British-Jamaican #Celeste, was born in LA but Brighton-raised, discovered her love for music and singing through her grandfather who introduced her to old soul greats at a young age. Together listening endlessly to tapes of Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald while Celeste would sang along, already identifying something in the raw emotion of those singers that she connected with. Entirely self-taught, she started performing music when she was 18, covering classic soul, funk and jazz songs and eventually gaining the confidence to start writing her own material. Over the following years, she continued to hone her sound ahead of signing a major label deal with Polydor last year. Since then she has garnered critical acclaim for a string of singles including ‘Lately’, ‘Father’s So’n and latterly ‘Strange’, which was added to the B list at Radio 1. Known for her incandescent voice and breathtaking live performance, she has sold out every London show this year – including 3 dates at Omeara – and supported the likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Janelle Monae and Neneh Cherry as well as duetting with Paul Weller. She recently announced a UK headline tour next April, selling out Shepherds Bush Empire in a matter of days.
Celeste on being nominated for the Rising Star award:
“My earliest memory of the BRITs was 2002, I was around 8 years old. MC Romeo had me at “turn up the bass line” and #MisTeeq were the women I wanted to be when I grew up. It was a cold winter evening and I was glued to my television, I remember being in a frenzy with every word they sang. It was in that exact moment that I thought I would like to be a part of that one day. To be nominated for the Rising Star award is a huge honour, especially to recognised this early on in my career.”
Beabadoobee and Joy Crookes were also shortlisted for the prestigious prize, which has this year evolved from its original name of BRITs Critics’ Choice. Since its inception in 2008, this award has successfully predicted the future stars of British music including Adele, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, resulting in over 135 million album sales worldwide.