- Posted June 13, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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The Exclusive: Celeste Stoney Gets Real With CNN Ireporter Krystol Diggs
Celeste Stoney, a super talented singer/songwriter is a sensational singer. When I first heard her sing I said out loud, " Thank you!" There is a female who brings 'true music" back. Her soulful but edgy music brings people to their feet. Luckily, Stoney took time out of her busy schedule to give me this interview. She's been featured in magazines, wrote music for artists in the UK that has topped the charts, and more. Celeste is the new artist to watch out for. Trust me, you will see lots of her. Having been on MTV's Making The Band and American Idol, Celeste, has arrived! Her sound is like Pink, the late Amy Winehouse. Celeste is the wife of the great actor Ray Stoney. A power couple. Currently, Celeste has her debut album coming out soon and her single titled "My Kind of Crazy". Stoney also is a role model. She proves to aspiring artists that hard work will pay off.
K. Diggs: When did you start to get into music?
Stoney: I used to put on shows with the kids in my neighborhood from the age of 5 years old and get in trouble in school for singing too much, even got fired from a job for it. It wasn't until I was 17 that I decided to figure out how I was going to get started in the music industry. I had just moved to LA and I didn't know anyone in the music world but I knew I wanted to do nothing else with my life. I heard of a website called Taxi.com that connects musicians and singers so I placed an ad looking for producers to work with me for trade. I found some up and coming producers that needed a singer for their songs. A few weeks later I had a demo that I could use to shop myself. An A&R was talking to my sister one day and saw my demo cd in her car and asked to hear it. That same night the A&R invited me to come up to the studio to meet his producer, 7 Aurelius. At the time, 7 Aurelius was one of the top producers with hits like “I'm Real" by Jennifer Lopez, "Always on Time" by Ja Rule, and "Foolish" by Ashanti. That meeting led to me singing the hook on the billboard chart topping single,“Murder Reigns”from Ja Rule's album, The Last Temptation which earned me a platinum plaque. That was my start.
K. Diggs: Were you always interested in singing?
Stoney: I have been singing ever since I was a little girl. I would sing songs all the time and always sing the wrong words and make up my own. My sister would always tell me I was doing it all wrong but I would just keep singing my own little version of the songs I loved.
K. Diggs: How long does it take for you to complete a song?
Stoney: When I create a song it's like creating a living piece of art, every melody change or word added changes the shape and final outcome. Sometimes it all flows right out in less than an hour, sometimes I get a good start and revisit 2 or 3 more days on the same song until it's just right. I call the songs I write my music babies, similar to human children, every song is different. There is no pattern or structure when I am making a music baby.
K. Diggs: Being involved in this music industry, what do you find more challenging now in 2013 then when you first started?
Stoney: Patience. The closer I get to my goals, the harder it becomes to just be patient.
K. Diggs: Who is your favorite artist and why?
Stoney: Ya know, I found myself really thinking on this one and to be honest, I can't say I really have a favorite artist. I have been influenced by a lot of artists through the years including Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Tracy Chapman, Madonna, Salt n Pepa & Mariah Carey but if I had to say one, I would say that I really respect P!nk. I love that she always finds a way to make her audience feel like a friend, she doesn't take herself too seriously, she stands up for injustice and points out the flaws in our society without being overly preachy and her music has a huge range of emotion.
K.Diggs: What musical works are you working on now?
Stoney: I am currently writing for my own project which I am very excited for. After years of writing for other artists, I feel so alive writing songs that express what I want to share with the world. That being said, I juggle my time between writing for other artists and writing for my upcoming EP. On any given day you can find me in the studio working with Grammy Award winning producers the likes of Alex Geringas or Val Garay or super talented on the rise producers like Joonas Angeria or Jai Marlon of Dr. Luke's publishing company, Prescription Songs. I am currently writing songs for Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, One Direction, Jessie J, Adam Lambert, Icona Pop, Arianna Grande as well as several TV and film projects.
K. Diggs: How do you feel about your overall career?
Stoney: Humbled to be able to do what I love for a living and share the gifts that I have been given with the world. Excited for where my journey will take me and the lives that I will touch!
K. Diggs: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Stoney: Believe in yourself. Never stop, even when you have heard more “no's” than a “yes”. Know that you have a gift, you are unique...be yourself and don't let anyone change you. Fight for what you want and always have balance in your life.
K. Diggs: When writing where do you get your inspiration from?
Stoney: I am inspired by so many things, my own life experiences, my friends and family's experiences, people I meet on the streets, stories I hear, things I see on TV, words people say, conversations, current events … really, anything can inspire a song.
K.Diggs: If you had one singer that reminded you of yourself, who is the person?
Stoney: Bruno Mars
K. Diggs: What is next for you?
Stoney: I am working on finishing and release my debut album and travel the world sharing it! Be sure to follow the journey with me on all social media @CelesteStoney as well as on my website www.CelesteStoney.com
K. Diggs: Do you see yourself signed to a major label in the future?
Stoney: I believe that we live in a time where relationships between artist and labels are different. Artists do not need to be signed to a major label to reach their audience. I am more interested in partnering with a company like Alternative Distribution Alliance which can give an artist the same level of marketing and radio promotion of a major with the freedom of remaining independent. That being said, I would be open to a new, unique and mutually beneficial partnership with a major similar to what ADA can offer.
K. Diggs: If you could co-write a song with someone who would it be?
Stoney: I want to collaborate with Dan Wilson. He is one of the best songwriters in the game and has written hits for Adele, Pink, Nas, John Legend, Taylor Swift and the list goes on.
Celeste thanks for taking the time to interview with me! Your humble spirit is amazing and I wish you nothing but success moving forward with your endeavors. Want to connect with Celeste Stoney: