Djibril Cissé was an artist on the pitch. Early in his career, the Arles born striker made a name for himself winning Ligue 1’s Golden Boot in the 2001/02 season while taking AJ Auxerre to heady heights in the process. With the team qualifying for the Champions League in 2002, Cissé’s efforts were recognised by the French national team, receiving a call up to the World Cup in the same year. His exploits in France for both club and country had garnered attention from teams elsewhere, with Liverpool paying £14 million for his services in 2004. Sadly, Cissé’s time at Liverpool would be marked by injury despite scoring a penalty on that famous night in Istanbul.
Cissé’s injuries would force the player to focus on himself and what he would make of life once his career ended. Having broken both legs during his playing time, it was wise of him to begin to pursue other passions. Deciding to retire in 2015, the Frenchman announced he would be trying his hand at music in 2017 with a statement that read: “With the same passion as football, I will devote myself wholeheartedly to my career as a DJ, producer and consultant, as well as developing my clothing brand”. With this in mind, Cissé has recently gone on record to state his desire of coming back out of retirement to reach 100 goals in Ligue 1. Whether this materialises is yet to be seen.
Speaking to Viberate about his decision to pursue deejaying, the DJ explained: “I knew one day football was going to stop. I was mentally ready. In terms of switching from football stadiums to festivals or club crowds, it took time, a little bit, but now I’m really excited to go play”.
The move into music has proved to be a revelation. Where others have failed (Pat Nevin and Gaizka Mendieta), Cissé has gone on to be a regular club DJ since his announcement in 2017, playing sets in Ljubljana, London and Seoul. His rapid success within the industry led to Diplo signing Cissé onto his label for up and coming artists, Higher Ground.
So what about his music? Is it any good? Djibril Cissé has proven to be adept at mixing songs and has shown a breadth of music knowledge spanning varying genres including House, Disco and Afrobeat. Used to playing in front of thousands at Anfield, Cissé possesses stage presence that allows him to command a room. While his first tune, ‘Fat Trumpet’ can be regarded as somewhat of a false start; his second tune released with Higher Ground is a resounding success. ‘Kiti’ has gained the attention of music geeks, having been featured on Diplo’s Mad Decent playlist as well as Spotify’s Global Club Music and the SEXY BY NATURE playlist. The song is a result of a collaboration between Cissé, DJ Peet and Nigerian singer Niniola- who comes with pedigree having worked on previous projects with DJ Snake. In the media, the song has been received positively with various global media outlets calling it ‘the song of the summer’. High praise for a DJ who has been around for the best part of 3 years.
Jogo Bonito was set up to explore life beyond football. We want to highlight the creatives that have risen up through the game as well as those that are using their art form to have an impact on it. Cissé was always known for his flair. The footballer would often express himself through silky skills, experimental hairstyles and fashion and the tattoos adorned on his body. Music has always played an important role in his life, citing his need for music in order to be focussed before a game. While he certainly attracted his critics with the 2017 announcement, Cissé proved the detractors wrong applying the same passion and enthusiasm he has for football within his music. Expertly combining his love of football with music and fashion, the ex footballer has no doubt played a role in encouraging other footballers to embrace their creative sides and pursue interests that haven’t been typically associated with the often outdated male views of the game.
What lies in store for the future? Counting Diplo as his mentor, it would be a safe bet to think that Cissé’s career is in safe hands. All we know for sure is, we’d love to have Cissé play at the Jogo Bonito launch party.