Celeste: Work focus means I miss out on my friends

·2-min read
 (Philip Meech)
(Philip Meech)

Singer Celeste says her “severe” work ethic put a strain on friendships and her ability to form new relationships.

The British-American star, 27, shot to fame in 2019 after winning the Rising Star Brit Award.

Her debut album, Not Your Muse, reached number one and was nominated for a Brit Award and the Mercury Prize. But Celeste, known for the track Hear My Dream which featured in movie The Trial of Chicago 7 and was nominated for an Oscar, said her focus has come to the detriment of her personal life.

She told the latest edition of The Fall, where she collaborated with fashion brand Gucci for the shoot: “I have the determination to deal with stuff because I want this career.

“But in having that quite severe level of tunnel vision around one thing, and one thing only, you kind of lose out on the other things in life, because your only focus is that.“

Celeste talks about work and her focus in the magazine (Philip Meech)
Celeste talks about work and her focus in the magazine (Philip Meech)

“I didn’t really spend much time with my friends and I wasn’t able to develop relationships with new people I met because I was going here and there and I would always prioritise the music.”

Success, she said, was not a surprise to her family.

“For years my grandad was like, ‘you need to go on Jules Holland, I really want you to go on Jules Holland.’” She said. “Then, all of a sudden, there I was. My family are very happy for me but not necessarily surprised, I guess. They’re just like, ‘Yeah, we knew you could do whatever you wanted to if you tried hard enough.’ They’re just happy for me and hope it’s a sturdy thing that sticks.”

The singer, who moved to the UK from American aged three, settling in Dagenham with her family, said growing up in relative poverty meant she wanted to encourage young people from similar backgrounds to her that creative industries were for them.

The Fall is out now (Philip Meech)
The Fall is out now (Philip Meech)

“I grew up not having loads of money and that has definitely given me a particular awareness,” Celeste said. “I’ve evolved from the place I came from and it’s made me realise just how important it is for schools to encourage kids with similar backgrounds to mine. In the creative worlds, whether its music, journalism, fashion, making or curating art, it tends to be dominated by the middle and upper classes. It’s just one of those things.

“When you come from poverty or a lower income family those jobs seem so far-fetched and impractical for you. You need to earn enough money to buy food and pay your rent, so doing a job that isn’t going to pay you for two or three years isn’t viable and doesn’t seem like a possibility.”

The new issue of THE FALL is out in stores now.

Watch the short film of Celeste by Gucci at www.thefallmag.com/thefalltv/

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