beat called Celica that was likely inspired by his muse, his trustee 1895 model Toyota Corolla. It’s because of this, Celica’s vibe was maintained once Coleman and Bryan got a hold of it. “Celica” is, simply put, a feel-good song, created intentionally to be listened to in car rides with groups of friends, and to make people feel good about what they have regardless of perceived status.

What are you doing when you’re not making music?

Seiji Oda: When I’m not making music, I’m making music, freestyling in the car while I drive or making beats in my head while I cook dinner.

okay coleman!: When I’m not making music I’m a full-time student at UCLA, planning fashion shows and huge concerts, or talking to friends about outer space and their problems

sleepyboybryan: When I’m not making music, I am working on some graphics or cutting hair. As a full-time hustler, when I’m not grinding out music, I am exploring other creative endeavors and passions.

If you could be on the soundtrack of any TV show or movie what would it be?

okay coleman!: I would want to be on the soundtrack for Insecure by Issa Rae and would love to be on the soundtrack for a Marvel movie, maybe.

sleepyboybryan: I’d probably want to be on the soundtrack for a casino-related movie or like a street film about some kids in the summer getting to it. I can name a few but I don’t have a specific movie in mind. Definitely something player though, like where the plot includes someone finessing a real bag or where the nerd protagonist gets the person they want at the end.

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Seiji Oda: In 2021, I’m looking forward to whatever the world has in store.

okay coleman!: In 2021 I am looking forward to building our platform and seeing a COVID finish line to be able to produce in-person events again.

sleepyboybryan: In 2021, I am looking forward to working on other projects with my team, whether music or fashion. I hope to gain a better understanding of my creative identity and just growing as an artist. I’m looking forward to being outside again too, you feel me.