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Q&A with Delaire

29 November 2017

 Up-and-comer Delaire is a force of talent. With a raw love of music inherited from her father, a roadie for the Rolling Stones, combined with an inspiring go-getter attitude and no-nonsense approach to the industry, she's carving out a name for herself with sheer determination and an authentic sound. 

Already championed by the likes of Clash Magazine and BBC Introducing, as well as earning a place on Spotify's New Music Friday playlist, Delaire has a killer urban-pop/electronic/RnB vibe that marries perfectly with lyrics born truly from the heart.

Delaire will be playing a live acoustic set in our Kingsland Road store this Saturday, 2nd December from 3pm.

We caught up with the singer on a lovely winter's afternoon along the embankment. Check out her fantastic interview below.

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Delaire | Scala optics

 

What inspired you to pursue music?

The truth is, I always wanted to do music and I knew I could sing when I was younger, but I went out with musicians and they always overshadowed whatever I did. When I was 15, I was dating a guy who was just so unsupportive and critical of me that it made me doubt myself. So I went to university, did that for a year, but then thought "no, I AM going to do music!" I left and pursued it and started working with lots of different producers and now I'm where I am. So, every time I get a bit of success or something positive happens in my career, I just think "HA!" I've definitely had to believe in myself to keep going, but it's made me so much stronger as a solo artist.

 

Delaire | Scala optics

 

Your latest single, Take It Slow, is amazing. What was the creative process behind it?

I wrote Take It Slow with my friend and keys player, Darren. Basically, I had these lyrics on my phone for ages ... every time I'd update my phone I'd always check they were still saved on there ... but I never really found the right way to use them as nothing quite worked. There were lots of different scenarios that I drew from that went into that song, one of them being about that same ex-boyfriend from years ago! It's about having messy times together, being so romantic and in love, but being scared to take it more seriously. Then Darren came up with this 3-chord progression that you hear at the beginning of the song, and all of a sudden it just made total sense. It was amazing, it all just came together and fit perfectly. It was definitely a labour of love ... a patient one.

 

Delaire | Scala sunglasses

 

Who are you influenced by?

I love old school artists like Joni Mitchell, The Smiths, Neil Young ... that's the music I grew up on. In terms of artists today that I'm influenced by, I wouldn't say I listen to them loads for pleasure. I try not to listen too much to people that are in a similar genre to me, otherwise I feel like I'll be so influenced by what goes through my ears that I'll just end up doing what everyone else is doing, and I don't want that. If you take too much from other artists then the comparisons start, then paranoia and doubt sets in and it gets too big for you. I try not to let what anyone else is doing rule my own work as I've spent so long trying to authenticate my style. That's why festivals are great because you get so many different people doing their live performances and you can take lots of little snippets of inspiration.

  



Delaire | Scala optics

 

How have you found the music business so far?

In all (brutal) honesty, I've found that the music industry, for a solo artist at least, is a very lonely place. Even though I have amazing family and friends to talk to, no one really understands what you're going through as an individual. The highs and the lows of the success spectrum are SO dramatic that it's actually quite a scary place. When I realised Take It Slow had got onto New Music Friday, I was on such a high for 2 days solid and then I woke up on the third day and just thought, "right ... now what?" It's like a yo-yo ... you go up and down very quickly! I definitely think that there's more room for women in the top power positions, but thankfully that is slowly starting to change. I've met some characters along the way but luckily for me, I've had a relatively positive experience so far.

 

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

When I was rehearsing at Music Rooms in New Cross Gate, I met NAO. She was so lovely and down to earth. I was talking to her about advice and she said that the only piece of advice she could give me was to "just keep going". Even when you feel like you can't go anymore and you've got no money, people have stopped believing in you, you had a bad live show or you get dropped by a label, just keep going because that's what differentiates those who make it from those who fail. So whenever I have those doubtful moments, I just think of her!

 

Delaire | Scala sunglasses

 

Fashion. How do you style yourself on and off stage?

You won't see me in a mini skirt and heels anytime soon, but I do love fashion and take loads of interest in it as I think it's a great way of expressing yourself. I love simple, androgynous looks these days - although I've definitely got it wrong a few times in the past! I think when performing, I like to keep things very low-key on the fashion front because I want it to be about the music, not some fancy stage outfit that I'm wearing. But then when I do photoshoots, where the image is meant to be doing all the talking, then I enjoy experimenting and having fun with the outfits - it makes sense. I love brands like COS, & Other Stories and All Saints .. perhaps the odd Topshop piece here and there.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would you pick?

It's so hard to pick just one! Alive ... I'd love to hang with FKA Twigs. She's beyond talented and SO original, I would just love to absorb some of her talent. Plus she seems like such an interesting person as well, so I'd just love to get to know her. Dead ... I think I'd have to go with Michael Jackson, again, because I can't think of anyone else more talented! I'd just love to absorb some of that awesome musical power.

 

Delaire | Scala sunglasses

 

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Spontaneous, thoughtful and a bit wild, maybe? People might disagree but that's what I'm going for!

 

What's your plan for 2018?

I have my last gig of the year coming up on the 13th December which I'm prepping for, and then I'm releasing my new single in January. It's a bit more urban, lots of live instrumentals etc so I'm really excited about it actually ... hopefully it'll be a good start to the new year. And then I'll be focusing on getting more confident with gigs and I'll have some festival announcements coming up in due course, which will be really exciting, so watch this space!

 

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Check out Delaire's last gig/party of 2017.
13th December, 7pm / Kings Head Members Club on Kingsland Road, London / DM Delaire to get on the free guestlist. Head to her Instagram for more details.
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Missed our last blog story? Catch up with our "Interview with Land Before Bedtime"

 

 

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