Shelia Goss: Why did you start singing?
Celeste Lear: It is really a combination of different factors. As
a child my mother loved to sing to me, I can honestly
say that those memories of that soft, lullaby like
voice that painted my childhood had a big part in the
inspiration behind my career choice. Later, as I
ventured further into my music theory education in
college, I really felt this challenge, to learn music
theory (no small task!) and become masterful at what I
do, it became my personal quest - to change the world,
to be a voice for women, to make my own unique mark. I
went deaf in my right ear at age 16 from a car
accident, so I had this other particularly challenging
handicap to deal with, but I just naturally seem to
have this stubborn persistence (as musicians really
have to have) to achieve my goals regardless of
obsticles, and music was my passion. I not only wanted
to become a great singer, but also
multi-instrumentalist, and NOW my greatest desire is
to become a wicked electronic music producer – like
Moby, Tricky, Tori Amos, Massive Attack, Portishead…I
love those musicians who are talented enough to write
and play their own compositions, learn how to program
beats, loops, etc, AND sing – to me - it’s really the
culmination of years of training and practice.
Shelia: How did you get discovered?
Celeste: Well…that depends on your description of
“Discovered”. I am still pretty small fries in most
people’s books. The case has been more that I have
discovered myself, believed in myself, started my own
independent label (Boutique Electronique Records) to
release my own music on and of course done everything
I could to promote my music. The 2 most recent
examples of my success in the music industry, was
getting selected to be on a compilation CD called
“FEMMES FATALES” which features “The 12 Leading Ladies
of Electronica” – I was excited to have one of my
tracks included amongst greats like Jan Johnston,
Colette, MIA, etc… I was also recently flow to New
York by VH1 to be in a pilot about young independent
music producers (the show, unfortunately didn’t get
picked up though).
Shelia: Tell me about some of your current projects.
Celeste: Ok, well most recently, I had spent the past 2
years recording my 2nd solo album in my personal
recording studio. I produced the album myself, did
most of the arranging, writing and instrumentation –
even some of the mixes! So, of course this is a lot of
work and has kept me plenty busy. I collaborated with
2 other artists on 2 tracks on the CD and had a remix
done by Carmen Rizzo (Alanis Morisette, Seal, Niyaz).
I have been spending the past couple months promoting
this CD, touring, contacting media, etc…
Another one of my favorite projects in 2007 was my
label’s release of DIGITAL BLISS – Volume 1. This is a
compilation CD features 12 phenomenally talented women
in electronic music (Artemis, Divasonic, Return to
Mono, etc). I worked with my business partner Lynda
Arnold from Digital Bliss Productions and we both came
up with the concept, handpicked the artists, wrote up
the contracts, got the cover art designed, the CDs
pressed and up at digital retailers and on CD Baby.
The CD is mellow, sexy and really, just on the cutting
edge of modern music. The industry is still so male
dominated, it’s just the way things are, but I am very
proud to have been part of getting these artists,
these talented women’s voices heard. We are working on
the 2nd volume now!
Shelia: What singer would you compare yourself with?
Celeste: Beth Gibbons from Portishead. Bjork has been an
inspiration, Jeff Buckley, POE, Tori Amos, Allison
Shelia: How do you categorize your sound?
Celeste: I like to call it ALTRONICA, but since that’s a
genre I made up, I’ll say it’s like moody, soulful,
colorful downtempo electronica with pop sensibilities.
Sexy, mellow, sometimes a little dark…
Shelia: What can listeners expect when they pick up one of
Celeste: A 70 minute long tour of my hopelessly romantic,
eclectic and occasionally tortured artist soul. An
exceptional array of fun, sexy soulful downtempo and
trip hop inspired electronica. Home baked goodness
from my little recording studio in Venice Beach,
Shelia: What artists do you listen to the most?
Celeste: This list could quite possibly be a mile long! Most
recently: Martina Topley Bird, Morcheeba, UNKLE,
Bjork, Goldfrapp, Goldie, LCD Soundsystem, Goddess
Tori, Zero 7, Theivery Corporation, Woven,
Bitter:Sweet, Neko Case, Bach, Lily Haydn,
Modeselector, The Cure…my god! So many brilliant
artists out there…
Shelia: How can readers purchase CDs you've worked on?
Celeste: I would LOVE to share my world with your readers.
My 2 solo albums “The Echo Inside” and “Looking Up
from Underwater” and my label’s compilation CD
“Digital Bliss” can be purchased on iTunes or at CD