Celine Love – Rose Coloured
Celine Love is a young singer-songwriter from Hamburg who relocated to London in 2016.
She creates soulful folk, composing music with expressionism and self-discovery at its core with a hint of socio-critical commentary.
She is currently working on her first release ‘Rose Coloured’: “The idea behind ‘Rose Coloured’ was to capture memories, moments and situations that describe the blissful ignorance of my childhood – The desire to put a ‘rose coloured’ filter on everything that is bad in the world.
Before racism, insecurities, heartbreak, or stress became part of life the world is not only on your side but shields you from the negativity.
The imagery within the song is directly taken from my memories. Writing and recording it left me feeling very nostalgic, so I dug out old photos and songs and reached out to my childhood best friend. It reminded me of a pivotal time as a child, before I became aware of the differences in skin color and hair structure. Not only did I look different from most of the German kids surrounding my life but I would be treated differently too. It wasn’t always negative, but always in a way that made me feel excluded.
There was a time before I became aware that my skin color was nothing but ‘caramel’ and everyone else was simply ‘vanilla’- Nothing more. ‘Rose Coloured’ is an almost desperate wish to have that mindset back – The wish to live in a ‘fool’s paradise’.
The music video (directed by Sylvia Hong) explores how that darkness we are shielded from as children, was always there. A lot of us may think back to our childhood as perfect when truly we have blocked out the negative we might have seen or experienced. If we do not confront these issues from the past, it can drive you insane.” – Celine Love
A few milestones in her young career include a full scholarship to the music school BIMM Berlin & London, performing at festivals such as the 2000 Trees in Cheltenham, Kings Jam in Gloucester, Deichbrand and Reeperbahn Festival in Germany, and supporting the electro-pop band Years & Years in Hamburg for NRJ Radio.
Discuss your recording experience with your producer.
I was happy to have produced most of the song before working with Malaki Patterson and Grove. This meant we could focus on what was missing, what needed to be fixed and rerecorded, and partially rearranged. Grove is a multi-instrumental, vocal, and production talent, and having them on the track quickly perfected all the problem zones. Both Malaki and Grove made me feel very comfortable and brought out the best in my vocals.
Discuss what comes first and last while creating a song.
For me, 90% of the time lyrics come first. This is simply how I got used to writing from before I played any instruments or could produce my own music. Wordplay, metaphors, rhyming, and storytelling is what defines me as an artist. Last usually come percussion in an arrangement for me, if there is any. Possibly even the full melody since I change melodies a lot even when production is already done.
Tell us the piece of advice you will give to a new artist.
I wish I would’ve put less pressure on myself when it comes to ‘finding my sound’ or fitting in a category that is easy to explain to people. Now I just write and produce without focusing on if the song is for me or not. If it feels like me I use it and if it doesn’t, I don’t or can hopefully pass it on to someone else. So that is what I would suggest to other artists finding themselves.
Discuss your worse experience in the music business.
Luckily I have not had anything horrible or anything that fully threw me off my game happen but I am sure I will encounter situations that are less pleasant in the future. Just have to prepare my mind for it. I have also been surrounded by the industry since I was a kid so maybe I am also used to certain things.
Tell us how you deal with rejection.
Of course, rejections and others doubting you, is not easy and it knocks me back sometimes but ultimately also leads me to want to prove people wrong. I lick my wounds for a while (or binge-watch half of Netflix’s content) and also decide whether or not the rejection meant something or not. It is important to recognize constructive criticism but also when there is nothing you can or should do.
Tell us what you are doing to impact the people around you.
I think I genuinely try to make people happy if I can. Maybe it is part of my Aquarian nature (if that stuff is even real); maybe it’s my parents, maybe both. But I think the fact that I try to spread positivity where I can and doing little good deeds throughout the day, like writing a note for an upset stranger on the tube, hearing out someone who needed to be heard, or even writing a lyric that I know could help someone else out.
Tell us the music that makes you happy.
I am so split in the middle with this. On the one hand, I love cleverly written, nuanced lyrics by the likes of Jeff Buckley, Hozier, or Lianne La Havas. On the other also any mainstream pop song Benny Blanco, Julia Micheals, or Max Martin has ever written and gets stuck in my head immediately.
Tell us how you make instrumentation to your song.
I am not exactly the most technically diverse musician. I like to keep things simple and write on guitar or piano. Often I play chords I don’t even know. Like with ‘Rose Coloured’. It might be embarrassing but I do not know any of the chords in that song. Literally none – But I can play it…
Tell us how you feel when you sing and your fans sing along to your song.
It’s both amazing and slightly stressful, to be honest. If I can hear the audience properly and it’s an intimate space it feels very special when the audience sings along.
But in bigger spaces you often cannot see or hear much and unless the crowd is really loud or you see them mouthing the words you cannot always tell if people are really singing along or not.
I once opened for Years & Years in Germany for example and thought no one had sung along but all my friends in the audience pointed out how cool it was that everyone did. I just couldn’t hear and did not have my glasses on to see them sing.
Tell us the goals you aim to achieve when creating a song.
I hope people remember at least some parts of the lyrics. That is always what I most pleased with when people point it out. I also like weird sounds and unexpected effects in the productions and finding a way to make my music sound ‘different’ is something I aim to achieve.
State your approach to writing.
I usually write little paragraphs or even just words I like the sound of anywhere and anytime. Sometimes I will even stop conversations and write things down. Then when I have the time to finish a whole song I’ll go back to those little notes and arrange them to make sense.
Often lyrics don’t get used until months or even years later. I have had situations where I used the same lyric in different songs to see where it fits the best.
The lyrics in ‘Rose Coloured’ were spread across three different songs at first until I decided to mix them all together.
Tell us how you plan to develop a unique music style.
My writing and production process is a bit unique I believe and out of default also dictates the style I gravitate towards. Because I am not the most developed producer or musician in a technical sense I use samples and minimalist instrumental elements a lot.
My voice is the best instrument I have and I love stacking harmonies and adlibs in ways you would usually use more percussion or more intricate chords.
My sound developed from laziness to purposefully scaling back on production and carefully placing elements that allow you to focus on the voice and the lyrics.
Tell us how to record a song.
Everyone has their way of doing things but I personally like having as much as possible prerecorded in my bedroom. Even if I then go into the studio and have to do everything again at least I had the vision, to begin with.
Sometimes the guide recordings of my guitar or vocals even end up staying because it made the song more interesting than a fully engineered recording.
I can only suggest it to everyone to be capable of recording your own demos to a certain extent. It also helps me to explain my ideas better if I am nervous, just tired, or simply cannot find the right words.
Tell us if you are collaborating with other songwriters or you write alone.
Personally, I prefer at least starting my own songs alone. Usually when I write a song from scratch with others without having brought anything it doesn’t feel right. Even if we do change everything, starting by myself helps me feel like I have a bit of control. This is only for my own songs. If I am simply songwriting with other people I like having other input from the start as well.
Discuss your experience with fans.
Well, they either gave birth to me or lived with me for 18 years so what can I say, they are loyal. In all seriousness, I am still young in the game so I have had the occasional 5-year-old come to me after a festival asking for an autograph but my actual fan base will hopefully exist with my first music releases.
Brief us about booking gigs and shows.
Playing live regularly in the early stages is a bumpy ride – One day I will be playing the main stage at the Roundhouse in London and the next I am asking for tips at a pub where no one but ‘drunk Becky’ really paid attention.
It is hard to know when to turn down gigs that you feel like you’ve outgrown and it can also be scary to play bigger shows where there is more at stake.
It is hard to get people to come down though, especially when you’re playing more than 2-3 gigs a month in the same city.
Tell us if you consider a song placement in TV or Film.
I would absolutely love to see my songs placed. When watching movies or series I often pay attention to the music I can only hope I’ll get the chance to hear my songs alongside one of the billion shows I watch.
Elaborate on the song.
‘Rose Coloured’ is a song reminiscent of my childhood and wanting to enjoy life through a lens that filters out any social pressures or ideas of evil in the world. All of the imagery in the song is taken directly from my own memories.
Growing up in Germany there was a time when I saw my skin color as nothing but ‘caramel’, everyone else was simply ‘vanilla’. I did not know about racism, poverty, or jealousy until I had some sort of confrontation with it. Once you know these things exist you can never unknow them. Sometimes I wish I could live in a ‘fool’s paradise.’
As far as the composition goes, I was hoping to write a song with a strong sense of a hook and a chorus which not all of my songs have and since the story is so important to me I focused more on the lyrics and less on changing chord progressions, etc. since the song felt and diverse enough.
It felt like the perfect song for my single debut since it really describes how my mind works and how I am a positive person with a lot of dark thoughts.