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Celsey Braddock: A Bright Light In The Texas Red Dirt Scene

Celsey Braddock has a lot of soul. Even at the young age of 22, the Texas native seemingly has years of wisdom in her back pocket. Influenced by the the feelings that Taylor Swift gave her as a kid, Celsey is on a mission to help others feel and heal with music. Braddock's voice is all her own, blending southern rock and traditional country, Celsey really belts with a lot of soul. The deep connection she has with music comes across in both her lyrics and her voice. Determined not to be put in a box musically, Celsey's goal is to be a guiding light for young girls. Shine bright Celsey!

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Because I grew up listening to country music. So country music has been a very prevalent force in my life. It's a heavy influence on like, just even who I am as a person. So I feel like I have that. I feel like I have that country singer songwriter soul. So that's why I know I'm going to thrive because I can cater to this audience because I've been a part of the audience. I know what I want to hear. So hopefully I have the right idea of what other people want to hear. But the thing that I love most about it is that a lot of the time in other scenes, it's more of a competition. Whereas, you know, the Texas scene, it's really not. We're kind of just one big family. Like it's very people are very understanding. People are very kind, people are very genuine. And I have a lot of people close to me that are like thriving in this scene. Austin Upchurch, Holly Beth, Giovanni and the Hired Guns and countless others, Kane and Bryce. I have so many friends who are, you know, on the up and up and they're so good at what they do, but they're such good humans.

I know you actually have collaborated with Austin Upchurch. Somebody you've talked, you know what I mean? How does collaborating with your community really make you up your game?

I'm not kidding you when I say if there was one person I know actually truly believes in me, it's Austin Church. He literally like when we met, he, when he put his number in my phone, as Austin Upchurch and it says belief system in parentheses. Austin quickly came like he quickly became family to me. He told me, you know like one of the first times that we had seen each other, he was like, I believe in you, I'm going to do everything that I can to help you. Anytime I go to a show, he's like, “so what song are we singing?" I'm like, Austin, you don't have to do that every single time he goes, but I'm going to, so I'm extremely grateful to, I'm extremely grateful to work alongside somebody like that.

Somebody who is so genuinely just to their core, a great person, that pushes me to do better. I want to be able to interact with people the way Austin interacts with people because he's so personable. Even just down to his writing, I love his writing. It's very simple. It's very it's very touching. It's very moving and it speaks volumes because Austin has helped me with his music more than he'll ever know. And I can tell them until I'm blue in the face, but you know, he's gonna, he's not gonna understand. He's really awesome.

Specifically a female country artist, why is it important for you to speak your truth through your music?

If I can help somebody that that's my only goal for this. Really that's my main reason for speaking my truth. I feel like as a woman in this scene, which is pretty much male dominated in Fort Worth. I feel like in general males get away with a lot more whereas females don't, and especially in music . Males can write about certain things and, you know, get away with it. Whereas if a woman were to do it, they'd be like, are you kidding? Yeah. I realized that I had to kind of make a name for myself before I can change the world. So, you know, I'm going to pay my dues, climb my ladder, but I'm a firm believer just all around. And that is one thing that I will never compromise about myself. I love people, however, it's not my job to, you know, place other people's expectations on myself. I have an expectation for myself. I'm going to stay true to myself because that's my only obligation in this life is to protect my peace. So that's what I'm going to do. And if that means, you know, breaking the silence as a woman in the scene, that's what I plan to do because I'm not, I'm not here to just sit and watch. I have to, I have to change what I want to change. So slowly but surely I hope I get to do that. I hope God blesses me with the opportunity to have that platform.

Why is it important to you to make the music that you want to make and not be put in a box?

I think just because I was raised with a dynamic, like I, I was raised with all different kinds of music. Like you got, you got Carrie Underwood, faith Hill, Shania Twain, you know, you've got all these power women in country music. Then you've got bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Nirvana. Kurt Cobain is actually one of my biggest influences. How his mind was so open. He was so very honest with how he was like, just as a human being. That is something that I truly inspire to be. I love the way that Kurt Cobain just didn't care. He was going to be himself. He was going to make the music that he wanted to make.

He wasn't going to be a robot. Everything can be picture perfect in the moment, but what about all the other times? How are people going to relate to that? That's why I don't want to put myself inside a box because there's so many different ways that you can convey that. There are many different genres and styles and, you know like just even types of songwriting and stuff, like putting me alongside Kurt Cobain, we don't write the same. However, he's one of my biggest inspirations because of his writing. So I think it's important to not limit yourself because you're limiting the people that you would be able to help.

You've brought up helping people with your music and how you were helped so much. So why is that so important to you? Was there a moment or a moment in time that music really helped you get through?

I would actually love to talk about that because then we get to talk about Taylor Swift a little bit more. Taylor Swift released her debut album when I was eight years old. I had no idea what heartbreak was, you know, anything like that. However, she gave this element to me, of being "seen” at eight years old. I was diagnosed with like overactive ADHD. It was very bad. I was not a very easy kid to raise. I wasn't the hardest kid to raise, but I wasn't the easiest kid to raise. I got bullied a lot because I tend to get really excited about small things or I display affections in a way that, you know, people would question.

For me, Taylor was exactly like me just older. I felt like I could learn a lot from her. I had somebody to look up to and feel at home with not even necessarily just being in the same room because we've never met. Listening to this music because it's a comfort, it's a safety net, it's, it's a security blanket. All of Taylor's albums have helped me one way or another. When I was a kid trying to navigate how to be normal, you know, because I had ADHD. I felt seen,

Flash forward to my freshman year of high school, I turned 15 my second day.I listened too 15 on my 15th birthday and that I just, I understood, you know? Then to me getting my heart broken for the very first time when I was 17. Even my heartaches at my big age of 22, you know, I, I still have somebody to relate to. I'm very, very grateful that God gave me such a very honest and genuine woman for a role model. And so I want to be a Taylor Swift to somebody, make someone feel “seen”.

What can we expect from Clesey in 2021.

New music. 'm really, really excited to get some new music out there. I put out any EP in August of 2020. I’m really proud of it. It was a bedroom EP, like we just kind of bunkered up and we made music in your bedroom. We made music in quarantine and we released it in August. I am so proud of it. I couldn't have picked better people to do it with especially at that time in my life. I did an assortment of like styles, genres. So you've got like your “Key In My Mailbox” , angry, Carrie Underwood, borderline rock and roll. And then you got “Worries", which my friend Dylan likes to compare it to the Allman Brothers. But I am so excited for y’all to hear what I have coming, buckle up!

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