Unwind With Celeste Terni: Only A Dream is the third and final instalment in our interview series with rising star and smoothmind Celeste Terni.
In the first, Celeste shared her Top Tips To Finding Your Passion in Career and Life. The second took a deep-dive into her love for music with Let’s Talk-apella. In this exciting finale, you’re in for a fantastic treat as we hear how Celeste rose to the smoothmind challenge.
Unwind With Celeste Terni: Only A Dream | Interview
RAICHURA: Great to have you back on smoothmind Celeste! I can’t believe it’s already been over five weeks since we did the Let’s Talk-appella interview!
TERNI: It’s great to be back! Thanks again for inviting me into the wonderful world of smoothmind.
RAICHURA: Previously we learnt about your spirit animal, how people mistake you for Seal, and your immense passion for singing. So the big question we’re all keen to hear answered is… did you manage to rise to the smoothmind challenge to complete writing your first song and produce it?
TERNI: With all this newfound free time in lockdown, I had no excuse not to try! It was my first go at writing and producing any music of my own, but I’m proud of what I accomplished and what I learned along the way. I’m so pleased to introduce you to my very first song called Only a Dream.
RAICHURA: OMG Celeste, that is fantastic news and also a great song title. I’m so pleased you were able to rise to the challenge! Can you tell us more about Only a Dream and why it was important for to you to produce as your first song?
TERNI: I’ve been fortunate enough over my musical endeavours to work with talented arrangers and producers. I thought it was time to learn those skills for myself. I never thought of myself as a songwriter or a producer, but I owed it to myself to try. While I still have a lot to learn, it was a magical experience. I kept a songbook of cheesy lyrics that I wrote when I was 10 years old and decided that I wanted to make that 10-year-old girl’s dream come true by making one of those songs come to life.
RAICHURA: I love that! For the benefit of others toying with the fear of taking that next bold move to follow their passion; what steps did you take since our last interview to complete Only a Dream?
TERNI: Well, even though I wanted to write and produce this song on my own, I asked for some advice.
I took what I had and showed it to some of my friends to see what they thought. They helped me come up with a more interesting way to play the guitar, some melodic and lyrical improvements, and tips for which tools to use. They also told me that they loved it! That was the confidence boost I needed to continue working on the song and make it happen. Sometimes you just need to step out of your bubble and ask for an outside opinion. When fear and self-doubt get in the way, those who support you will pick you up and put you back on the right track.
RAICHURA: What you’ve done is no easy accomplishment in such a short timeline… not to mention the fact we’re still on a global lockdown! I’m sure your quest didn’t come without its own challenges though! What challenges did you face and how did you manage to overcome them?
TERNI: How much time do you have? From living in central London to writer’s block, there were so many obstacles that threw themselves at me while I was trying to create this song. I got over my writer’s block by changing gears, focusing on something else, playing a different song, or going for a walk and humming to myself until something clicked. Then there was the challenge of recording the song itself. How was I supposed to make something sound remotely studio quality with construction in the distance and my flatmates making dinner? Timing and soundproofing were everything. I was at the mercy of London life, so when I found a quiet moment, I took it and holed myself up in my room, recording as many takes as I could to get that ideal sound.
RAICHURA: Which Digital tools, if any, were used to help write and produce the song? Also, did you need to buy any new equipment to achieve the goal?
TERNI: The truth is, you don’t need a crazy expensive setup to making things sound quality. I have friends who even record songs with GarageBand on their iPhone. Although I didn’t get many fancy things, since I spend most of my week on virtual meetings or chatting with friends over online video games, I got a nice microphone to use for all these activities. I went for a Blue Yeti Nano, an area microphone that has served me very well. I used a free audio editing software called Audacity. It has less of a learning curve compared to other programs out there, and it was the right balance of simple and useful for what I needed.
RAICHURA: Celeste, I’m super-impressed with your passion, values and drive to follow your dream. Clearly in this case, it’s no longer a dream. Without further ado, I think it’s about time we share your first song ‘Only a Dream’ in this smoothmind exclusive. So, are you ready to be brave and go live?
TERNI: Absolutely! I’m so proud to share this with you and the smoothmind community. Let’s see what you think!
RAICHURA: I really like it and you’ve certainly made the song come to life! In our first interview, you shared your deep connection to Chilean and Spanish roots. From my notes; I recall you also have a diverse range of musical tastes including Reggaeton and Latin Hip-Hop. I can’t help but think there’s an opportunity here, given your cultural influences. Not to mention your favourite mixes that help keep you in the zone with those video games scores… this could open a whole new avenue for exploration. Especially as you continue to elevate and push your musical boundaries moving forward!
TERNI: No doubt! I’d love to experiment with other genres, maybe writing some songs in Spanish as well. I’ll have to get my family’s help on that one, although my abuela will definitely insist I go for Flamenco music over Reggaeton! Not a bad idea there either.
RAICHURA: Celeste, you have proved anything can be achieved when you put your mind to it. In roundup, what are your top three tips for those seeking to develop their path in singing and song writing?
TERNI: My first tip is to just try it. You don’t have to share it with anyone, just write some lyrics that inspire you, come up with a melody that sounds good to your ears, and play around with it. You have nothing to lose from experimenting. Not everything will be a smash success, which I definitely learned from some of the other songs in my old song book.
My second tip is to not be afraid to ask for help. Many artists are talented songwriters, but not producers. Some are incredible singers, but don’t know how to write their own songs. And all of that is perfectly fine. Producing, writing, and performing are all massively different skillsets which require unique training. I wouldn’t even know which program to use if I hadn’t asked for help. So, don’t be afraid to collaborate and seek the knowledge of others.
Lastly, my final tip is to record all the little things you think of. My phone is full of 10-second-long voice notes that could all be turned into entire songs. Keep a record of the short melodies or interesting lyrics that you’re thinking of. You never know when creativity and inspiration will strike, and that way you’ll always have a starting point.
RAICHURA: Some really good tips Celeste and this is by no means the end of the road from a smoothmind perspective. It’s been an absolute pleasure sharing this exciting journey with you. With this, I look forward to future collaborations and excited to see where the road leads!
TERNI: I can’t thank you enough for providing this opportunity, Gopesh. It has been an honour working with you on this amazing series, and this song certainly wouldn’t have been possible without your support. Thank you!