For Fans Of: Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Frank Ocean
Soul superstar Celeste carries the power of legendary songstresses and is destined for the same greatness.
Born in Los Angeles to an Essex-born mother and Jamaican father, Celeste has an air of the West Coast blues in her. Despite moving to her mum’s hometown at three-years-old before settling in Brighton, it’s something that still radiates in her music. Inspired by her grandparents’ love of Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald, as well more contemporary artists such as Kanye West, Solange and Frank Ocean, her sound has a graceful yet chilling feel which has lead to comparisons to Amy Winehouse.
With her classic soul education starting from an early age, her vocal skills ripened along with it. She was offered a scholarship to a performing arts school at age nine, then scouted through YouTube at 16. She uploaded her debut single ‘Sirens’ to the platform and grabbed the attention of her now-manager who arranged a writing session for her at the infamous Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill.
She has since signed to Lily Allen’s Bank Holiday Records and later to Polydor Records, as well as released two EPs, and an array of singles which have been championed by Annie Mac of BBC Radio 1. Her breakthrough single ‘Day Dreaming’, taken from her debut EP The Milk & The Honey (2017), saw her team up with her now long-time producers Tev’n and JD. Reid, and the raw lyrical style lead to Etta James comparisons. Speaking of her songwriting, Celeste told Wonderland “If I wasn’t writing about stuff that wasn’t real to me, then I wouldn’t really see the point in singing it,” adding “I’ve tested myself this year to not put the word ‘love’ into a song. I want it out… It’s such an easy way to make something make sense.”
Follow-up EP Lately (2019) demonstrated her lyrical prowess grow only stronger as she effortlessly discussed heart-wrenching topics such as her father’s passing and heartbreak. The mellow swung track was named Somewhere Soul‘s track of the week upon release and has continued to climb as her most popular track on Spotify so far.
Celeste’s most recent single ‘Strange’ – recently added to the BBC Radio 1 B-list – launched with a spinetingling COLORS session and saw support from the likes of Clara Amfo, DJ Target and Annie Mac, who exclaimed “Such a beautiful record, I can imagine a lot of people being stopped in their tracks right now.” The release followed the enthralling ‘Coco Blood’, accompanied by a colour-drenched video shot in Jamaica by in-demand director Crackstevens aka Akinola Davies Jr (Blood Orange, Neneh Cherry)
Despite being shy about performing and, as a child, telling her mother “I think I can sing, by the way, and I want you to listen but I’m going to turn off the light and I need you to turn around”, Celeste has gone on to earn notable festival slots across Europe including debut appearances at Glastonbury, Primavera, Field Day and Latitude. She has also supported the iconic Neneh Cherry in her hometown of Brighton and US superstar Janelle Monae in Berlin, as well as performed with Paul Weller.
Don’t miss your chance to see one of the UK’s fiercest new talents live – as NME rightly noted, she won’t be playing smaller stages for much longer.celeste / introducing