Interview: Celestial North

Celestial North

You are originally from Scotland, how did it all begin for you?
I’m from Edinburgh yes, but moved to Manchester years ago and started a band with my friends, which was great fun but ended up in Brighton with my husband, who is also a musician. We moved up to the Lake District to feel a little bit more connected to nature, ideally I’d like a log cabin in the woods far away from the distractions of modern life but it is not practical for the moment.

I began making music again a couple of years ago, I had stopped due to becoming a mother and it was such a release to be able to record and play live again. I write and record at my little studio set up at home, play all of the instruments on the records myself (apart from the drums) and my husband helps me to record and mix my songs. I recruited more musicians who started to rehearse my songs with me so that I could play them live. I have quite a big sound and I didn’t really want to play my songs alone in a stripped back manner so Michael, Martin and Woody have really helped  me beef out the live set. We have become great friends and it works really well.  I started to play gigs last year and played Kendal Calling and Krankenhaus Festival. I was just starting to fill up my diary with some great gigs when covid hit. I guess I’ll just have to wait until we can play live again – hopefully it won’t be too long!

Congratulations on the release of “Distant Life” what is the story behind it?
Thank you! I wrote this song as if I was giving counsel to my younger self. I was thinking retrospectively a lot during lockdown – of things you do when you are young, things unsaid and done, regret and remembrance. These are the experiences that mould you. Coming of age is such a turbulent time, emotions are high and it’s all so weird because as we pass into adulthood we have a deep-seated melancholy for those years. This was like a gentle hug to the young me.”

You have received airplay from the BBC Introducing shows as well as Tom Robinson, how does it feel?
Tom Salmon from BBC Introducing In Cumbria has been so supportive of me over the last couple of years. I am so grateful that these platforms exist for musicians like myself because it’s very difficult to be heard in such a vast sea of music. It felt like a dream to be played by Tom Robinson because 6 Music is the station we most listen to at home. I felt a little bit special for 3 minutes!

You’re based in the Lake District, what are your 3 favourite things about it?
Fresh air, wild and remote places, quietness.

You worked with Woody from British Sea Power on the single, what are your favourite moments from the sessions?
Well, actually Woody is my husband and drummer so it’s quite an in-house affair! He is such a talented, creative person and I am always amazed at how great he makes my songs sound. He has a great knack of making the drums sound enormous, which I love. He is so funny and is my best friend, we seem to be sonically aligned so I’m really excited to record my album with him.

COVID 19 has had a deep impact on the creative industry at large, how have you been coping with it?
As a family it has affected us in quite a big way. Usually Woody would be away on tour about now with British Sea Power so it has been quite a challenging time trying to keep our heads above the water. Lockdown with children was, interesting! Not much music got recorded at that point. Lots of snacks were consumed. We hibernated for most of it. My children are at school now so I am seizing this opportunity to record as much as I can and, importantly, have fun with it because I have a propensity towards sullen self-criticism!

You played gigs in 2019, what’s the main thing you miss about being on stage?
I miss being able to see real faces and feel real emotions in the room. The anticipation of the call onto the stage and the feeling of elation when you come off again.  I feel a bit cut short and slightly robbed by covid of the opportunity to play for real people when I was just getting started so I am extra excited at the prospect of picking up where I left off.

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Del Osei-Owusu

Del is a songwriter, producer, keyboard player arranger and musical nerd from South London, Del comes from a gospel music background but listens to anything, everything and nothing. Read More

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