Straight out of the UK, we chat with DJ and producer, Shanti Celeste ahead of her New Year’s Day performance at Let Them Eat Cake.
Tell us a little about how you lay down a track, are you always jumping in the studio inspired or sometimes does it take a little more effort?
It’s a bit of both! Sometimes I’m super inspired and I sit down and it all goes to plan and it’s magic! But most of the time that’s not the case, LOL. I’ll jump in really inspired, but nothing will sound like it did in my head! Or l will make myself sit down and try too hard and get fed up! Sounds a bit depressing I know but it’s actually a positive thing! As frustrating and deflating as it can feel at the time, it means that when things do work out, it’s the best feeling ever! I think I’d get really bored if I wrote an amazing tune every single time I sat down!
If you had to pick one of your tracks in an attempt to show someone what you’re all about, which one would you choose and why?
Hmmm that’s a difficult one, the thing is, to me everything I make is really different from the next thing! In my opinion, my style of production is really erratic. I don’t just stick to one style so I would find it hard just to pick one track! I think it’s probably much easier for other people to see a recurring theme in my tunes than it is for me ya know? But I guess if I had to, it would have to be something melodic as that’s something I can’t help but do in most of my tracks… melody overload! So maybe “SSS”.
What has been your best ally when producing music? Is there something (or someone) you turn to for inspiration?
My Microkorg! It’s always the synth I turn to in the end! Especially to get nice pads… And also my friends, I have amazing friends who are always inspiring me and motivating me!
You’ve done your fair share of studying music and arts, what was your intention when you decided to start writing? How has that changed from them to now?
I just wanted a creative outlet really! And as I love DJing, that seemed like a natural progression! I love painting and drawing but until recently I had fallen out of love with it after studying it for a year at university. It took me some time to really get into it though as I’m not very technical when it comes to production and I’m also pretty impatient! So it was hard to get started but as soon as I had a few bits of knowledge under my belt, I was away! Nothing has really changed in that respect! It’s now a necessity for me to have that as an outlet though so if I get really busy with gigs and don’t have much time to write, I get a bit sad… but I will soon learn to be an amazing juggler of time so I can do both successfully. Hehe!
If you could pick your ultimate set time, duration and venue – what would they be? What is it about playing live that you enjoy most?
OK, so firstly, the set would be 4 hours long, reason why: I tend to dance quite a lot during my sets, specially if it’s going well… so every time I’ve played for longer than that, I get to the 5th or 6th hour and my energy levels start to plummet! Which isn’t good because I like being energetic at the end! Don’t get me wrong though… I would happily play for longer! But I’ve just really, really enjoyed 4 hour sets recently. Secondly, the club: anywhere that is small and/or intimate, with an open minded crowd, is good for me.
Have you found any particular cities around the world respond better to your style than others? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
Yup! Definitely! There are cities that respond better to what I do, I think it’s probably for a number of reasons that vary, from things like the general culture in that particular city, club licences…e.g. Scotland and Ireland have super early licences, clubs have to close at 2 or 3 in most cases so there is more of an urgency to rave I think. Also, how exposed people are to electronic music and many more reasons that I can’t explain! But yeah… you get the gist!
Step into my time machine, what advice would you give your former self? Let’s say, when you first started producing.
Haha, probably very corny things like, be true to yourself, believe in yourself, don’t put yourself down, don’t worry about what others think, just do your thing! All very relevant advice that I think everyone needs to listen to more! Because it’s true!
Tell us a little about Bristol! What do you get up to in your spare time? Any hot tips if we were strolling about your hometown?
I don’t actually live in Bristol anymore! But will tell you about it anyways as it still feels like home! And I know it much better than I know Berlin (where I live now). Bristol is very very great!!! It has a very tight knit music community, everyone supports each other and it’s easy to meet like minded people to will inspire you. If you visited I’d say obviously go to the record shop! Idle Hands has an excellent selection of new and old records, and there is plenty of second hand stores too! There are also great places to eat! Like Katie and Kim’s! Highly recommended!
Let Them Eat Cake will be your debut Melbourne show – and what a way to kick things off! Have you heard much about the Melbourne dance scene? Do you have any expectations or reservations about your stay?
I’m really excited actually! I’ve heard nothing but nice things about Melbourne and it’s music scene so looking forward to it a lot! I also hear that ‘brunch’ is a bit of a thing there? Well, I like food…. a lot. Plus, I really miss the heat! Need some colour on my skin!
Catch Shanti Celeste on New Year’s Day at Melbourne’s Let Them Eat Cake 2017
Get tickets here
Interview by Stefanos Mak