Delilah: The Interview!
North London’s Delilah has been commanding stages across Europe and beyond since collaborating with bass stalwarts, Chase & Status. Now, though, the Atlantic-signed singer is ready to do her own thing and, following the success of buzz track 'Go', it seems to be going pretty well so far. The Wrap Up's Nardene Scott caught up with the unique singer/songwriter to find out what else she has planned for us...
The Wrap Up: So, Delilah, how are you feeling about the success of your single, ‘Go’? Your label had to release it digitally because of the demand, didn’t they?
Delilah: It’s kind of a little bit overwhelming taking it in. I mean, no one kind of planned for it – we just put it out there as a vibe really – so the fact that it’s having such a great response is crazy.
TWU: What was it like in the studio when you were making the cover?
Delilah: It was just a bit of fun. Obviously, I knew I couldn’t sing someone else’s song so I was like, ‘Next week I’ll come back in and do a proper song.’ In the meantime, the label heard it and they loved it, I went back in and re-recorded it exactly as I did it the first time.
TWU: It’s such a huge sample, but you totally switched it around…
Delilah: (Laughs) Yeha, I know.
TWU: You seem to have quite a big soul influence, but what did you listen to growing up?
Delilah: My kind of upbringing with music was very vast and eclectic. My family are very mixed, so it comes from loads of different backgrounds. My grandmother is Nigerian and my grandfather is Jamaican and on the other side it’s Spain and France – it’s a big mix of culture. A lot of soul music and 80s music from my grandmother, like Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan and Sade. Lots of pop and D&B got played, too.
TWU: You’ve also got ‘Breathe’, which is a track that surfaced online around the same time as ‘Go’. Both are very different, so what can we expect from your album?
Delilah: The two kind of have little bits of the album. I didn’t want the album to sound like one long song, and I didn’t want it to sound like a mixtape or a compilation CD. I wanted it to have a sound that was different each time and ‘Breathe’ is a song that I wrote a really long time ago. We came back to it this year and brought it back out of the dark ages (laughs). It’s just an emotional song, really, like a strong self-help song.
TWU: Do you normally just start the whole writing process with just you and a piano?
Delilah: A few of the songs on there are like that, that’s how I used to write before I signed a record deal. Since signing, I’ve collaborated with a lot more people. I still always write the lyric and the melody but, as far as musically, the people I work with have brought a lot to it over the years.
TWU: I’ve seen you on stage a few times this year, mainly on the Chase & Status tour. What has it been like working and touring alongside them?
Delilah: It’s been a learning curve. It’s been really, really good fun the whole way through. It’s been nothing but fun but, at the same time, it’s been challenging – going out on a world tour with lots of men, living on a bus, etc. – I’ve had to learn a lot! Their audience is amazing; I don’t think that anyone else’s crowd can really match Chase & Status’ fans. So yeah, it has been incredible.
TWU: Yeah, you go in on your stage performances. Is that what we can expect from your own shows?
Delilah: Definitely! I mean, mine is a bit more subdued, so I doubt they’ll be moshing pitting, but you never know. Nowadays, people mosh pit to nursery rhymes! I just want to be a bit more intimate for this record. It will grow, I’m sure, and there are a few tracks on there that you’ll have to dance to. It’s a bit more homegrown than an overly produced record.
TWU: Other than Chase & Status, you’ve been working with Wretch 32 and you’re going on tour with Maverick Sabre soon as well, but can we expect to hear you on track with any of those guys in the near future?
Delilah: Me and Mav have planned to work with each other for such a long time, but our schedules just haven’t allowed us to yet. We’ve been on tour, we’ve been drunk and signing on the guitar but we haven’t written anything (laughs), so I’m sure we’ll try and find a minute to work together on this tour. Wretch as well, I enjoyed that. It’s just been great to be surrounding by so many talented UK artists and being allowed to collaborate with them.
TWU: There are lots of cool females coming out of the music scene in the UK at the moment, don’t you think?
Delilah: I definitely think it’s time for the girls; the boys are kind of dominating the charts at the moment. People like Emeli Sande, who I have written with before, are doing really well. There are a lot of great female artists this year, and next year is a really good time for girls to come out and kick the boys up the backside!
TWU: We hear you’re one of the first people to ever work with Skream. What was that like?
Delilah: We’ve become like family over the years, I have so much love for Ollie (laughs). At the beginning, he was definitely new to the pop world and so was I. I just signed, but coming from the underground dubstep world, he kind of walked in and was just taken aback by the studio and how everything was just so polished. We were working with Guy Chambers, who had this ridiculous studio. Skream walked in with his manager, and they were amazed to see the amount of guitars and the amount of things you could just play with, rather than just having to create something from one form of Pro Tools or whatever.
TWU: I know you’re still quite young, but how did it all start out for you?
Delilah: I was in college and I was writing. I was doing a course which wasn’t a music course, but it was based around music. One of my course projects was to record an original piece of music and so I went to a studio, paid the guys a little bit of money to record the song and someone from radio came in and liked it. He told them I wasn’t signed, next thing I knew, record labels were calling me. So yeah, I just ran with it and worked my arse off. I feel very blessed to have my first record coming out at twenty years old.
TWU: I know a lot of singers get comparisons, but you’ve got quite a unique voice. Have you been getting crazy comparisons lately?
Delilah: I get all sorts of comparisons, from places I don’t even know where they’ve come from. No one has offended me yet, though (laughs).
TWU: I couldn’t think of any, I just thought, ‘She’s got a unique voice…’
Delilah: Yeah, I’m not going to give you any (laughs). There have been tonnes of comparisons, but none of them have been bad. When someone turns around and says that I sound like Bob The Builder, then we’ve got an issue (laughs).
TWU: Who else are you hoping to work with, because the album’s finished now, right?
Delilah: Yep! The album is done. We’re just going into the next single now, recording a video, etc. There’s so many people that I’d love to work with. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be. I just have to see because I don’t wanna get my hopes up, so I’ll just wait and see.
Delilah’s EP, 'Go', is out now and you can catch her on Maverick Sabre’s upcoming tour – which starts on October 25.
Stay up to date with Delilah on Twitter – www.twitter.com/DelilahMusic
Words: Nardene Scott (@NardeneScott)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)