Album Interview: Within & Without – Céline And The Blue

CÉLINE AND THE BLUE debuted on the blog in 2019 with sassy number, ‘Learn To Be Alone’ and since then, they’ve been regular favourites with you guys (and myself, I have to say). Their most recent offering, ‘Crave Love’ scooped the Song of the Week title for two consecutive weeks in January AND Song of the Month title in February. So it’s an absolute pleasure to invite frontwoman, Cèline Buccomino into the interview seat to discuss latest EP, ‘Within & Without, out now all good DSPs.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

CB: Heyy, thank you so much for chatting to us on here! 2021 has been very promising so far, it’s been filled with loving, inspiring and exciting energy. We’re very keen to express that back through our music, the past year has just made us that much more committed to this career.

NLM: You recently released your EP, ‘Within & Without’. What is the public perception on the project so far?

CB: Our listeners are so talented at spreading the love! We’re very grateful for every message we receive about our music. It’s so lovely to hear when listeners connect with the story line intertwined within the track list. Even the press response was great, we love seeing new people come in from new sources!

NLM: What inspired you to produce the EP?

CB: Our favourite thing about the EP is that it came about extremely organically, we hadn’t initially planned to set out the releases as an EP. Once a few songs had come out, we noticed a common thread between the tracks, it only made sense to encompass them in a unique body of work. We thought this collection really embodies our origins as musicians and is the perfect way to wrap up the first ‘era’ of our music!

NLM: How would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?

CB: ‘Within & Without’ has a groovy and colourful character which ventures into the genres of Jazz, Soul and Pop. An authentic sound dominates the sound pallet with live instruments, guitar and keys solos and fresh vocals. We wanted to inject a lot of good feelings in this EP, we hope you sense those too!

NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the EP and why?

CB: As the whole band, ‘Learn To Be Alone’ is our jam! We feel so good while performing it, it fires great connection between us and makes us feel alive! Despite this, we each have individual preferences which vary from ‘Safe’ to ‘Crave Love’ to ‘Papaya’.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the EP, who would it be and why?

CB: It would be quite hard to settle on just one artist as everyone has their own favourite, but John Mayer is probably the one we might find a common agreement on. It would be incredible to witness him interpreting our genre. And he’s just so timeless and brilliant!

NLM: Did the Covid pandemic present any drawbacks in the production of your EP?

CB: It slowed the production down loads! We started recording ‘Papaya’ and ‘Safe’ in March 2020 and then had to wait until August to finish them. It was frustrating! Making music is made up of many things, we were still working hard on the behind the scenes elements but for a while we were missing out on the actual ‘making music’ part of it, which was hard to adjust to. We made it in the end, better late than never!

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

CB: Yes! We are making some fresh music, focusing on production a bit more to refine the sound pallet and we’re loving what’s coming out of this so far. We absolutely cannot wait to showcase this new music getting back into gigging this year!

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

CB: First of all, thank you so much if you want to check out our work and connect with us! Just look for ‘Céline & The Blue’, our music is on every music streaming platform, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. You can also find our podcast ‘Out of The Blue – By Céline & The Blue’ on any platform for podcast streaming.

NLM: Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Within & Without’?

CB: Biggest thanks go to Sam and Tom over at Studio 91 who have really helped us craft the sound for this project. Their imprint has been essential to provide this EP with the character it has. We always have the best experience working with them, the environment at Studio 91 is stimulating, positive and a true pleasure!

Within & Without is now out on all good download/streaming sites

Song of the Day: Invisible Enemy – Georgia Black

North London’s Blues singer GEORGIA BLACK‘s single, ‘Invisible Enemy’ was written at the very start of the lockdown and was inspired by a conversation Georgia had with a colleague of hers, Roberta – Georgia works as a Learning Support Assistant in a college for her day job.

Roberta said, “Don’t you think it’s crazy that whenever we’re usually unwell, we feel we have to be the hero and push ourselves to go to work, but right now, to be the hero is the other way round?”

This really resonated with Georgia and built up an image in her head of super heroes saving lives by staying at home, which laid the foundation for the song. Sonically ‘Invisible Enemy’ is very theatrical in nature, showcasing cinematic soundscapes reminiscent of something from a Bond movie. Her soulful, sultry vocals bring to mind the likes of Lana Del Rey, whilst the seductive synths emit a mesmerising release.

Have a listen for yourself…hit play on ‘Invisible Enemy’ below…

Premiere: Papaya (Single) – Céline And The Blue

NEW LEASE MUSIC is absolutely proud to welcome back jazz group CÉLINE AND THE BLUE and their brand new self written/produced single, ‘Papaya’, out today on all music streaming and download sites.

Described as the ‘jazziest’ work to date by the band, ‘Papaya’ was premiered live at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London back in January. Possessing a sassy and careless energy, ‘Papaya’ is about having the freedom to do what one please – and naturally the song showcases their artistic freedom to compose music that truly represents the band.

“Being a jazz band, we’ve had so many people tell us to walk away from niche genres and shift to commercial and be like the other pop artists, but as the lyrics say “what’s the point of being a copy, when the world’s full of those?” says front woman Céline .

The title of the song – Papaya – also symbolizes the band’s artistic freedom. Céline further explains on naming the song: “While we were writing it in rehearsal, before the concept of ‘papaya’ had become a thing, I had no lyrics for the chorus yet, I was singing gibberish ‘hara pappara’, which just sounded like ‘I like papaya’ to me. So we just went ahead with it, picked it as the tile because there is no rule to songwriting and it also reflected the ‘you don’t have to stay in the lines that people tell you to stay in’ idea”.

Since appearing on New Lease Magazine with ‘Learn To Be Alone’ last November, the guys were gigging around London and were expected to perform on Sofar Sounds but was cancelled due to the Co-vid 19 pandemic…but fear not jazz lovers, as the guys have been cooking up some songs during lockdown, so expect some stunning bluesy material soon.

For now, kick back and have a listen to ‘Papaya’ below…

Song of the Day: Timeless – Oscar Jerome (ft. Lianne La Havas)

Lifted from his long-awaited debut album, ‘Breathe Deep’, released late last month, South London-based artist OSCAR JEROME‘s single ‘Timeless’ is a duet with Lianne La Havas which also includes instrumentation by friends in Ezra Collective, Sons of Kemet and Oscar’s other band, Kokoroko.

The pared-back single strip things down to the bare fundamentals, with Oscar soft-plucked guitar and vocals going back and forth with the sublime harmonies of Lianne La Havas. As the song builds, layers of lush jazz-inflected instrumentation are introduced piece by piece.

Oscar says of the track: “I wrote this song for my Dad. It’s about viewing someone you love as a constant through your whole life, not just who they are now. I was privileged enough to have the legendary Lianne La Havas jump on this tune. She made it everything I hoped for and more. She has been really good to me over the last couple of years and I appreciate her greatly.”

The single arrives off the back of 6Music-playlisted ‘Sun for Someone’ (ft Joe Armon-Jones), ‘Your Saint’ (ft Brother Portrait), ‘Give Back What U Stole From Me’ and, most recently, ‘Joy Is You’. Have a listen to ‘Timeless below…

Premiere: Bossa Nights (Single) – Dike Okoh

Multi-instrumentalist DIKE OKOH presents a tranquil live instrumentation of acoustic guitar, live-bass, percussion, live drums, vocal synths, saxophone and trumpet, through his brand new self written/produced single, ‘Bossa Nights’, out today.

Headed by Dike’s soulful croons, the heartfelt jazz piece explores times of uncertainty through a story of hope. An ideal escapism song, ‘Bossa Nights’ was mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. Miles has worked his magic on many of the world’s best-known artists, including The Beatles, Queen, Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones and Marvin Gaye.

Penning music since the age of nine, Okoh – who was previously signed as a writer to EMI music publishing UK – has toured widely as a musician (singer and keyboard player), performing at Glastonbury Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

A recipient of Drake’s Music’s Emergent in 2018/2019 – A Music Legacy commission, Okoh went on write and produce single, ‘2049’. Performed at London’s Barbican Centre, ‘2049’ has to date clocked up over 16,000 streams on Spotify.

Available today on various download/music sites, ‘Bossa Nights’ follows Dike Okoh’s single, ‘Last Chance’ which amassed over 15,000 streams on Spotify.

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