Celsa Maxwell, the art of seducing when you only half get along

“I woke up one morning and couldn’t hear anything in my right ear“Says Celsa Maxwell. Slowly, almost timidly, the 26-year-old Flemish singer looks back on that day in December 2019 when she lost 50% of her hearing.”No one knows what it is. Even today, this remains a mystery. Two years have passed and it’s still hard to accept“For months, Celsa is in shock. She doesn’t do anything except try to reclaim her own body.”It’s a strange feeling, hard to explain. You lose a part of yourself. We have to mourn who we were and accept our new body, with this fear, the fear of waking up the next day and not hearing anything at all..”

This prospect acts like a click. Born into a family of musicians (her parents were both members of the group Betty Goes Green in the 90s, her brother is frontman of the rock band Freaky Age), trained in writing and guitar from a young age, Celsa wants to make the most of her remaining hearing and make up for lost time. Alone, in her room, she begins to compose again.

I started to write and listen to music like a lunatic“, she recalls.”I absolutely wanted to listen to all the amazing albums that I had never taken the time to listen to before. And you know what ? I realized that my listening had become much finer, more active, that I enjoyed music even more than in the past.It’s.”

One song after another, without really setting a goal, she completes her first album: In The Mythical Land Of Sound (out this Friday, November 26), nine authentic folk rock ballads, a thousand miles from fashions and trends and yet immediately attractive. In the jargon, we call it “LoFi”, soft, slow compositions, carried in this specific case by a very pretty voice. “That didn’t come with my hearing problems“, she laughs.”I am a calm person, I have always liked music that carries feelings. It’s less about having perfect sound than about capturing an emotion, a moment. My voice might have been better if I had re-recorded this album twenty times, but I would have lost my intentions along the way.”

Everything is in spontaneity, the beauty of imperfection. Celsa Maxwell has done everything on her own from A to Z except mastering and mixing. “Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in my own head“, she comments.”The title of the album also refers to this: this abstract and mysterious place located in a corner of my mind, where memories of lost sounds remain. When I think about it, if I concentrate enough, I enter this mysterious place and hear the sounds again the past.”

Does she sing, does she play differently since the incident? “J e don’t know. The sensations are different, even speaking is different since I cannot hear my voice perfectly. From a musical point of view, the problem is that my right ear is not immersed in silence. I constantly hear noise. So I had to learn to listen, to deal with this noise. Even today, I’m learning to live with it.”

Never before had Celsa Maxwell published her songs. Several titles had already been recorded, but remained more or less private. “Somehow deafness made me take action“, concludes the young woman with a smile, still shy.”Without it, I might never have disclosed my work. It’s a positive way of looking at it. The more time passes, the better I feel, one day at a time …

No treatment has enabled Celsa to regain her lost hearing, but her left ear is not in principle threatened. Confidence has not fully returned, but it could be that one day, in the near future, you will even meet Celsa on a small stage.

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