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Celaine the Voice: “Your authenticity to yourself will be tested”

Yes. I am a black, middle aged, plus size woman. I am not someone you would think twice about if you see me on the street, and you would never guess it is me on stage. That is what I love about what I have created. I am not your typical performer in the true […]

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Yes. I am a black, middle aged, plus size woman. I am not someone you would think twice about if you see me on the street, and you would never guess it is me on stage. That is what I love about what I have created. I am not your typical performer in the true sense. I represent categories that are not taken seriously, looked down upon or as a joke and have been predicted to be “too old” or “too strange” for anyone to want to listen to or see. But I know that is not true. The feedback I have received has been great. There is something out there for everyone’s taste. My character I embody, is a statement, a work of art, beautifully flawed and jagged yet the message of love is there. I am showing everyone nothing should hold you back from what you want to do, especially if it is positive and benefits humankind.


As a part of my series about leaders helping to make the entertainment industry more diverse and representative, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Celiane The Voice, a driven, passionate and charismatic singer with a truly unique approach. Her music is very kaleidoscopic, borrowing from styles as diverse as R&B, Soul, Latin Pop, and even Broadway gigs and Hip-Opera, just to mention but a few. To create the style: Electronica Hip Opera!

Celiane’s vocal range is particularly impressive. She can sing with passion and soulfulness, while showcasing amazing lyrical mastery and vocal control. Her dynamics are absolutely spotless, and she is truly able to carry a song from quite to loud, taking listeners hand in hand through an amazing emotional rollercoaster.

Hailing from the Bay Area, California, Celiane is one of those artists who are not afraid to think different and use their creativity in ways that truly set the bar higher and redefine people’s ideas of what’s possible with music. Her songs have a far-reaching quality that feels inspiring and personable, as the artist thoroughly aims to connect with her audience and change the world, one song at a time.

Inspired by influential artists the likes of Amy Winehouse, Origa, Tina Quo, Lindsey Sterling or Herbie Hancock, Celiane’s work is very versatile and groundbreaking — her tunes can’t be put in a box, as she breaks the boundaries between electronica, hip-hop, R&B and many other styles.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always loved to sing. It is one of the crafts I do best, so I decided to make it my career. It has been slow and steady with bumps along the way, but it is progressing. I wanted to do something meaningful with my life but something that would bring me joy. That is performing.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Since I have begun my career, I have had people want to conversate with me more or want to collaborate with me. The main question I get is what made me think of my concept. I remember I was doing a promo for AfroComicCon in the Bay Area in California at the Chabot Space Center and a gentleman came up to me and told me I was disturbing to experience. I asked him why and he said because it is scary to think that the future looks like me. You must understand, I don’t look like a regular human when I perform; I am a technohuman, so I could understand the feeling. From that day forward, I have been mindful of how I come across to humans in my brand and in my message.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I made when I first started building my brand and my image, was assuming that music was made the way it was in the days of Motown. I remember going in and asking where the band was because I was ready to work. The beat maker laughed at me, pointed to his computer and said, “Here is your band!” I was flabbergasted. From then on, I decided I could do that. The producer really had to explain to me how DAWs have replaced bands or you can have one if I wait to build a band and then come back to the studio. Lesson learned. I now create my own music as well as with my producer, Bill Williams.

Ok thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our discussion. Can you describe how you are helping to make popular culture more representative of the US population?

Yes. I am a black, middle aged, plus size woman. I am not someone you would think twice about if you see me on the street, and you would never guess it is me on stage. That is what I love about what I have created. I am not your typical performer in the true sense. I represent categories that are not taken seriously, looked down upon or as a joke and have been predicted to be “too old” or “too strange” for anyone to want to listen to or see. But I know that is not true. The feedback I have received has been great. There is something out there for everyone’s taste. My character I embody, is a statement, a work of art, beautifully flawed and jagged yet the message of love is there. I am showing everyone nothing should hold you back from what you want to do, especially if it is positive and benefits humankind.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by the work you are doing?

Yes, I sing for all kinds of parties and communities and I was invited to be a guest performer at an age-appropriate event. After I finished singing, one woman came up to me and told me, “You get it!” I performed my song “Systematic”. It is about loving yourself and not letting anyone control you or take that away from you. She felt so validated and understood by a performer summing up those feelings in a song, that she was really close to tears. That made my career so far. To be able to connect with fans on that level and really support their journey with my music is what performing is about for me.

As an insider, this might be obvious to you, but I think it’s instructive to articulate this for the public who might not have the same inside knowledge. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why it’s really important to have diversity represented in Entertainment and its potential effects on our culture?

It is not only important but imperative that diversity exists in entertainment because everyone needs to be accounted for and represented if possible. We live in a society built on prejudices good and bad, and media is a powerful tool that can help us become aware of cultures that we don’t know about but want and/or need to share. Another reason diversity is needed in entertainment is because there is so much talent out there across the cultures that it needs to be shared and honored. To experience another’s world different from our own; again, without stereotypes or assumptions but to really be able to delve deep and share those feelings and be a community that shares with each other. That is what makes the arts so rich. Lastly, those that are not represented are forgotten. If you don’t see someone that looks like you, that represents your culture, who can you relate to? You start to feel like a forgotten people. It is so important to have cultures share experiences and not be written off. Entertainment is one of the vehicles that allows us access to other worlds. It is how we share love with one another and that should never be limited or destroyed.

Can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do to help address the root of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?

Yes, community is meant to include everyone and build on these relationships. People should look inside themselves at their own scripts and programming they have towards others. Go inside yourself where it is uncomfortable. And find out why. What makes you hate or dislike another for who they are? Entertainers should and many do stand up for their co-workers’ injustices. Everyone has their own reasons, but we are not in this world alone. We are here to love. We are responsible to teach and show others how diversity works and what can be. Don’t be afraid to have those conversations that make you feel uncomfortable. I answer these questions all the time. Whether I am asked about my race, my weight or that someone can’t believe I created my brand because I am a woman, when you hear these things, speak up. When you experience this type of treatment, share it. If you are quiet, we can’t help as a community. We truly need to be a community and support each other.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership, in my opinion, is the ability to lead by the example of value based on how you are followed. Anyone can fix a behavior or train to be a leader using various tactics, but the most effective is the leader who listens to who they are leading. That is how you gain loyalty. What true values are you bringing to your team? What are you teaching your fans? How is your team when they are not around their leader? This tells you what kind of leader you are. For example, when I started off with my team, I didn’t trust anyone to do anything. I had to make sure everything was done right just as I said it. I realized I don’t have time to do it all and if I was a good leader, I would teach them what to do, trust them to do it and reward when it is done but give the value they needed to accomplish the task. When I looked inside myself and changed my leadership style, then my team grew and we are a strong team and my fans were clear about my brand.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. If you are in it, be in this for the long haul. In other words, make sure you don’t expect stardom overnight.
  2. This is not something you do for the money. We all assume that because we have a talent, we will be rich and wealthy but there are ways to be successful on your own through hard work and there are others who are able to move forward based on who you know and what you are willing to do. Put in the hard work.
  3. Have money to invest. You used to be able to be recognized based on your talent. Covid created a culture where you, as an indie artist there are “pay to play” opportunities, even as an actress because the entertainment industry is losing money. It is not ideal, but it gets you seen. I don’t mean pay to be in performances that don’t get you anything, I mean magazines and media. You will not start out with a record deal and if you do, watch how much you actually make. Advances are loans and they mean to make their money back by any means necessary so make sure you have your own capital to invest in your brand.
  4. Your authenticity to yourself will be tested. Are you going to remain loyal to your fan base or change it to be liked by everyone else? It’s our fans that got you to where you are. If you built yourself one way and that is how you really want to be….then continue that and don’t change it if that is the real you.
  5. Love what you do. When you get started, you will love your craft until it is tested. That is the moment of truth as an artist. If you don’t love what you are doing, it becomes a job. My craft is my love, and it is my business. I would not be where I am today if I didn’t love it and the commitment to the message. I try to make sure I am having fun and love what I do authentically to keep the magic going.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That is easy. Celiane the Voice’s message is “Love one another” that is it. I call myself the “Weapon of Mass Love”. Many people don’t know how to love themselves. I want my brand to bring that message to the masses. Love is all. Love is everything good, bad and ugly. You can’t say it is all and leave out the bad and the ugly. That doesn’t work. The definition of love is not found in a book or a psychological definition. Love cannot be quantified; it is felt exponentially or not at all. Love simply is. Celiane the Voice is a character that is from our time, went into the future and came back to give humans a warning to get it right or we will not be here as a species. She fights those that try to cover up the lie that love is not the most powerful force there is. She teaches that together, we can conquer anything. That is the message Celiane stands for and that is my brand. Love is the value we give in abundance.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Many people are reaching for compassion, but they don’t even know what love is.”

This is relevant because it changes your perception of how to handle people. You start to realize the script people cling to has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with them, and when you love you, in most circumstances you can brush it off. Other times, you use love to deliver that tough beating, figuratively, metaphorically and sometimes literally that is needed to wake a person up. It is all love and learning.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

The person I would have chosen would have been Whitney Houston. There are many I want to sit down and talk to, but one person in particular would be Herbie Hancock. I remember when I was little, listening to his song, “Rock It” from 1984. That song and video changed what I thought was possible in music. It blew my mind. I would love to sit down and have a conversation with him and get advice on continuously creating your craft.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can find Celiane the Voice’s music on Spotify, Itunes, Amazon Music and different streaming outlets. You can find me on IHeart Radio, I have my own station. You can also find me on Twitter @celianethevoice, Instagram: @celianevoice; Facebook: www.facebook.com/celianeWML

You can also find my music and updates on my website at www.celianethevoice.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

It was my pleasure to speak with you.


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