Life's A Peach: Shanti Celeste interviewed
Before she concludes her 2019 residency at Glasgow's La Cheetah Club, Shanti Celeste tells us about her debut album Tangerine and why she loves playing in Glasgow
Shanti Celeste is one of the busiest DJs on the planet. Name a club, she’s probably played it; name a festival, she’s probably played it too. But her rise to success has been fairly steady.
Born in Chile, Celeste moved to the UK at a young age, but her musical career properly began while she was working at Bristol record shop Idle Hands, and many of her early releases came on the shop’s in-house label. Working there introduced her to the shop and label’s boss Chris Farrell, with whom she went on to launch the BRSTL label on which she made her debut in 2013 with the two-track release Need Your Lovin' (Baby) / Result.
Just a few years later, she launched her own label Peach Discs, which she co-runs with her ex-housemate Gramrcy and continues to release her own music on. The label recently became a natural home for Celeste’s debut album, Tangerine. “For about a year I was just going on about the fact I wanted to write an album but never felt like I had started writing it,” says Celeste. “I kind of waited until I’d made something that sounded slightly different [to] what I’d made in the past and used it as a marker to start the album.”
Over the course of the album’s ten tracks, Celeste demonstrates the diversity of her musical taste and a knack for melody, as well as a strong ear towards the dancefloor. One of its tracks features the use of a kalimba, recorded at her father’s home in Chile, but that’s about as far as any influence from her Chilean roots goes. “To be honest, my heritage hasn’t influenced my music as much as I’d like,” she says.
“I started making music as an extension of DJing and going to raves, so that was my main inspiration,” she continues. “I also didn’t experience enough Chilean music throughout my childhood for it to have impacted me in such a way, apart from some tapes from Chilóe my grandma used to play… I’d like to change this though and take more influence from my home country, especially now I’ve written an album and [have been] thinking about writing more in this format.”
As well as releasing her own productions, Celeste is also one of the most in-demand DJs around at the moment. In addition to her own solo sets, she also runs a residency series, Peach Party, launched at Brighton club Patterns last year. Since then, it has extended to both London’s Corsica Studios and Glasgow’s La Cheetah Club, where she has held down residencies throughout 2019.
“I like playing in Glasgow because everyone is really friendly and up for it! I can usually play whatever I want and people go for it, which isn’t the case everywhere,” she says. “La Cheetah is particularly fun because it’s small and intimate. It has a combination of all the things I feel make a good club: good sound, good working equipment, amazing staff, good lighting, intimacy, backstage toilet, somewhere to put my records and a really nice booth.”
The parties allow Celeste the opportunity to invite some of her friends and favourite DJs to play alongside her at some of her favourite clubs, as well as the chance to showcase some of the acts on Peach Discs. Past guests at her La Cheetah residency this year have included close friend Peach and her Peach Discs partner Gramrcy. She’ll return to the club this month, once again joined by Peach and alongside fellow 2019 La Cheetah resident Objekt on New Year's Eve, rounding off a huge year in ultimate style.
Tangerine is out now via Peach Discs
Shanti Celeste plays La Cheetah Club, Glasgow, 31 Dec