FYIG recently had the chance to talk to singer Celia Palli about her new single off her latest album Techniclours called Complicity, working with Nelly Furtado, and so much more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Celia Palli and I am a singer/songwriter. I have been in the music scene for over 10 years, I have had the privilege of touring the world with Nelly Furtado as her background singer, and opened for her European Tour in 2013. “Complicity” is the single of a new album I’ve been working on. I can’t wait to share it with all of you!
At what point did you know you wanted to become a music artist?
My uncle and grandfather were professional musicians. The stage life was always around me growing up and it definitely had an impact. At six years old, I would dress up in a sequins dress, put on a wig, and force my family to sit quietly on the couch and watch me perform! My family had a lot of patience hahaha!
How would you describe your musical style?
I would say my genre is alternative pop and this album is close to synth pop. The producers had an array of vintage synths and when I heard them it reminded me of my childhood (I’m an 80s child).
You were born in Barcelona. How did you make your way over to the Toronto music scene?
I was born in a small town called Torroella de Montgrí. Then my family and I moved to Barcelona and in my teens to The Netherlands. From there, I had the travel bug and moved to Toronto by myself. I studied music at university and slowly but surely made my way into Toronto’s supportive music scene.
You became the backup vocalist for Nelly Furtado in 2009. How did that opportunity come about?
As soon as I set foot in Toronto, I made sure to join every possible local band. Nelly Furtado’s team was looking for a bilingual singer and they were only taking peer recommendations. I was lucky to have three different people give my name and so I got called for auditions.
In 2013, you opened for Nelly Furtado on her Spirit Indestructible Tour European Tour. What was that experience like?
I will never forget those shows. I’ve seen big audiences when performing with Nelly, but this time I was alone in front of those big crowds and it was exhilarating. Her fans made posters for me and stood front row. The Nelstars (that’s what Nelly Furtado fans call themselves) have supported my solo career since day one.
What did you learn from Nelly Furtado that you could apply to your career?
She is very generous with her time when talking to the press, fans, or her own team. On the road, she is the first person to get up and the last one to go to bed because she works around the clock. She’s in the zone when performing and nothing else matters. I noticed this work ethic while on tour and I made sure to apply the same principles to my career.
Your single I’ll Be Fine has amassed over a million streams on Spotify. Did you ever expect it to become as successful as it has and what does that success mean to you?
I most certainly did not see it coming. “I’ll Be Fine” is a song that came to me at a very vulnerable time in my life. And I say came to me because I was on the subway train when the lyrics started popping in my mind. I took a brochure that was lying around and started writing the lyrics while going from A to B in Toronto. As soon as I came off the train, I recorded a voice note with the melody and then ran home and transferred it all to guitar. Some songs get written and some other songs knock on your door. “I’ll Be Fine” is special to me and it is very touching that the rest of the world could sense that too.
What was it like to work with Grammy-nominated producer duo LikeMinds on your second album Technicolours?
I have never worked with producers that were so synched with each other and so selfless. Their one and only goal is to elevate the music! I learned a lot watching them work together and I look forward to recording many more albums with them.
Your latest single off Technicolours is called Complicity. What can you tell us about it?
I was alone one evening, playing the piano, and began playing a chord progression. I thought to myself “what if the melody goes to the highest part of my range?” I gave it a try and I was vibing with this song. I kept saying the word ‘Complicity’ in the chorus but I didn’t have much besides that…just a feeling.
I really wanted the lyrics to be special so I asked my singer friend Nashlyn Lloyd (from Vancouver) to write lyrics with me. I knew I wanted them to be about the complicity between partners, which in Spanish is something extremely positive. In Spanish, being able to appreciate complicity between partners means that they have a deep connection. When presenting the storyline to Nashlyn, and hearing the confusion in her voice, I quickly learned that in English it doesn’t mean the same thing. Hahaha! This misunderstanding worked to our advantage. We used the criminal connotation that complicity has in English to describe the deep connection.
How have you evolved since your first album in 2014?
After my first album, I wanted to know what I could have improved on. I set up a few meetings with people in the industry that I respect and listened to what they had to say. The one comment that really stuck with me, was that I could still take the songwriting to the next level. That was very empowering to know because it gave me direction. I didn’t set foot in the studio until I felt my writing had changed.
What can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
I do my best to give it my all, emotionally speaking. My main goal is to reach the audience and simply make them feel. Having said that, I don’t have any upcoming shows yet. I plan to share videos of live studio performances on YouTube so that fans can get an idea of what my shows are like first.
So hit that follow button so you don’t miss out 😉
What’s next for your career?
After “Complicity” I will release another two singles until the full album drops in January or February. In the meantime, I’m hoping people will enjoy, talk about, and share my music. Word of mouth is the ultimate compliment for a musician.
What advice would you have for aspiring music artists?
Be prepared to be persistent against all odds and then some. And never stop improving your craft.
What’s a day in the life of Celia like outside of the recording studio?
I have great friends, a loving family, and the best partner in the world. When I’m not submerged in music, I like spending time with them.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
You can hear my new single on your preferred platform on the link below.
And you can peek into my life on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They all have the handle CELIAPALLI.