Meet Celia. She does everything from directing to producing to singing and songwriting. The uber-talented artist grew up in the middle of it all in New York City and started writing at the age of six. Her music merges her background of folk storytelling and acoustic instruments with electronic music.
What makes Celia even more special is the fact that her music and its themes appeal to listeners of all ages. She’s proud to put out her project Complete In Box which finds her being brutally honest.
The singer-songwriter caught up with EUPHORIA. to chat about her humble beginnings, her project, and much more!
Hey! Thank you so much for chatting Celia! Firstly, introduce yourself to our readers. How did you decide you wanted to pursue music?
It wasn’t a conscious decision, I’ve always wanted to do this for as long as I can remember. I started singing at three and writing songs at six and never stopped.
You also direct and produce! Tell us a little about that.
I like to make songs with images and places in mind. It helps me build a specific sonic world and naturally, I think directing is just me translating the images in my head to something visible. It’s also just so fun to build a world, it’s part of the joy of storytelling in all forms.
With the release of your newest single “Fooled by Your Calm,” how excited are you for people to hear your debut project Complete In Box?
I’m very excited, I’m also nervous because I’ve been sitting on these songs for a long time and have changed a lot since creating them. It’s emotional! These songs feel like my babies but it’s time to let them be free and belong to other people.
Can you tell us a little about the creation process of this new project? What’s the elevator pitch that will want to make people listen?
This is a project about growing up and the lessons that come with transition, so I think there’s something everyone can relate to on it, especially young women. I was really discovering who I am both sonically and as a person during this process and I think that reflects sonically and lyrically. It’s a collage of all the sounds and stories I was trying to incorporate from my influences and my experiences.
Currently, in one sentence, how would you describe your sound?
I can’t but when I have to I use the term “folktronic” though I feel silly saying that word. I grew up listening to singer-songwriter music and then got into more electronic production in my teens so it’s a hybrid of those influences.
What is a day in the life of Celia like at the moment?
I feel like I don’t have a day in my life that’s consistent. The only constants are making music and eating. I love food so what and where I am eating is my second priority throughout my day. I’ve been moving around so much the last three years trying to graduate college and make a record in LA that every day has been different. It’s been filled with so many rewarding fun moments and some hard lessons but I just moved into my own place so hopefully I’ll get a routine down soon (or not because honestly I’d love to tour).
You worked with a couple of different organizations such as The UN’s International Women’s Community and Arts Effects in collaboration with Gloria Steinham. How did you get involved with them both?
Arts effect was when I was much younger, I just had a passion for performing and my mom got connected with the founder Katie Cappiello. I got to really surround myself with some incredibly empowering women from a very young age who taught me the importance of self-expression and taking up space. With the UN that was through my wonderful mother. My mom has always been incredibly involved in charitable efforts to uplift women and children and she has included me in that since I was six years old. I was never sheltered by either of my parents from the reality of the disparities and hardships millions of people deal with. My dad also worked for the UN so it was pretty ingrained in my family that it was not only important but my responsibility to involve myself in endeavors that support and uplift anyone who needs it.
Which song on Complete In Box do you think will surprise fans the most? Why?
Probably Taxes. It’s the most upbeat song on the project and is a larger departure from some of the singles, but honestly, I don’t know if anything will be greatly shocking. To me, they all make sense in context.
What song are you currently obsessed with at the moment?
I can never pick just one so probably C.Tangana’s tiny desk version of Me Maten and Danny O’keefe’s version of The Road.
As you’re breaking out in the music industry, what has been something you learned in the industry and what do you want to share with other aspiring artists?
Oh gosh, can I have a whole article…I think the first thing I would say is LEARN TO PRODUCE. The power and freedom you get from really understanding how to articulate your sonic ideas is so liberating and critical. As a young girl, I was never told I should learn to produce. I was told I should take vocal lessons. Yes, that’s important but I wish someone enforced the importance of production for young women. I would also say, which sort of goes hand in hand with the first part, there is no right way to make music. Your power is in your individuality and your ability to express that. Honor who you are because the world needs that. Sure, there are rules to learn about structure and writing, but once you learn them, break them how you see fit.
Lastly, how would you like to see your career flourish in the next couple of years?
I would love to tour and play a festival, I would love to make another record I am proud of that feels like growth from this one, and all I can hope for is enough people to keep listening so that I can keep doing it for a long time. I am trying to just be present and focus on getting better at my craft and praying that I am fortunate enough to keep growing and getting more amazing listeners. Honestly though, if I have learned anything it is that I can’t really control the outcome of my art or anything so all I can do is just do what I love, work hard, and have faith.