We had the good fortune of connecting with Vealy Celdran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vealy, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I’m inspired by people that are striving really hard to be their full, authentic selves. No inhibition, not too much editing, not a lot of trying to fit in. It’s so inspiring. I want to practice that– in my music, in interactions, in my choice of clothes!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
So besides being a singer-songwriter, I’m also a registered nurse! I became a registered nurse at the age of 20! And I think that might be the only thing that sets me apart from others! Hahaha. I always like to pretend I finished early because I was smart, but no, it was simply luck and timing! I finished high school in the Philippines when I was 16 turning 17. Then me and my brother moved to the US to be with our dad– then I wasn’t sure what I was going to do that could be useful. So, I enrolled in community college when I was 17, and decided maybe I should be a nurse so I could help out my family with some expenses— being an immigrant in this country is hard and expensive! It’s almost impossible to pursue a dream with music, or any kind of art. So I finished with my nursing degree after 3 years and passed the boards, then I got hired to work at the ER! Which was so crazy for me because: a) I was literally learning and seeing so much b) how crazy stressful it is!!! The lesson I’ve learned and I’m continuing to learn is that NOTHING IS EASY, and THERE IS NO SHORTCUT! If you want something, you’re gonna get it, as long as you keep working for it!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love this question! So, let’s say I picked them up from the airport at midday, so we’ll go get some coffee first. We’d get a strong cup of Starbucks coffee close to my home. And then, we’ll go to my house and drop her bags off. Then we’ll walk around the neighborhood in the Beverly Grove area while walking my dog. We’ll take it easy that day, let her relax after a long flight, so we’ll spend the afternoon taking a stroll in the Grove. She’ll appreciate the nice lights adorning the Grove. She’ll like the music that’s playing throughout the Grove, she’ll think this is what Christmas is in LA. Haha. We’ll go in the Farmer’s Market there and maybe get a small ice cream and keep walking. At this time, maybe the two of us and the dog are tired, so we’ll go home. For dinner, since we didn’t eat anything for the day, we’ll go to Cafe Angelino’s. Such a homey pasta place– we’ll get Farfalle Angelino and maybe a glass of wine! For the next day, we’ll start the day early and drive to Malibu. We’ll take a hike in Malibu and catch up, then after the hike, I’ll bring her to the best burrito place in the world– Lily’s Malibu (I literally come here every Sunday). Then we’ll get a small ice cream for dessert at Playa del Plage right across Lily’s. Haha. After the burrito and ice cream, we’re both gonna be sleepy from food coma, so we’ll head to the El Pescador beach which is just a little ways from Lily’s and take a nap on the sand, the ebb and flow of the waves, the salty smell of the ocean and the happy chatting of the birds will lull us to sleep. After that, we’ll head to Malibu Pier just for fotos, so we could have touristy fotos! Now we’re energized and we’re feeling like we could party, so we go home to start making drinks. It takes us about 54 minutes just to get home, but that’s okay, we keep chatting and laughing and belting out songs in the car ride, so 54 minutes flew by fast. After making some drinks and getting ready to go out (this is me pretending Corona is over and people are back to socializing outside and can congregate together in a bar), we’ll walk to EP&LP, and head straight to the rooftop! There, we get a strawberry alcoholic drink and look at the view of Hollywood hills at night from the rooftop and wonder about our life’s purpose– but we laugh it off, nothing too serious because tonight is meant for fun and dancing. Then we take an Uber to Dirty Laundry! I know we’ll like the music there! Then we head home and order Taco Bell while we’re in our Uber so it gets to us right on time. Haha. The next day, we’ll sleep in and make coffee at home. Then we’ll go to Melrose to go thrift-shopping. We’ll try out CrossRoads first, then there’s Buffalo Exchange, then we can try Wasteland, too– if we’re feeling rich. Haha. After that, we’ll get lunch at SugarFish. Then, we’ll go to my best friend’s hair appointment at Mino’s Salon! She said she wanted to color her hair, and I think this salon is the best at coloring hair and offer a great price for such high-quality work. It takes 4 hours for her to get her hair to the color purple. After that, we wanted to finish some laptop work, so we head to Verve Coffee on 3rd street and people watch/laptop work because they have such big windows there! (we definitely got less work done than planned because everything was just so fun/nice/interesting to look at. The next day, we’ll take a drive around the Hollywood Hills area, Bel-air area and just admire either the houses that we can see or the really high gates/windy driveway to block us from looking at their cool homes. We’ll then get dinner at Pace, a great Italian restaurant in Hollywood Hills with walls filled with crayola drawings of people and objects. The next 2 days, I’ll bring her to a recording session with Vision Quest Sound in Van Nuys, then we can both film interviews of each other! After that, we’ll check out the local music scene– we see that MILCK has a show in Hotel Cafe, so we look at tickets and cross our fingers she’s not sold out yet– luckily, we got the last two tickets! Whoo!! After the show, we socialize with other people at Hotel Cafe and then get ramen from Mogu Mogu in Sawtelle. For her last day, I’ll let her decide what else she wants to check out, if she wants any touristy souvenirs, or if she wants to see any shops/stores!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
For sure! First off, big shout out to my family (mom, dad my brothers) for being such supportive parents. They trust me, and wish me the best in whatever I put my mind to. Big shout out to Noah, my partner, for being so inspiring– he is not only ambitious but very hard working. Everyday, he shows me that what we dream of is possible if we stay consistent in working at them. He is one who truly believes in what I’m capable of as a person. It’s hard to understand why he thinks that sometimes. Another shoutout to my younger brother, Vaughn! He inspires me to be courageous and smart in life choices. He’s one that really weighs in the pros and cons, and is clear with what he wants, what his goal is, then decides accordingly. He’s gonna be somebody. Shout out to Philip from Vision Quest Sound, he has shown me that I can give something back to the community– always. Everyone has something to give, it’s a matter of finding that gift. Shoutout to Connie Lim aka MILCK, I’m always so inspired by her heart, her courage, and her music. She gives it all she’s got, you can tell. Listen to her music! I’m inspired by Katie Ferrara. This woman’s work ethic and consistency in her music is something I aspire to have.
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4qwzBTePHL5rlYNIzEGEZR?si=0zqHo8VPSKW3ZF79-oxbKQ Thank you so much Voyage LA for thinking to interview me again! Take care always to your team, Vealy <3
Tina Galindo Sheldon Botler