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Q&A | Celaviedmai

Celaviedmai talks to TLMT about Extraterrestrial: A Black Irish Celebration of Identity, happening this Thursday from NCH.

Photo credit: Bekah Molony

What’s the last song you listened to?

Don’t Forget by Blast

What artist or album has gotten you through lockdown the most?

Table for Two by Lucky Daye

What’s influencing your music right now?

The excitement of the country opening back up and the fact that more opportunities are emerging, is definitely influencing my music. I’ve decided over the past while that I want to show different sides to who I am as a person and as an artist. So with permission to be myself and the freedom of restrictions lifting, there’s an amazing honesty and energy to the stuff I’m working on right now. 

Tell us about the importance of an event like Extraterrestrial: A Black Irish Celebration of Identity?

I think that an event like this is important because representation matters and that’s a fact. Knowing that younger people can see this and see all of us on the National Concert Hall stage, and realise that it’s possible to achieve your goals, I love that. Especially in a world where we don’t usually get heard or seen. It’s getting there but we need more events and opportunities like this where there isn’t just one black artist or one female to tick the box, there’s people of all kinds there, every time.

As an artist, what do you hope to convey in your performance as part of Extraterrestrial?

First of all I’m a bad b-itch and I’m never going to change, you can always expect to see the Cela that you know, to go hard no matter what stage I’m on. BUT I am a real person with so many sides to me and this is an introduction to my softer side. It feels so good to go from vulnerable to powerful in the space of 6 minutes. As a black woman I’m always expected to be ‘strong’. I’m sorry but that’s just not real life, this performance is saying f that, hear my pain and listen to my experiences AND THEN enjoy my assertiveness and confidence in ‘Known Better‘. 

What do you hope people take away from the event?

In the opening poem ‘The Peace in Between’ the message is that black and white people are not so different and it ends with ‘the only things that need to collide are the land and the sea’ which is inspired by Seamus Heaney’s ‘Lovers on Aran’.  What I’m saying is that to fight or hate one another based on skin colour is just so backwards, let’s throw our arms around each other! We need to celebrate, collaborate and empower each other to make Ireland the welcoming and inclusive place it is so famous for being. 

There’s so many black people in Ireland who deserve a platform and a chance to be heard. I’d love it if people could watch this and think yes, this art is beautiful or their music is crazy good and if they didn’t think so before, to go ok let’s keep pushing these voices. And a massive thank you for the people who do use their power to amplify our voices, but let’s not stop, let’s go further.

Above all, I hope it can inspire the youth of Ireland and make them proud of their skin colour. I didn’t have anyone to look up to as a kid in Ireland. It felt impossible to see myself achieving something great unless I looked outside of the country I was born in. The thought of a young, dark skinned girl seeing me and these other black artists doing our thing on such an important stage, it’s truly invaluable.

NCH and District Present Extraterrestrial: A Black Irish Celebration of Identity – with FeliSpeaks, Alicia Raye, Celaviedmai, Erica Cody, JyellowL, Reggie and Tebi Rex will take place on Thursday 20th May 2021, 8pm Ireland/UK | 9pm CET and is available FREE to view on National Concert Hall Youtube & Facebook.

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