Get to know Celine, the voice behind 'Call me'
Get to know the singer-songwriter, musician and actress behind 'Call Me', Celine. Ready to take SA by storm with her latest single 'Call Me', we had her answer some of our burning questions! 'Call me' is accompanied by a beautiful music video directed by Rash Ferguson.
Celine by Leanne Durand
You have been singing and making music since the age of 11, at what part of your musical history did your love for music transform from a hobby to a career?
I knew right from when I started at age 11 that I wanted to do music as a career, so I practiced and learned through the years with that mindset. It became really "official" when I finished high school and began studying performing arts and working on building my brand and doing proper gigs etc.
In your latest single, Call Me, a wide variety of musical influences can be picked up, would you mind elaborating on the influences you had when writing Call Me?
I listen to and am influenced by a variety of artists in the pop and rock genres including Alanis Morisette, Ellie Goulding, and Avril Lavigne among others. When learning to play guitar, I was taught a lot of blues and jazz chords which has influenced how I write songs.
At the time of writing Call Me, I was playing around with a variety of jazz chords on the guitar and came up with a few of the progressions found in the song. I wanted to write a fun, catchy pop-like song with a rock edge. The song is thus a mix of pop and rock with some subtle jazz and blues elements. I had a very clear idea in my head of how I wanted it to sound and it was quite tricky to get this mix just right, so it took me a while to actually finish the song. I needed to find the right combination of chords and melodies (and fit lyrics to it) to get the sound just right. I was so excited when it all came together as I hoped it would!
Following an album with a single can be daunting, how would you say do these releases differ in your experience as a songwriter? Would you say you experienced more pressure or less pressure?
It depends. In some ways, I'd say there is pressure in releasing a single as that song has to stand on its own, whereas with an album you have at least 10 songs that tie together into an overall theme. But when releasing a single, you can really work towards putting your all into that one song and putting out the best possible product you have at the time. And if it doesn't work well, you can learn from the experience and improve for the next release. With an album, you spend a lot of time and money on that project and if it doesn't "do well", it does feel disappointing after all the investment and effort. So there are definitely pros and cons to both. The only bit of 'pressure' that I experienced with releasing the new single was the worry of "Will it live up to the album?" But either way, I love releasing new music and I was very excited to finally put something new out after the album release in 2018.
What inspired you to write ‘Call Me’
The song was inspired by experiences I've had with 'toxic' or 'fake' friendships and relationships. Sometimes people only really make an effort when it suits them and when they can get something out of it, and they never reciprocate the care and effort you put into the relationship. It becomes very exhausting and I think a lot of people have experienced something like this. The song serves as a means of expressing the liberation felt when breaking free from such a situation.
You have played some of the best venues in the Western Cape, would you like to tour the rest of South Africa?
I would definitely love to tour around South Africa; I have heard about so many amazing venues all over SA that I would love to check out and perform at. I would also love to tour overseas sometime soon as well. I really enjoy the aspect of my career that involves traveling and seeing new places.
As a vocalist, who would you say is your biggest influence? How does this influence affect your vocal style/lyricism?
Tricky to pin it down to one! There are a lot of artists that have influenced me over the years in different ways, but if I really had to pick and mention one as an important influence for me, I would say Jessie J. Her music played a crucial role in my musical and personal journey in my teen years. Her honest lyrics inspired me in so many ways and motivated me to start writing songs and find my "voice" when it comes to songwriting. She also has some powerhouse vocals and flawless technique which really inspired me to take vocal technique training seriously and improve all aspects of my singing. Stylistically, I don't do what she does, (my specific music and vocal genre/style is influenced by a few different artists) but with regards to influence, she played an important role in getting me on the right track from a technical perspective.
Starting in music at such a young age, would you say your younger experience (eg. Rockschool) plays a big role in your current success?
I think so, yes. I had a lot of time to really work on honing and developing my craft. Rockschool was a great platform for learning and improving my skills on guitar, bass, and drums. I work well with structure, so doing the Rockschool exams helped me to progress my skill level continuously. This time also helped me develop my songwriting and figure out what kind of music I wanted to write.
Singing and performing from a young age helped me build my confidence and gain experience being on stage, which I feel was so valuable in my development as an artist. Experience is really something that money can't buy.
As usual, some fun ones!
If you could do a world tour supporting one big act, who would that act be?
Billie Eilish. She's so cool and I love how unique she is! Her talent is incredible.
If you could be a fly on the wall in a studio for ONE song, which song would that be and why?
"What's Up" by 4-Non Blondes. That is one of my favourite songs of all time, and it is so memorable and catchy. I would love to see how they actually wrote that song and came up with something so iconic and recognisable.
What is your favourite part about being in studio? (collaboration, writing etc) and why?
The magic of creating something new. Very little can compare to the moment when it all comes together and you hear the song come to life for the first time. I just love the recording process, it's always a special experience.
Watch the music video HERE
Listen to Call Me HERE
Social Media Links: