A wonderfully talented singer-songwriter of African American, Jamaican and German descent, Celine Love began her musical journey in Hamburg but is now living in the metropolitan city of London. With a luscious sound that centres on melodic and alluring musical journeys, Celine has been impressing fans and critics alike with a string of fresh singles, and now, with the release of her debut EP 'Aquarius SZN' on the horizon, we decided it was high-time we got to know her better.
Wonderful to finally meet you, Celine, your latest single has become an undeniable hit around the world. Where did it all begin for you?
"I really wish I had a super interesting origin story like finding a broken guitar on the street on a bad day and deciding it was my destiny. The truth is I really can’t remember. I come from a family of professional musicians, which of course is super lucky as well so I never even considered doing anything else."
"I did hate being taught by my parents though, not because they aren't great teachers, I would just always get in my feelings and cry whenever they'd criticise me in the slightest. So I am mainly self-taught and purposefully played the opposite genres to what my parents would make. Avril Lavigne was my absolute hero."
Your latest single has been described as a "rich blend of minimalist R&B, soul, and a generous shot of indie-pop", but how would you describe it for those not yet acquainted?
"At the moment I’d say its blend of contemporary R&B and indie-pop. I come from an acoustic background and still usually write on guitar so when it comes to the live aspect of things I often use ‘soulful folk’ as well."
What influences most define your music when creating a new song?
"I have always had very different influences simultaneously. As said I said previously Avril Lavigne shaped my approach to storytelling early on and I love alternative folk singer/songwriters like Jeff Buckley. When I discovered artists like Lianne La Havas, Tori Kelly and more recently H.E.R, I found where I felt most comfortable musically. All that is expanding now though as well and I’m excited to try new things."
What is your songwriting process? How does it all come together?
"I usually start with lyrics because until I’ve come up with something that stands out. For this project in particular we did start with the musical aspect first though. Either TR33 or I would come up with a chord progression or guitar riff and he’d expand it from there."
"The mixing and mastering engineer Marc Tint ended up adding some elements in post-production as well and it was great to get a third perspective on things. A big part of these songs is the lush vocal arrangements that I went completely nuts on. My engineers probably still resent me a little for sending over hundreds of vocal stems."
"I love the songwriting aspect but recording all the harmonies, backing vocals and adlibs was definitely the most fun part."
What’s the most important thing for you when you’re writing a song?
"I try to make every word count. This doesn't mean that there has to be a really thought out reason or meaning behind every lyric but there should be a purpose. Either it rounds out a rhyme or any poetic device in a really satisfying way or it makes the meaning of the song come across clearer. Even with a stream of consciousness, it's super important for me to keep the listener and myself engaged."
Everyone is waiting for the release of your new EP. Can you tell us a bit about 'Aquarius SZN', what can we expect?
"I decided to call the project ‘Aquarius SZN’ with the most obvious reason being that I am an Aquarius. The second reason was that all songs were written during January and February 2021. I met the producer TR33 (Tr-ee) doing a Songwriting and Production course at Tilyard London. We had instant creative chemistry and our different approaches made for interesting compromises, combining acoustic elements, R&B and Indie/Bedroom Pop. We decided to keep working until we had a full project on our hands."
"The collection of songs as a whole ended up being a cathartic way for me to process the end of a long-term relationship and a journey of self-love and self-discovery."
What’s next for you as an artist?
"I am really looking forward to working with a vast array of producers and writers over the year and have the next EP almost ready to go. I’ve also been working on my production skills so by next year I really want to release at least one completely self-produced song."
"I’m lucky to have had a lot of opportunities playing live solo but I am also really excited to play more with a band. Really excited to get to do that for my EP release on the 16th of February at the Love Shack."
What advice would you give to band’s who are looking to make it big?
"Listen to everything you’ve been told and listen to nothing at the same time. It's not like I’ve made it big yet but every time I’ve gone against a gut feeling but done it anyway because that's what you're ‘meant to do’ I’ve regretted the decision. It's all a learning curve and there's no secret formula."
"I’d also say that often people with success have spent far more money than they ever admit and if you're just starting out just do the best you can. It's entirely possible to create music industry relationships online yourself if you target people/platforms you are genuinely interested in."
A gorgeous release that reminds you to put your own heart first, 'Like You Like That' is a gorgeous illustration of Celine's soulful pop sound. In the upcoming debut EP 'Aquarius SZN', Celine will continue to blend the soulful acoustic-pop background with TR33’s R&B influence, which she is leaning into more and more with each release.
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