Brighton-raised British-Jamaican singer Celeste started her journey with BBC Introducing in 2014 when she uploaded her track ‘North Circular’ to the website. Her debut EP, ‘The Milk and Honey’ was produced by Lily Allen’s Bank Holiday Records label shortly after. Following the success of her breakout singles ‘Both Sides of the Moon’, ‘Lately’ and ‘Father’s Son’, the soul singer released her EP ‘Lately’ in early 2019. Her recent single, ‘Strange’, was featured on BBC Radio 1’s playlist. Celeste signed with Polydor last year and is currently touring across Europe with Michael Kiwanuka ahead of her April 2020 tour.
Celeste’s BBC Music Introducing highlights for 2019 include performing on Introducing stages at Glastonbury and SXSW Festival, recording a Maida Vale session that aired on BBC Radio 1, and the debut of her hit ‘Strange’ at The Lexington in February.
On being told she had won the award by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, Celeste said:
“I performed a song called ‘Strange’ that I wrote for the first time at the BBC Music Introducing show at the Lexington…you never know how you’re going to feel when you perform something for the first time and how people are going to react to it, and I had such a warm response and it seemed like it was a memorable song for people in that moment…that was definitely one of my highlights of the year, so thank you very much!”
BBC Music Introducing, the BBC’s scheme for emerging musical talent, has provided a platform to propel the best new acts from across the UK onto the national stage since its launch in 2007. Slaves, Florence + The Machine, The Big Moon, Idles, The Shires, George Ezra, Freya Ridings, Catfish and The Bottlemen, Pale Waves, Sam Fender, Mahalia and Lewis Capaldi all received BBC Music Introducing support at the start of their careers.
Presenter of BBC Introducing on Radio 1 Huw Stephens said:
“Celeste has made so many fans this year, and BBC Music Introducing have been so happy and proud to support her talent at every given opportunity over the last few years. On stage and on the airwaves, we’ve heard Celeste at her brilliant best and her BBC Music Introducing Artist of the Year award is very deserved.”
Tom Billington, Editor of BBC Music Introducing said:
“At BBC Music Introducing we live for those moments when you hear an artist for the first time and they stop you in your tracks. That’s when you know they’re something special, and that’s what happened with Celeste. Throughout 2019 BBC Music Introducing has given Celeste every available opportunity to show off her amazing talent. From fantastic local radio support at BBC Music Introducing in London with Jess Iszatt, to headlining our monthly Lexington gig, a Maida Vale session, a showcase at South By South West in Austin, Texas and a beautiful afternoon performance at Glastonbury. Celeste has provided so many stand-out moments with BBC Music Introducing this year that we wanted to top it off by giving her our highest accolade.”
Listen to the full interview with Celeste on BBC Introducing on Radio 1 with Huw Stephens from 11pm on Sunday December 8th.
Check out our recent interview with Celeste below: