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 nowall 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!
British/Rwandan singer-songwriter, JENNIFER KAMIKAZI‘s soulful and uplifting R&B single, ‘Black Skin’, could not be released at a more pivotal time. The song carries a powerful and uplifting message of black pride and beauty.
Kamikazi ( meaning ‘little queen’ in her mother tongue) has made a striking transition from indie/folk to R&B, collaborating with producer Tania Ilyashova. Jennifer’s sweet-sounding and velvety tones are complemented beautifully by the chilled laid back groove of the track. Speaking on the inspiration behind the song, Kamikazi vulnerably describes her personal experience of colourism:
“I wrote this song during quarantine to celebrate the skin colour that I now adore, not just my complexion but every complexion. Growing up in Rwanda, I was never ashamed of my dark skin. It wasn’t until I moved to the UK I experienced the harsh reality of growing up in a society with toxic beauty standards hardly anyone can meet. Through ‘Black Skin’ I hope to challenge the western beauty ideal, and also wish to start a conversation on colourism, something prevalent both in Black and Asian communities.”
‘Black Skin follows’ her two successful EP’s ‘Wildflower’ and ‘Wander in Wonder’ with now over one million streams. Check out the video below, created by Jennifer during lockdown…