THE terrific Celia Palli…
has been talking with me about her new single, Complicity, and what its story is. I ask about her upcoming album, Technicolours, and what we can expect; which artists and albums have made a big impression on her – Palli reveals how Nelly Furtado forms part of her favourite musical memory.
I was eager to learn why she recorded the new album in Brooklyn and why there has been a gap since her last release; whether there are tour dates coming up and which rising artists we need to get behind.
Hi, Celia. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! I’m good. It’s been so exciting to read the reviews for my single and to see the release come together. I’m celebrating inside (smiles).
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a singer, musician and composer. I’ve been singing for other artists for over ten years and, in 2014, I took the big step and released my first album. I took some time away to hone my craft, write better songs and that’s how this new Technicolours record was born.
Complicity is your new single. What is the story behind it?
I was alone one evening, playing the piano, and began playing a chord progression. I thought to myself: ‘What if the melody goes to the highest part of my range?’ I gave it a try and I was vibing with this song. I kept saying the word ‘complicity’ in the chorus but I didn’t have much besides that. Just a feeling. I really wanted the lyrics to be special so I asked my singer friend Nashlyn Lloyd to write lyrics with me.
I knew I wanted them to be about the complicity between partners which, in Spanish, is something extremely positive. In Spanish, being able to appreciate complicity between partners means that they have a deep connection. When presenting the storyline to Nashlyn, and hearing the confusion in her voice; I quickly learned that in English it doesn’t mean the same thing. Hahaha! This misunderstanding worked to our advantage. We used the criminal connotation that complicity has in English to describe the deep connection.
Technicolours is your upcoming album. Are there particular themes and experiences that influenced the music?
Yes, for sure. I spent the last three years in New York and the time there really left a mark. I went out to see local musicians a few times a week and something about their fearlessness dared me to try new ideas.
It has been a few years since your debut album. Has it been a case of taking a break and finding a new sound (in regards the gap)?!
Yes, it has.
After my first album, I wanted to know what I could have improved on. I set up a few meetings with people in the industry that I respect and listened to what they had to say. The one comment that really stuck with me was that I could still take the songwriting to the next level. That was very empowering to know because it gave me direction. I didn’t set foot in the studio until I felt my writing had changed.
You recorded the new record in Brooklyn. What was it like being there and working with the production duo, LIKEMINDS?!
I met LIKEMINDS in Brooklyn where we did the pre-production, but we actually recorded the album in Montreal. And, I have to tell you; I have never worked with producers that were so synched with each other and so selfless. Their one and only goal is to elevate the music! I learned a lot watching them work together.
What sort of music did you grow up around? Were you subjected to a wide range of sounds?
My parents would play vinyl every weekend, from morning to night. It was a ritual when I was young. We listened to The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Wings, as well as artists from my roots like Lluís Llach. These are my first musical memories. Growing up as a teen; I tried to listen to a variety of genres from Rock to Reggae. I think there’s greatness in each genre.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I want people to talk about and share my music. Word of mouth is the ultimate compliment for a musician.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Yeeeeees. My first show with Nelly Furtado. I was twenty-four-years-old when I joined the band. Our first show was in Mexico City and we had had an audience of 150,000. I will never forget the feeling of happiness right before jumping on stage.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Prince - Purple Rain
He poured his soul into those vocals and it reminds me to do the same.
Solange - A Seat at the Table
The sounds choices in production opened my mind and the visuals for the music videos were breathtaking. I find everything about this album inspiring.
Any Beyoncé album!
I play her songs and dance like no-one’s watching!
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Hahaha. That’s a fun question. Dark chocolate, mints; a kettle… chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Wifi and a couch - because being on the road needs to feel the most like home.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Be prepared to be persistent against all odds and then some.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
I currently have a few months of releasing music and promoting, so no dates yet. BUT, when I do have dates, I will post them on all my socials. So; hit that follow button to stay up to date (smiles).
IN THIS PHOTO: Kate Kay Es
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I unwind with wine. Haha! All jokes aside…I kind of do. At night, a glass of wine and silence is very much needed. Other than that, music is playing when I shower; when I cook, when I’m on the bus…
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Paris Monster - The Cause of It All
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