Ellie D Chats with Celeste Kate

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it?

I would say my music is a cross between Kate Bush and Tori Amos meets Sarah McLachlan.  Most listeners I’ve spoken to say Bush is very prominent sounding in both my voice and my storytelling.  Others say I have the quirk and darkness of Amos and I mention Sarah Mclachlan because she was such a huge inspiration for me when I started taking song writing seriously.

If there's one thing you could change about the music industry, what would it be?

I think what bothers me the most about the Music Industry in Australia is the attitude of the general public and community towards music as a career, particularly in song writing.  What angered me in recent times was digesting Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s labelling of pursuing a career in the creative arts industry a “lifestyle choice”.   On so many levels this statement is insulting.  I could write an essay going into that alone.  Ultimately, when someone receives a service from an industry trade, ie) Hairdressing, plumbing, catering, decorating etc.. they pay for that service.  When a musician provides a service through performing their music they expect the same level of respect for providing that service in return.  With venue owners and Managers keeping costs down and paying their performers less than what they deserve they are not showing respect in this department.  I think we need to teach children in schools to support and watch locally.  We need to educate them from a young age that there is a whole big library of wonderfully creative and talented songwriters and musicians out there in their very communities that deserve to be heard.

Who would be your dream musician to support?

Kate Miller-Heidke.  Aside from being a talented trained Opera singer and exceptional Songwriter she is an incredible musician and performer.  I can relate to many of her songs and I never tire of seeing her live.

Where do you write your songs and music?

I often write on the train, particularly if I’m taking the Vline on a longer trip.  The outside scenery really helps clear my mind and the idea of travel is a nice way to feel inspired.  I’d love to say I write when I go on exciting vacations around the world but the reality is I do most of my lyric and music writing from my apartment at home sitting at my digital Piano.

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When did you first realise you had an interest in becoming a singer songwriter?

When I was a teenager around the age of 13 I started composing little pieces and songs at my Piano (when I should’ve been spending that time practising for my AMEB Piano exams!)  I used to keep a journal filled with different poems and lyrics, some which I added chords and melodies to.  I was an introverted child predominantly but I found that writing music and song lyrics gave me the opportunity to have my say about the issues that I found were affecting me at the time.  In that sense, it enabled me to be myself comfortably.  I’ve always feel at home when writing a song.  It’s cathartic.

What's your purpose in releasing music?

I don’t write for the sake of writing. I write best when I have something to say.  Usually it’s inspired by an event and the event has left me feeling so emotionally spent in some form that the only way I can deal with it is to get it out on paper and into a recording.  My purpose in releasing music is the same as my purpose in writing it.  I write music to help myself and in turn hopefully help others.  I believe we all share similar emotional experiences and I like for my listeners to hear my stories and know that they are not alone.  I once wrote a song for my sister which I still perform quite regularly.  “You can lean” was written back in 2011.  I felt it was what she needed to hear at the time.