An Interview With Celine

Celine music

Celine talks about new single, video and future plans

Celine first discovered her passion for music at the tender age of 11. Today, her unique sound and well-crafted, original songs feature a unique blend of confessional lyrics and a layered rock-influenced sound.

The 23-year-old South African singer, songwriter, musician and actress has recently released her latest single, ‘Call Me’. I caught up with her to talk about the new offering, a new video in the works and her future plans:

You’ve just released a new single ‘Call Me’ – Congratulations! Tell me a bit about this new song and what it is all about.

The song itself is an interesting blend of pop and rock with some elements of blues and jazz. It is written in the formula of a pop song, with rock elements in the production and I used a few jazz/blues chords in the verses. This was quite a tricky song to put together because of all the different genre elements, which is probably why I sat with it for at least a year before I finally got round to finishing it!

The song is about one-sided friendships or relationships where one person involved only really makes an effort when it ‘suits’ them. There is an uneven power dynamic that occurs because of this due to one person being way more invested in the relationship than the other. The song aims to express the feeling of liberation that occurs when you realise that you are in this situation and you call the person out on their behaviour and walk away from the toxic relationship.

You’re also about to release the video for the single. Tell me about the concept for it and who worked with you on it?

The video focuses on a slightly different interpretation of the song. It focuses on how our expectation and perception of future relationships can become skewed because of our past experiences, making it difficult for us to trust anyone new because of paranoia that we will get hurt again. The video ends on a much lighter note, showing that there is hope for a healthy relationship and the “nightmare” can come to an end.

The video was conceptualized and directed by Rash Ferguson, make-up and hairstyling on set were done by Anneri van Vuuren (Mooigemaak), and Alice Findlay co-starred in the video.

The location we worked with was really beautiful and a great fit for what we wanted to do. It was such a pleasure to work with everyone involved in the shoot. I have worked with Rash many times before on previous music videos, and he really is a creative genius. He works super efficiently with a plan in mind so that everything always runs smoothly on set. I was very excited to have Anneri do the make-up for the shoot, as I actually knew her from high school and have been watching her make-up business grow over the last few years. She is very talented and it was awesome to reconnect and finally collaborate! I met Alice, who co-starred in the video, for the first time on set. She was an absolute joy to work with and such a talent!

Celine music

You’ve discovered your passion for music and singing at the age of 11. Who or what do you think fuelled that passion back then? And how do you think your music and style has changed over all these years?

I was quite shy when I was younger, so discovering music and what it felt like to express myself through music really helped me grow as a person and become more confident and sure of myself. I felt like I found my “voice” through music and performing, as cheesy as that sounds. Making music and being on stage immediately just felt like home to me, so that’s how I knew it was something I was meant to do.

Over the years, I found more of a grip on what kind of music I wanted to make and managed to develop my sound and style. It’s always been rooted in pop and rock music, and I think over the years I’ve developed my songwriting in such a way that I can always write something creative that stays true to who I am as an artist.

And what do you hope to say and bring to people with your music?

I hope to be able to inspire people and make music that they can relate to. Growing up, I was inspired by so many different artists in different ways and their music played an important role in my life in terms of self-discovery, personal growth and just pure enjoyment. I hope that my music can do the same for listeners. I would like to inspire and encourage people to be themselves, to be authentic and to love themselves, with a little bit of social commentary thrown in here and there. With all of that included, I also aim to make music that people can enjoy and rock out to!

Awesome! So, you’ve launched your debut album in 2018. Are you working on a new release yet?

I am currently working on writing new songs, and I am hoping to release at least another two singles this year. I am going to be in the studio soon to work on the new material as well as the direction we’d like to take with the sound in terms of production. I am going to be a lot more hands-on in the production process going forward, which I am really excited about.

I am aiming to release either an EP or my second full-length album in the near future.

Celine music

You sometimes perform solo and sometimes with a full backing band. Tell me about how the two setups are different for you and how you choose when to perform solo or with the band?

It really depends on the gig and what each venue or event requires. For smaller venues and more intimate gigs, I prefer to play solo, whereas with festivals or big shows I then like to bring the full band in.

I really enjoy playing with the band, as it’s always a lot of fun being on stage with them and putting on a show. It’s also great for people to experience the “full sound” live as well! But I do love playing solo as well, especially when it’s an intimate gig that celebrates song-writing, then a stripped-down approach really works well and makes for a special show.

No matter which set-up we do, as long as I get to perform and have a guitar in my hands, I’m happy!

Do you write all your own lyrics? And what mostly inspires you to write?

Yes, I write all my own lyrics. Funny enough, the majority of the time I actually start with the music, which then inspires an idea for a theme from which I develop and write the lyrics. I often have some ideas and themes in mind though of what I would like to write about, so I often centre my ideas on that. I like to write about my own experiences and emotions, as well as things I’ve observed in other people, and sometimes also some social commentary.

Celine music

Lastly, what do you hope to achieve during the rest of 2020?

I am hoping and aiming to create and release some new music, get my songs onto some awesome playlists and more radio stations, grow the reach of my music, and keep growing the brand. A big goal of mine is to have one of my songs be a number 1 on radio stations and streaming sites (Or make the Top 10 this year at least). I’ve set up a lot of smaller goals that I’d like to achieve which tie into bigger goals that ultimately lead to the bigger picture of where I’d like my music to go. Any progress made towards that is a win for me; I think it’s always important to celebrate the small victories as well.

Listen to ‘Call Me’

Photos by Leanne Durand

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