Singer, Celeste Speaks on Early Influences in Music Career
From the likes of Otis Redding, Bill Withers to Tyler the Creator.
Born of British-Jamaican descent, Celeste’s vocals can be compared to a soulful mix of classic jazz with a contemporary R&B flavor. Her roots in music stemmed from an early age, where she self-taught and immersed herself within the likes of Soul and jazz music, writing her first song “Sirens” at the age of 17. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Brighton UK, the 25-year-old has taken soul and R&B by storm, as she landed her first Brit Awards for ‘Rising Star’ this year. V spoke to the starlet about her early influences leading up to her budding success.
See below for the full interview.
V What were some of your first musical influences?
CELESTE The first [record] I bought was Otis Redding, as a present for my grandad. I was about 4 years old at the time, and I’ve been into soul and jazz ever since.
V Who is an artist you recently recommended to a friend?
C Sault’s new album, UNTITLED (Black Is). Since lockdown, I’ve been in a phase where I fixate on a vocalist and listen to albums’ worth of their material. I recently revisited the works of Bill Withers. And Bettye Swann’s [1969 cover of] “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” is a new favorite of mine.
V What are some influences you discovered later in life?
C In my teens, I discovered Édith Piaf, The Clash, The Specials, N.E.R.D., Tyler, the Creator, Broadcast, Gil Scott-Heron, Sun Ra—inspiring artists from all genres. There was a freedom to what they created, which really opened my mind.
V What has been your proudest career moment to date?
C Winning a Brit Award, and performing there. It was one of those moments that really feels like the fantasy you imagined.