That time I sat down with Delilah for IAmMusic.TV...
When Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox put their heads together and created ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’, I doubt they would have had the female artists currently tearing up the music scene in mind. However, this doesn’t make their genius lyrics any less relevant and as I sat down with Delilah, prior to her performance at LoveDough, I couldn’t help but think that us girls are smashing speakers up across the world in our own right. It’s almost like Franklin and Lennox pre-empted this rise up of creative women because with artists like Delilah in the mix, sisters really are doing it for themselves…and for the music industry, at the same time.
Having worked with artists such as Chase and Status, Wretch 32 and Skream, I can understand why her first single reached the top ten without even having an official release date. “With a release date, we could have maybe gone for a top five but we had a top five record album. It’s been good, it’s been organic. ” Humble as well as ambitious, Delilah is in possession of a talent the music industry so desperately needs. She’s aware she’s good at what she does but understands that there’s always a higher level for her to progress too. “I’ve been in the studio working on the new album a lot, I want to get it out by the end of this year. I’m excited about it; it’s dark, energetic…very me, but it’s also a progression.”
I understand ambition but I’m in awe of how determined Delilah is. It’s a rarity to find an artist totally focused on pursuing a career in an industry famed for being so fickle. “I’m not the biggest artist in the world yet but I feel like I’ve gained a lot of respect; I haven’t had a lot of negative feedback about my last record and considering it was the first one, we made all the mistakes we could possibly make so I’m quite happy with it.”
“Singing has always been my dream, there’s loads of things I’d love to do but I’ve always been someone who’s quite good at picking things up quickly. I’m quite driven and competitive…I don’t like to lose and I could have done whatever because I would have fought to make myself the best at it.” Role models are hard to come by these days; the moment you’re in the public eye, your entire life is publicised in newspapers and magazines, every accessible medium possible. As I grew up, I saw Victoria Beckham’s battle with eating disorders documented on a daily basis, Britney Spears’ breakdown and headlines connecting drug use with practically every person to come out of the Big Brother house. However, this is yet another reason as to why Delilah is part of a revolutionary generation; it’s not a case of “bad publicity is better than good publicity”, it’s about doing what you love and making sure you’re the best you can be at it. As I chatted with Delilah, it struck me that I’ve never had my eyes opened to that sort of attitude…and it’s refreshing to look at it from this new perspective. Another reason why Delilah is providing the music scene with an attitude never really embraced before.
Recently within the music industry, it’s been a case of artists covering the same stuff we’ve heard before or throwing a rapper into the mix to shake things up a bit. But Delilah’s type of music is fresh, it hasn’t been churned out previously and it’s the perfect type of sound to hit the ever changing music industry because it has longevity. “I try to do something that isn’t throwback and doesn’t sound like an era. I’m a huge fan of voices and people who have a tone so I try to keep whatever it is in my voice that makes me sound like me.”
The current music scene is overcome by super talented women, girls embracing everything Geri Halliwell shouted about back in the 90s. FINALLY, girl power is taking over. “I have a lot of respect for artists such as Jessie Ware, Lianne La Havas, Alanis Morissette but I’m aware we all do very different things. For me, Amy Winehouse was the person who encouraged me into music.”
I always find the subject of Amy Winehouse quite a hard subject to talk about; she’s a musical legend, talented beyond belief and throughout my life, I’ve always listed Amy as one of my biggest influences – she did what she loved and did it well, the ethos behind Delilah’s music too. “I was really influenced by her. She looks different from other people and so do I. She sings weirdly and so do I. We’re both from Camden and she’s leaving such an amazing legacy behind her.” As we chatted, I realised Delilah has so much more to offer the music industry than I originally thought. She knows her stuff, she’s passionate and she’s always ready to embrace the different angles music consists of. “There’s a lot of people who can sing and I’m so aware of that but I just want to do something different. There’s probably millions of people who can sing better than me but they can’t sing the way I can. I’m focusing on individuality.”
There’s never been a better time for this sort of focus, what with the music scene embracing people like Iggy Azalea, Angel Haze and Kendrick Lamar. It’s not about doing what’s already been done three years previously, it’s about setting a better example for future generations – it’s about showing the world there’s more to music than Rihanna and Pitbull taking over the charts every Sunday. “I’m not really in the position to help people out but I can offer advice; I’m not where I want to be yet so it’d be crazy of me to think I could delegate the time and effort to take someone where they want to be but I have been doing this since I was 17. I know a lot about creating a sound. I think it’s important for artists to stick together a bit more.”
“There’s a few new artists massively capturing my heart; there’s one girl called Naomi, she’s hasn’t really got an artist name but I met her the other day and her voice is incredible. I’m going to do everything in my power to help her out.”
Whilst there’s no denying that she’s obviously talented, I love that Delilah’s honest enough to admit that she’s still learning and kind enough to want to help other’s out. It’s a rare combination in an industry full of artists all who assume they’re something special. Music is literally the love of her life but it’s not just singing that she can turn her hand too. “I’ve been playing piano since I was 12 but I was never classically trained. I started at about 6 or 7, stopped and then started at about 12 to 14. I stopped again, started smoking a lot and partying as you do when you’re 14 to 17 but I got back on it. I’m not as good as I could be but it’s going to take a practice.” I thought she was just being competitive when she said she liked to be the best at everything she tried out but it’s clear that competition isn’t the case; just pure determination, ambition and reaching heights others only dream of hitting.
“My main focus this year is creating a new body of work. I’ve got a couple of gigs coming up and I’m doing Isle of Wight Festival and Exit Festival as well but ultimately, it’s just about where this album takes me. Baby steps though.”
After our chat, I walked away with a little bit of a girl crush on Delilah, a crush I’m not afraid of admitting too. She is truly something spectacular; without a doubt, Delilah’s music is going to be providing the music scene with something new and exciting, a type of sound other musicians will soon be holding amongst their influences. Her only downfall? She’s a Kanye West fan…
“I don’t want to marry the guy, I just think he’s a musical genius. He doesn’t come across the best but I can’t deny his musical talent. As a lyricist, how he plays on words…he makes you listen to what he says and how he says things. I like that he’s a twat.”