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“If I was an animal, what animal would I be?” Shanti Celeste is sitting cross-legged on her bedroom floor, thinking hard. “A flamingo crossed with a panther”. So you’d be the Pink Panther, we suggest. “Oh my god! No way! I would as well. That’s crazy. Do you reckon that’s what they were thinking?”

When we meet Celeste at her Bristol home she’s in good sprits, if a little wary about how her career has gathered momentum over the past few months. Yet even her insecurities are relayed with the same warm, down-to-earth appeal that shines through each of her productions to date. “I’m not that confident as a DJ,” she tells us with remarkable sincerity. “If the gig starts well then I’m really confident. If it starts out a bit rocky and there’s not that many people there… I find it really hard playing to an empty room. The whole time I’m thinking it’s empty because of me, and I can’t get the vibe.”

Disregarding this display of shakiness, Shanti Celeste is on an upward trajectory. The Chilean-born producer cut her teeth working at her adopted hometown’s much-loved Idle Hands record store, and after embedding herself in the city’s scene she’s become one of Bristol’s most celebrated selectors. With the help of a series of solid 12”s, she’s now focused on making a steady impact further afield. Her breezy, emotive productions had largely flown under the radar until now, but with a release on Julio Bashmore’s Broadwalk imprint attracting wider attention to her dusty, vocal-tinged style of house and classic electro sounds, that’s set to change.

More recently, a well-received Resident Advisor mix and a spot on FACT’s list of underrated DJs is drumming up a considerable online profile. It quickly becomes evident, however, that swelling acclaim doesn’t necessarily translate into swelling confidence, and Shanti is yet to fully find her place. “I’ve had a lot of bookings where I don’t know if this is the kind of night I should be playing” she sighs. “It’s frustrating during your set when you can see that people aren’t quite feeling it, it just makes you think ‘eugh, is it me? Do they not like any of the tunes that I’m playing?’ But then I get booked for places in Gothenburg, or Dance Tunnel, and it’s like ‘yeah, these people are here to see me, they think I’m good and they love what I’m doing.’ Then you can relax into it and play the best set ever, because you can just do what you do.”

Co-running the BRSTL imprint alongside Idle Hands boss Chris Farrell and producer/DJ Rhythmic Theory, her approach to the label – BRSTL has been releasing 12”s from a tight-knit community of producers since 2011, such as the soulful house constructions of Outboxx and Jay L – exposes a quality observable in her own work: a commitment to considered, ageless sound. “We want to release house music that won’t be flash-in-the-pan,” she explains. “There are some house tunes I’ve liked for years, and I know that I’ll like forever. I’m hoping that we have a good ear for tracks like that; timeless house tunes that won’t just be trendy now. When we have this house era again in 10 years time, just like we have now and we did in the 90s, people will be like ‘Ah! These tunes are really great.’ We don’t put out anything that we feel sounds like pastiche; it’s just solid, honest house, unique to whoever made it.”

But it’s her own solid, honest house which is currently under the spotlight. “Every record I’ve done has explored a different avenue, you might say,” she tells us. And it’s true – the shuffling house of her debut release on BRSTL certainly marked her out as one to watch while her second release, Days Like This, on Idle Hands switched up swirling, scuffed-up 4×4 into a somewhat more sombre mood, humanised by her own distant vocals. After sending tunes to Matt Walker aka Julio Bashmore, he soon snapped up the dancefloor-focused house and electro of the Universal Glow EP for his Broadwalk Records imprint. The EP, she says, presents the natural evolution of her sound. “I think [Universal Glow] is the same – it’s another step from where I was before in the direction I’m going naturally. I didn’t just go ‘right! I’m going to write this!’ I can’t work like that really, I just do it and see what happens. Otherwise I put too much pressure on myself and end up having a little cry in the studio!”

With gig offers building up, as well as a monthly NTS residency and a forthcoming 12” on BRSTL incoming, Celeste’s just grateful for the initial encouragement which has brought her to the cusp of something big. It’s a factor that will hopefully help her overcome those early show nerves because, frankly, at this rate she’ll need to. “I know it sounds cliché, but I feel like I’m getting a lot of support from everywhere. I haven’t actually had any negative feedback at all yet, which is really nice. I’m surprised I haven’t, and I’m really glad that I haven’t.” She smiles. “It just makes me feel like I’m doing something right, you know?”