An Interview With Celestine Liu
A new single release from Celestine Liu gives a gorgeous contemporary jazz tonality along with an almost theatrical style and an absolutely alluring vocal performance from start to finish.
"Boba Tea" feels like a classic jazz ballad mixed with a current format and laced with a beautiful and lush soundscape where each instrument complements the next.
The track plays out like a live performance as many great jazz songs do. The players feed off of each other's energies and you get an amazing result that becomes quickly addictive.
This track has layers to it and they are composed of some wonderful textures and a living, breathing feeling.
The arrangement is nearly perfect but the whole thing does feel alive and this is a big part of its infectious style.
It feels like a noir dreamscape that you wake from and then fight to fall back asleep so you can get back to it as quickly as possible.
It's like sitting in a dimly lit, smoke filled room in the 1930's watching a genuine jazz performance.
The song crawls under your skin and leaves you wanting even more.
The best part of it is that "Boba Tea" is just one song from her Liunique EP which features the artists sultry vocals brought into several styles and genres throughout its course.
The EP contains some ambient and contemporary pop to go along with the jazz tones and each song has something a little new to bring to the table.
With such a colorful and poposensible release, we wanted to touch base with celestine to talk about where this all came from and what might be next for the artist.
TSWS: Let’s start with "Boba Tea". This track has a gorgeous jazz feel to it
and even feels theatrical at times. Where did this song come from?
I was listening to some chilling jazz music the other day, while
enjoying a cup of boba tea with my husband. Then it suddenly
occurred to me that I could compose a sweet song that expresses our
love. I created a theatrical scene in my mind where an elegant lady is
thinking about her beloved lover. All the lyrics and melody are meant
to express such a sweet and mellow feeling of love.
TSWS: I’m hearing some powerful vocals and classic singing style. Who
are some of your biggest actual musical influences?
My biggest influence in jazz music is Peggy Lee. Her voice was
elegant, charming and mysterious. I learned most of my singing
techniques from my vocal teacher Elizabeth de Trejo, who is a world-
renowned soprano and taught me the original bel canto techniques.
TSWS: How did all of this start for you?
I started performing on stage and composing at a very young age. I
also won many prizes in singing competitions and was considered
talented in music when I was still a child. Later I started receiving
professional musical training in junior high school. In college, I studied
Chinese folk singing, composing, and playing the piano for four years,
after which I came to the US for my master's degree in vocal
TSWS: What do you think is next for you as an artist?
I will keep challenging myself to explore other different music genres
and try to improve the quality of my new works. I will also try to get
more opportunities to perform live and let more people get to know me
and my music.
TSWS: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I really love doing workouts and sports in my spare time, such as
dancing, yoga, and table tennis. They help me keep fit and release my
stress when I feel exhausted from working.
TSWS: Now that things are getting a little better out there, will you be
focusing on any live performances?
Yes I am definitely looking forward to live performances. I really love
performing on stage - the atmosphere really excites me and I enjoy
seeing people’s direct reactions to my performance. That kind of
experience can never be replaced by any virtual performances.
TSWS: Can we expect anything else from you this year?
For sure! I already have a bunch of ideas of new music and I’m
planning to collaborate with other musicians to compose and produce
several new songs later this year. I’m confident to say that my new
works will be even better than my first album!
TSWS: Who are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to a variety of musician’s works, especially artists
who are making attempts to combined different music styles.
Recently I’ve been repeating Paint the Clouds by Far East Movement.
This song blends eastern and western pop music elements in a very
clever way and really inspired me.
TSWS: This song felt like you put a lot into it. Is there any advice you'd
have for up and coming artists out there?
I would suggest that new artists should aim to create music that they
are truly passionate about. For me, I always try to create music that
really touches my heart first, as otherwise it will be unlikely to impress
the audience. I hope everyone can bring something unique and tell
their own stories in their music, instead of simply following the popular
trends or catering to the audience while losing their uniqueness.
TSWS: You wake up in the middle of the night starving! What's your go-to
midnight snack? (a question of character)
I would like to have a banana because it is sweet and nutritious!
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
I would like to say to my fans: if you haven’t already, please make sure
to follow me on Spotify, Instagram and Facebook @Celestine Liu! I will
keep up the good work and continue to bring fresh and quality music
to you. I promise I won’t let you down!