7 questions in heaven with Celia Inside, pt. 2

ci 7 questions 2

My girl Jessy aka Celia Inside aka total babe pal from NYC (and my first real-life internet friend) has some new tunes on the way AND has just released a really fun cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” produced by Kid Jimi. Listen above to her buttery, pretty, is-this-B-on-the-radio-yet voice and read about what she’s been up to while recording her new r&b album “Overtime” coming out next year!!!

CELIA INSIDE FB, TWITTER, TUMBLR

How would you describe your new album “Overtime”?

It’s soulful, cool, sometimes playful + fun, a little edgy… and lighter than my previous work in a wonderful and necessary way, haha. The music has definitely shifted more into hip-hop and R&B territory — that’s where I feel most natural. It’s still full of harmonies and left turns, though. Overall, I think it shows some very different sides of me as a person and artist. It’s hot!

Is “Overtime” a departure from your last Celia Inside release?

It is in that it’s less emotionally heavy and more beat-driven. It’s less wanna-be alt-rock music, lol. I was really married to the idea of making indie rock music on my first EP, Remodel…. That had a lot to do with my environment and the people around me back when I was living in College Town, USA. I think I was trying to appeal to a scene more than honoring my own musical inclinations. Some really cool stuff came out of that creative time and I’ll always love Remodel, but the music I’m making now is the most exciting for me yet. And I think it’s the most exciting, period! These songs are coming out so nice!

What was the inspo?

The inspiration for the music is a big mix of my life here in NYC and the people who fill it every day; working + living in different parts of the city and experiencing the different cultures, clash of cultures and gentrification all of that entails; rediscovering my love for hip-hop and also parts of myself that kind of got buried during my college+ years… a lot of stuff. Figuring out what kind of grown up I can and want to be! (A #crazysexycool one, obvi)

What has changed since your last EP “Remodel”?

Oh, what *hasn’t* changed!? Haha, almost two years ago, I decided to up & move to New York — it seemed to be where I needed to go — and my life has changed a ton. I’ve made friends, found work I can appreciate doing, moved around, fell in love with someone amazing!…. I’ve learned and experienced so much in such a short time.

All of these things affect the music and how I approach all things Celia Inside. Then, I’m more inspired, motivated, and happy than ever and can’t wait to release and share more as I move forward — this time, with a real plan, and a lot more experience + vision.

Are there any challenges to recording in NYC like noise or 5 roommates?

Omg, yes. Both of those things, actually — haha. I literally lived with five roommates for a little while! It wasn’t as ridiculous as I thought it might be, though (and it made for some fun + diverse parties). Yeah, noise is always a challenge here but I do my best with what I have and there are ways to work around it.

celia inside

 

Are you playing any shows for this release?

That’s the goal, but I’m more focused on recording and building up my online presence right now. I’ve literally met all of my collaborators via the internet! And my next major release will be an EP that won’t be out for a little while. Lots of singles/covers here & there first.

I’m still figuring out what kind of live performance would suit me and these songs best. It’s exciting to enter this new realm of possibilities, though, and check out different kinds of equipment, which is totally new to me. I want to make sure my singing/harmonies are a strong component of my life set along with the beats to these songs.

Anything else interesting about the new tunes?

This is my C.I. era — I rap, I sing, I make beats, I produce; I’m doing a lot of things I used to just experiment with but never really gave my full focus (and confidence) to. I’m making music for myself now and the music reflects that. I’m a better producer now than ever and only getting better. In the words of Fiona Apple, “here’s coming a better version of me!…”

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7 Questions in Heaven with Celia Inside

7 Questions Celia Inside

Celia Inside (@celiainside) is an artist I met on Twitter. HELL YEAH TWITTER. We bonded over music, tv and HORRIBLE fucking dating stories. It’s cool to be out on the web and randomly stumble across people you vibe with. Sometimes the internet is great. Anyways, CI just released an EP called Remodel that is full of relationship deconstruction, electric guitar and really, very pretty vocals. (Download the EP for free here)

Check out what this very fresh artiste de Boston has to say (on the very first 7 Questions!) about breakups, the very solo recording process and loving Solange.

1. What was your main inspiration to record the Remodel EP? A break-up, a boring winter, an angel speaking to you in dreams?

There was definitely some post-breakup inspiration, but it was mixed with other stuff. I was going through a kind of perfect storm of huge life changes that happen in those first couple years after college. My friends were moving away and getting super busy with work, and I was busy too, but less well-adjusted about it, I think. So I pressed pause on everything, disappeared for a while, and turned my feelings about those challenging and confusing times into angsty songs! And then the title came about later — it was (and still is) the perfect one-word sentence/truth/tough love advice I need to hear. Remodel. Change, evolve; find a way to live your life that won’t make you miserable!

2)Which song is your baby, the one you love the most or that you feel the strongest connection with and why?

 

“Leaving Girls” is pretty near & dear to me, partly because it was the first song to really take shape both instrumentally and lyrically. There are a couple lines there that have really resonate with people, me included, and I like how the title/words leave lots of room for interpretation. I originally wrote it as a kind of friendship breakup song but it can really apply to anyone who is… leaving, I guess. Haha. I also like how dark and unpredictable it can be… along with the many layers going on between the harmonies and the spastic guitars and the synth. That’s my St. Vincent-wanna-be song.

3)The recording process: You recorded everything yourself (KUDOS bc that shit is HARD). Describe the last week of recording/mixing/mastering. Was there a lot of caffeine/alcohol/pot/sex/cuddles with puppies?

Haha — thanks, girl! Yeah, it wasn’t so fun at times. I couldn’t sleep because I was really stressed out, so I would just drink black tea and stay up super late tweaking this and that. I became super nocturnal — more-so than usual, haha. And yes, I definitely cuddled with my puppy on the reg! She’s so affectionate; bless her heart! She should get a producer credit.

4)Where do you see your music going in the future? Are there any new genres you’re exploring now that may influence your next record?

Ah, there is so much I want to do! On one hand, I’m into R&B in a big way. I grew up listening to so much hip-hop and R&B — it’s a part of me — and I definitely want to experiment more with making beats. I’d love to make an R&B mixtape and rap some on it. I used to rap a bit and I miss it a lot! Especially when I hear some inspired hip-hop. I also feel like a lot of people are loving “Stranger,” which is kind of my Mariah Carey/R&B experiment on Remodel. So yeah, definitely more of that hotness. 😉

On a totally different note, I’d like to rock a little harder; I want to see what I can come up with working with a more traditional set-up: guitar, bass, drums, and that’s it. I’m so amazed at what some bands can do with only three or even two people live. Hop Along and Wye Oak come to mind. When you see them play, you’re definitely going to rock out, but there’s so much genre-bending and style-blending going on with their music too. Those are both bands that make me cry while I bang my head!I’ve always been musically pulled in so many different directions. It makes perfect sense to me to make different albums in totally different styles (ala PJ Harvey or The Cardigans, who are both huge inspirations of mine).

5)You’re gearing up for some live shows in the Boston area (right?). How do you feel about performing these songs live? What is your live set up?

 

That’s the goal — to play live in Boston/New York/wherever I am in the near future. And I feel… conflicted. Because these songs obviously require some drums and synth and PEOPLE that I don’t currently have, yet I want to perform solo & acoustically, at least for a little while. Celia Inside is a veryyy new car and I need to put some miles on it before I, like, plan a cross-country road trip, you know? I’m still very new to performing. I actually just played an original song for the first time tonight at an open mic night! So I have some work to do on this front. But ask me again in a year! 🙂

6)If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Hmmm. So I thought about this for a while and came up with the BEST answer: Solange. When you talk about artists, truly original people doing new and incredible things creatively like only they can, Solange is at the top of that list. I’m so in awe of the True EP, partly because her last release (SoL-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams) was SO good and fresh and then she somehow managed to top that by like 100%. I love the choices she makes — vocally, lyrically, image and PR-wise, everything — and I just… feel her spirit (lol). Completely. She’s totally brilliant and down to earth and cool. So yes, in my dreams, I would collaborate with Solange and we’d become besties and Beyonce would get dinner with us occasionally and stuff.

7)What’s the most embarrassing artist/song you absolutely LOVE?

Haha. First, I want to note that I’m not easily embarrassed when it comes to this stuff! Like, I regularly go to bat for artists I adore that people are too cool for like Paramore and Danity Kane and whoever. With that said… Ashlee Simpson! When I listen now, her vocals can be ROUGH. Like, oh man. But I think there are some GREAT songs on those first two albums she did. “Unreachable” pops into my head to this day. That whole first album is money and then, on the second one, I LOVE “In Another Life,” “Dancing Alone,” “Say Goodbye”…. Omg, I forgot how solid they were! I think her team had a really cool sound going on. Ugh, I love it.