Meet owellciao, Singapore’s Up-and-Coming Singer-Songwriter
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The Beat Singapore's Up-and-Coming Artist: Singer-Songwriter owellciao

Meet owellciao Singapores Up and Coming Singer Songwriter

The Beat Singapore’s Up and Coming is a series where we feature rising talented artists from Singapore, giving them a platform to share what they’re passionate about and promote the music they (and us too!) would love for the world to hear. Do you want or know someone who wants to be featured? Email us at [email protected] or slide into our DMs on Facebook or Instagram!

We all have our own idols. While some of us are content with fangirling/fanboying and seeing them from afar, others try to follow in their footsteps. This is especially true for our latest Up-and-Coming Artist, a talented songstress whose major influences are some of the big names in the music industry.

Meet Celine, also known by her stage name, owellciao, a singer-songwriter based in Singapore. From posting song covers on YouTube, doors opened for her in 2022 when she got the chance to release her first song, “love always.” Now, inspired by her idols Ariana Grande and NIKI, she’s slowly making her way into music as an independent artist while having fun doing what she loves.

Fresh off the release of her newest single, “be honest,” owellciao sat down with The Beat Asia to talk about her inspirations, her music’s identity, future plans, and many more. Read on to get to know the artist beyond her angelic voice and fun-loving nature!

Hi, owellciao! Can you give us a bit of background about yourself?

I’m Celine, an independent singer-songwriter from Singapore! I write songs inspired by how I feel and hope that they speak to people who might feel the same way.

Your stage name, "owellciao" is an interesting one! Can you tell us how it came to be?

I’ve been a huge Ariana fan since over a decade ago when she first started doing vlogs on YouTube when her username was “osnapitzari.” I needed a username for Instagram, so I thought I’d steal a bit of inspiration from that, but I also didn’t want it to be a complete rip-off.

And since I’m from Singapore, I thought the local aunties and uncles would pronounce “ciao” as “cel,” like the first half of my name, “cel.” Honestly, I just couldn’t think of a stage name, so I went with my Instagram handle, but it’s funny because a lot of people actually think my name is Owell now.

How did you get into music? What ignited your passion for the craft?

I don’t think I ever really saw it as a craft, it’s more just for fun. I was in a choir and just grew up listening to a lot of music. I also took part in some singing competitions, which still haunt me to this day, but yeah, I think I’ve always just enjoyed singing and listening. I’d say it was a happy coincidence because I never planned on it.

I heard about an open call for the Majulah Weekender series and thought I’d try my luck. I was super lucky to have gotten in, and from there, I got to write and release my song, “love always,” with evanturetime! [I’m] forever grateful for the experience.

Who are your major musical influences, and how do you incorporate them into your own songs?

The person who inspired my stage name [is], of course, Ariana Grande! I [also] love Olivia Rodrigo, Avery Lynch, Jesse Barrera, Gracie Abrams, and Laur Elle. So many more! I don’t think it’s super obvious that these are my influences, but I guess it’s more of what I admire most about each of these artists, be it their vocal tonality, songwriting, production style, or chords and melodies.

Congratulations on your new single, "be honest!" What is the song all about?

Thank you! I wrote this from the perspective of NIKI, if she were to write a song about a toxic relationship that keeps cycling in a constant, repetitive loop where two people keep going back to each other even though they both know it’s not going to work out. Honestly, it’s kinda weird that I wrote this because I’m used to writing what I know, but I don’t relate to it at all.

We heard you have a talent for writing! Where and how do you get inspiration for the songs that you write?

I try to write what I feel and hope I find some sort of comfort and meaning in doing so. I also try to write in the way I think my favourite artists would, just for fun and to challenge myself. It’s kinda like those TikTok videos that go, “What if [this song] was written by [another artist].”

As an up-and-coming artist, what would you like your music to be known for?

Ooo, this is interesting. I feel like my friends laugh at me when I say “upbeat sad,” but yeah, I think that! I don’t always have the attention span to listen to an emo song at any time of the day, so I want to try and upturn those lyrics with something more fun and easier to listen to.

If you could collaborate with or open for another artist's show, locally or internationally, who would it be and why?

Ahhh, collaborating with or opening for any artist that I listen to would already be a dream. But I guess if it had to be someone local, it’d be YAØ. I absolutely adore his music. His toplines and production are insane! It would be a huge honour. Internationally, Jesse Barrera would be so big a dream I don’t think I could even sit still to get anything done. [Like] what I admire about YAØ’s works, I think he’s so intentional with his production and songwriting.

Any shows or festivals you would love to do in the future?

I haven’t thought too far ahead, just grateful for whatever comes my way!

What's next for owellciao? Any upcoming projects, gigs, or shows that we should watch out for?

I’m currently working on an EP that I plan to release later this year! [I’m] working with a couple of producers on this one, and the songs will sound vastly different from each other, so I’m super excited. Also, [I’m] planning to do an EP launch when the time comes and maybe play some more local gigs till then.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. To learn more about owellciao, follow her on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, and stream her music on YouTube and Spotify.

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