Words By Dylan Bryant
It’s no secret that Celeste is making her mark in today’s music industry. Although, it’s a rarity for black female artists singing jazz and soul to be heard in the mainstream; Celeste may be the circuit breaker that’s needed. Born in California and raised in Saltdean (Brighton), it’s exciting and encouraging to see a local artist making such a name for herself. Named as the BBC sound of 2020, (a somewhat harsh title to be given after the year we’ve all had!) Celeste had previously been presented the Brit Award for the Rising Star. A successful year for the artist in difficult circumstances, Celeste has also featured in the soundtracks of Disney Pixar’s ‘Soul’, Netflix’s ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ and most notably the John Lewis Christmas advert.
I was lucky enough to secure a ticket to the 2020 Brit Awards and I was blown away by Celeste’s performance. Although unique and an individual talent in her own right, Celeste’s moving and impressive vocals from her performance echoed the likes of her musical ancestors such as Amy Winehouse and Aretha Franklin. From her debut album, the track ‘Love Is Back’ shines a light on what we can expect from the Brighton raised singer. Emotive vocals, catchy melodies and an array of brilliant modern soul music. Celeste released her long-anticipated debut album ‘Not Your Muse’ on the 29th of January and with 21 tracks and 1 hour 18 minutes of captivating and effortless vocals, it doesn’t disappoint. I highly recommend using your time in lockdown to get some headspace – especially after a lecture or meeting on zoom.
It’s a perfect display of what Celeste has to offer, featuring upbeat tracks like ‘Stop This Flame’; the theme song to Sky Sports Premier League football and spell-binding love ballads such as ‘Strange’. The singer has delivered a beautiful arrangement of refreshing new music.
Celeste opens the album elegantly with the track ‘Ideal Women’ which is self-assured and confident. This is a theme that runs throughout, contrary to her shy demeanour. With moments that’ll pull on your heart strings and catchy pop melodies that once heard, you won’t forget; Celeste brings it all with her powerful debut. Whether slow and moving, or upbeat and commercial, it’s Celeste’s vocals that really steal the show. A debut Album that lives up to the hype and I’m sure there’s lots more we can look forward to from Celeste in the future!
During these uncertain times, it’s exciting to have things to look forward to and Celeste has recently announced her Café Reality tour. A series of intimate shows, with the first show taking place right here in Brighton. Celeste is set to grace the stage at CHALK on the 6th September 2021 and I recommend grabbing yourself a ticket as soon as possible.
*Not Your Muse released 29th January on Polydor Records