Celia Palli is a singer/songwriter from Barcelona, Spain.
The singer/songwriter started her musical journey as a background vocalist for Grammy Award winning artist Nelly Furtado. After opening for Furtado on the Spirit Indestructible European tour in 2013, Palli unveiled her first album “I’ll Be Fine”, released in 2017.
The Toronto-based artist is now offering a new single entitled “Complicity” released on September 21st. Written by Palli & Nashlyn and produced by Brooklyn production team Like Minds, “Complicity” is a soulful record that describes the deep connection between two lovers.
"In Spanish "complicity” is a positive word. If one can sense complicity between two lovers, it is seen as a compliment. I asked Nashlyn to write the lyrics with me and we used the connotations that this word has in English to help us describe the deep connection in the relationship I sing about,” expresses Palli.
“Complicity” is off her upcoming project “Technicolours”, to be released in 2019.
My name is Celia Palli. Singer, performer, and composer. I love cats and wine. Especially natural wines.
What’s your story?
I’m originally from Spain. Moved to The Netherlands in my teens, and then to Toronto when I was 19, and lived there ever since. I started writing songs at a young age as a way to express myself and never stopped.
When did you start feeling connected to music?
My grandfather and my uncle are musicians. I heard my grandpa practice everyday and I spent many summers watching my uncle perform. As a kid, my family always sang as a choir in the car, and whenever I was alone, I would pretend to be a singer on a stage.
When did you know you could sing?
I entered a singing competition when I was 8 years old and won. It wasn’t a Christina Aguilera performance but it gave me the confidence to start believing in myself.
Growing up, what were your favorite records to sing to?
I sang along to the Beatles, Paul McCartney and Wings, and later on along to Mariah Carey, and Destiny’s Child.
At what point did you decide to become an artist?
I wanted to be a singer for as long as I can remember. I know it sounds cliché but it’s true. The real test has been to stay focused honing my craft, and figuring out how to navigate the music industry as an independent artist.
You were one of Nelly Furtado’s background vocalist. What did this experience teach you as a vocalist?
Man oh man, that was like getting a Master’s Degree in professional singing. I got to be part of TV performances, Award shows, live radio shows, arena concerts, etc. Each performance has its own set of challenges and I learned how to deal with them first hand. I now get called to do live TV, and I’m not startled by anything. I’m a better singer and performer today because of my time with Nelly, that’s for sure.
How was it like to open for her in 2013? Any favorite memory from this tour?
When you are an opening act you are very aware that the audience is there for the headliner and that you have 4 songs to win them over. My very first set for that tour was in Berlin. I was so excited. I walked onto the stage and to my surprise, the front row was full of Nelstars (Nelly Furtado’s fans) with posters cheering me on. I felt like a superstar hahaha. The Nelstars have supported me unconditionally since I joined the band.
What gave you the confidence to become an artist and make the music you are making today?
I started writing songs when I was 12 years old. I loved showing the songs to people and performing them any chance I had. Once I went to study music in university, I tried to envision my path as a musician and this seemed to be the clearest direction over and over again. Performing my own songs became my focus.
You released your first album “I’ll Be Fine” in 2014. What did you learn about yourself after finishing this album?
I learned that the songs I liked on the album continue to be my favourite. The ones I felt meh about, I still feel meh about. Hahaha Letting go of your work and creating new material is the best remedy. I guess that is what I really learned.
“Complicity” is your new single. What’s the story behind this song? When did you start working on this particular song?
I was alone one evening and I was just fooling around on the piano. I started playing the chords and thought “what if I have a melody that progressively gets really high in my range?”. I gave it a try and kept saying the word Complicity in the chorus. I had the chords, the melody, the one word, but no real story. So I asked my singer friend Nashlyn to write the lyrics with me. When I told her about the word “complicity” and how the songs would be about a love relationship she asked me “what do you mean by ‘complicity’?”. That was a head-scratcher for me as I only knew the meaning in Spanish. In Spanish if you see complicity between two lovers, it means that you see a deeper connection, and that therefore, they are meant for each other. In English the meaning is fully linked to crime. So we took our funny misunderstanding and used it to feed the lyrics.
You worked with Like Minds and Nashlyn on “Complicity”. How was it like to collaborate with them? How did you meet them?
I loved working with Nashlyn writing the lyrics and then with LikeMinds in the production of the song.
Nashlyn is a captivating artist whom I met in Toronto through the music scene. Her song “Alligator” has very distinct lyrics and I was curious to see how we worked together. I’d say the result is great! Hahaha
And LikeMinds are a producer duo from Brooklyn. We met through Gus van Go, on one of my trips down to New York. I went in to work on just one song to see if we would hit it off. That one song was “Complicity”, and let me tell you, they totally captured the sound that I had been looking for. It was a match made in Heaven so I did the rest of the album with them.
In your opinion, what makes a good song?
A perfect balance between storytelling, great production, and a melody that pulls you in from the very beginning.
How does your Spanish background influence your music?
At times the way words are used in Spanish influence me, like with the word “Complicity”. Other times, like the past album, the influence was found in the instrumentation.
You are based in Toronto. What do you like the most about this city?
I love how Toronto is multicultural. You can learn so much about other parts of the world simply by talking to your neighbour. That never gets old.
What are the things you are the most proud of?
I’m proud of my nomadic skills. I’m proud of my life long friendships. Those are the two things you need for a successful tour hahaha
What would you say to anyone who’d like to pursue their dreams?
Work towards making your dreams a reality and appreciate the process. I often run into people who are down for not having reached that final goal and they don’t seem to acknowledge all of the hurdles they’ve overcome. So know that the path never ends and every step is something to be proud of.
What are you currently working on? Any upcoming project(s)?
“Complicty” is the first single of a 6 song album. I will release another single or two, and then “Technicolours” will drop in the new year.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Currently, respect for each other’s differences, and less plastic.
What’s your purpose?
Oh boy, that’s a tough one. When I figure it out I’ll write you back :)
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