Folk-Pop Singer and Cellist Coeli is an artist with a purpose

Jul 30, 2021 0 comments


We’ve seen singers perform with guitars, pianos, and even drums before. But it’s not every day that you find a singer with a cello.

That on its own makes Coeli (pronounced as che-li) stand out in the OPM scene. Infusing the classical music she grew up with with the pop sound that is familiar to the public, she hopes to put her own unique mark in such a diverse industry.

There is, however, more to her artistry than just being a singer-cellist. We spoke to Coeli to take a deeper look into her distinct sound, her cello, and how she’s used her art to touch on mental health issues in the hopes of bringing comfort to those who experience them.

The Cellist



Coeli has always been a musician even at a very young age. “I learned how to play the piano at 7-years-old and violin at 9,” she says. But it was only when she was 15 that she began to play the cello because of the encouragement of someone she loves. “My Lola was a cellist. She encouraged me to try it out. I felt connected to it instantly.”

After “spending more than half of my life following the standards of traditional education, rigid training from being a part of a children’s choir and the college orchestra,” Coeli realized she wanted to become an artist in her own right.

“I soon realized that the only way to navigate through the chaos of my life was to create and innovate,” she shares. “I recently became more accepting of myself in terms of being a multi-faceted artist, going beyond music.”

The Singer-Songwriter


Coeli counts Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell, Cynthia Alexander, and Lucy Rose as the singer-songwriters she admired when she was starting out. Classical music, too, has a great influence on the music she creates. “I feel like since it was a huge part of my life at some point, choral music and orchestral music was my grounding point,” says Coeli.



“I personally love old Filipino folk songs, lullabies, and impressionist music (the likes of Debussy and Ravel),” she adds. Her love for folk songs, in particular, shines through in her music, but Coeli doesn’t want to limit herself to the genre. “I honestly don’t want to box myself with a genre since my music evolves as I evolve as a person. But I do admit that most of the songs I’ve released, I find folk-pop as the closest umbrella term for it.”

Songwriting, to her, happens naturally, especially when she has a strong feeling that she needs to express. “My music somehow mirrors where I am at the moment,” she describes her songwriting process.

The Mental Health Advocate

      

A closer look at Coeli’s lyrics shows the artist touching on mental health topics that listeners may relate to. “I utilize my platform to advocate for mental health, because I, myself am struggling with my own mental illness,” she explains. “Music has been a constant companion in my journey of healing, and I find that whenever I share it, there’s always going to be someone who’ll need it as well.”.

“I find my songs quite raw and vulnerable, in terms of storytelling,” Coeli adds. “Oftentimes it’s projected through an acoustic arrangement, with the guitar and cello. The pop factor is more of giving my audience a sense of familiarity through the melodies and the lyrics I write.”

The Artist Moving Forward, at Her Own Pace



Things haven’t been easy for the local music scene since the pandemic hit. For Coeli, in particular, it left a huge wound in her emotionally. “It pains me to not be with a community or an audience as I perform my music,” she explains. “But I’m gradually accepting the current circumstances. Recently, in order for me to cope, I’ve been putting less pressure on myself. I do what I can to incorporate joy in what I do, even in the smallest of things. I’m learning to manage my energy better. It’s far more exhausting to perform for the screen, so I have to learn how to pace myself, so that I don’t get burnt out.”

So what’s next for Coeli moving forward? “I’ve been channeling my energy in building my YouTube channel,” shares the singer-songwriter. “I’ve been working on my second EP as well, but again, no pressure. I find it essential to create for my own sanity first before sharing it with the world. There’s nothing much to expect for now, but when I’m ready, it will all just fall into place naturally.”



And as for aspiring artists out there who want to make something out of their craft despite the trying times, Coeli reminds that “it’s okay to capitalize on your craft, but prioritize your sanity first.”

“ Always stick to why you’re doing what you do. Comparing yourself to others will lead to self-destruction. Trust in your own capabilities, and be gentle with yourself,” she advises. “Allow yourself to take the first step, you will learn as you go along. Always incorporate joy in what you do!”

Stay updated with Coeli and her music by following her on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and Spotify!
 

━━ Written By  Bella Javier
━━  Art By Angela Asino


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