Our 2021 Breakthrough Winner Cedric proves that you do not necessarily have to go down a conventional career path and that in fact hard work, resilience and positive attitude can take you anywhere. We managed to grab him for a few minutes at the TPi Awards last month as he made the trip over from Belgium to be with us.
How did your passion for the production industry begin?
I’ve always been very passionate about music and computers. I used to be really passionate about becoming a drummer. By going to concerts with my parents as a kid, I got more and more interested in the front of house tech than in the actual act itself. That’s where the seed got planted. When I was 10 years old, my dad discovered Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt and we went there on a trip together. That’s when the seed turned into a huge tree (which is still growing to this day) haha!
How did you get into the production industry?
I used to have a DMX interface and a couple of small lights that I used at events at school and in our street. That would be my very first step I would say. My first considerable steps though, were when I was 14 years old. Through my volleyball coach, I met a local DJ of my age called DIVS. I started touring with him at local parties as his lighting operator. In the venues I visited with him, I met more and more people, and through those people I met more people and that’s how the ball got rolling.
Did you even know how to start your career?
I did not. What I did know is that I was (and still am of course) super passionate about the industry. I would always try to introduce myself to people both online and in real life, and that really helped in a lot of ways. Just always doing my best, showing up and try to show people that I am serious about this.
Did you do a course?
I didn’t do a course or professional education that is industry related. I do however, take courses on platforms like Udemy, or things like in-person training events and webinars when I get the chance.
Was there anyone who influenced you along the way to get to where you are today?
1000%! A lot of people, there is no way I can list them all here unfortunately. My parents, especially my father has taught me a lot in terms of confidence and human interaction, which helped me to approach people. Patrick, who at the time worked at MagicFX. When I was 11, at Prolight + Sound, he took the time to explain a lot to me about the industry. What career paths there were, making me realise I could actually make a living of doing the things I loved. He also invited me to the MagicFX factory which was super cool. Over the years I’ve come across a lot of people that have helped me get where I am, for which I am eternally grateful.
How old were you when you won your Breakthrough Talent Award last year?
I was 17 years old when this dream came true
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
This is very hard, because I cherish quite a few moments from the past few years.
But if I really had to pick, I would say the livestream I did with Lost Frequencies back in November of 2020. This was for the launch of his own gin, and the first time I worked with a AAA artist.
How have you spent the last 18 months?
The past 18 months I’ve been trying to learn & work more on content creation, real time visuals and virtual production – widening my area of expertise. Mainly with Unreal Engine, but also tools like Blender, Notch and Resolume. I tried to make the best out of the covid situation and educate myself on new & interesting software toolkits, hardware and more. In February I also started working at a design agency in Brussels which has been such a crazy and cool journey. And of course worth mentioning, I won the TPi Breakthrough Talent award!
What was your highlight of 2021?
Winning the Breakthrough Talent award! This was dream of mine and I still remember the moment I read the email saying I actually won. Also, I got asked to pixel map part of the rig at Rave Rebels, a huge techno event here in Brussels. This was my first time working in such a giant venue, and the people who I look up to called me to help them which is so cool and still amazing to me to this day.
What would your advice be to yourself 5 years ago?
Keep going how you’re going, keep enjoying what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to approach people. I used to have a lot of anxiety talking to people at exhibitions and at gigs.
While part of the learning process of course, I’d still want to reassure my 13/14 year old self to really push himself in terms of approaching people and taking the steps to meet new people in person.
Any advice to anyone who wants to work in this industry?
Now is the time! There is a big need for event professionals everywhere, so this brings a very good opportunity for new people to step up the ladder and make their dreams come true. My advice would be to always be kind, show up and don’t let your ego get in the way. You never know what opportunities will come from an interaction or a gig, even if it doesn’t seem interesting or worth it at first. Also, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. People really appreciate young & new talent in the industry, so get out there and approach people, or message them online. Be open to experiences and learning. Try to educate yourself on things you are interested in. Read blogs about projects and shows that are happening, buy some online courses, watch YouTube videos, attend seminars and webinars.
don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. People really appreciate young & new talent in the industry, so get out there and approach people, or message them online
What are you most looking forward to this year?
A lot of things! I’m working at a couple of big festivals here in Belgium which are going to be crazy. I am also looking forward to the release of a secret project I’ve been working on in Unreal Engine, that you’ll be able to see all around the globe. Last but not least, I have a project that we’ve been working on for over a year that is finally taking off. Our first rehearsals and programming should start in The Netherlands in October which is going to be amazing., I’m also very hyped for where my journey at the agency will take me. It has been absolutely amazing for the past months and I look forward to the future. Other than that, I look forward to meeting new people, connecting with friends again and just seeing where this journey takes us 🙂