Although Celeste was born in sunny Los Angeles, her entire childhood was spent in the U.K., where she indulged in the musical stylings of Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday. Constantly struggling with her biracial identity as a young child, Celeste began attending church services that allowed her to sharpen her vocal ability by way of hymns. Years after her father’s passing, Celeste came across his old vinyl collection, which encouraged her to transition from poetry to songwriting.
In 2016, Celeste made her stunning debut with the eclectic “Daydreaming,” which has hints of R&B, soul, and jazz all around. Shortly after that, Celeste revealed her debut EP, The Milk & The Honey, garnering her worldwide success and recognition. Reminiscent of Alicia Keys and Erykah Badu, Celeste honed her timeless sound even more with Lately (EP 2019), an impressive five-track collection that proves herself more than worthy of a spot in the soul scene.
Written during the chaos of the California wildfires last November, the story of her new single, “Strange,” arose when Celeste became overwhelmed by the frightening smoke obstructing the Los Angeles freeway she had been driving down. Keeping in mind the destruction and loss caused by the fires, Celeste reflected on the people who were left homeless and devastated. The tale of lost friendships and broken relationships told in “Strange” is exactly what you need to hear if you’re feeling estranged or distant from someone you deeply care about.
On “Strange,” Celeste explained,
“In the first verse I talk about the breakdown of certain relationships, when the burning passion or the fire goes out and you’re left with the remnants of smoke and ash. Although the news about the fire wasn’t the direct inspiration for the song, it made me feel something I could truly understand that day and opened me up to my own personal experiences of loss.”
Empathize with Celeste’s aching heart below: