Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Delilah: Sitting Pretty

Delilah Delilah

A self-confessed “control freak” she might be, but her onslaught on UK urban music is all encompassing. Having recently toured with Chase n' Status there are seismic movements in the music world signalling her emergence.

Her performance at the iconic Maida Vale studios of "Breathe" (written when she was fourteen) is her current single off her soon to be released album, "From The Roots Up." Her performance was overflowing with 'on point' hypnotic vocals, intensity, ambience - plus a kind of a dub-step AND drum n' bass sound - like a soul loving Kate Bush! If you can imagine?!

Signed to Atlantic Records (Ed Sheeran’s label) since she was seventeen (she is now 21), it is only in the last year or so that music lovers have become acquainted with the Camden talent. This year Delilah will be supported by one of the UK’s urban icons in the shape of Ms Dynamite, a fact not missed on her: “I NEVER ever thought that I would be saying that MS DYNAMITE” she enthuses, “would be supporting me - I grew up with her and she is a HUGE influence on me, so I am honoured, just honoured. It was great because she said she loves my voice and my music. She is always such a supporter of new talent so I think it really is going to make for an amazing night.”

And while Ms Dynamite is a massive draw in terms of receiving kudos, you could not do much better than have one Chaka Khan call your reworking of "Ain't Nobody" (1983), 'genius.' Delilah’s "Go" (her debut single, which sold a 130,000 copies) again draws us into her atmospheric and at times sensual melancholic world, a contrast to the rather upbeat playful nature of "Ain't Nobody." It is awesome AND tellingly she brings a new feeling to those well-known lyrics.

“I was in college and basically as part of the course I had to produce some original music” Delilah states, when we get onto how she actually got into music. “So I got this guy in Tottenham to record my song, he knew someone from a radio station who heard it by chance and let some people hear it. Then two weeks later I was having meetings with Island, Sony, Roc Nation and Warner Bros - eventually I decided to sign with Atlantic.”

Amazingly still at the tender years of seventeen she conducted all these meetings, essentially by herself while studying Entertainment Law with Music Technology at Islington College. “I was just going with it really and trying to stay at college as well - I did eventually get kicked out,” she laughs, “but at the time I was sneaking out of lessons and going to meetings - I was just trying to juggle things. A lot of it was just me by myself but occasionally I had a friend of the family come with me, but yes I did the whole lot. I got a lot of things wrong because I thought I knew it all but it is the best way to learn - just do it! And now I kind of understand things.”

So in preparation for the July 23rd release of her debut album, a pragmatic Delilah is unsurprisingly in control of how to deal with the forth coming media frenzy. “I think the main thing is keeping focussed, I am quite tunnel vision and so I do not get caught up in all different things. I think that is because I am always thinking I have to do this, and this, and this… Apart from that, I think what is also really important is I still have friends from like twenty years ago that I see every day.”

Delilah's single "Breath" is out May 14, LP "From The Roots Up" is due (as previously mentioned) on July 23.

You can read more of this fascinating interview with Delilah in our printed edition of B&S - to order your copy click below
Words Semper Azeez-Harris

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