It's been two years since she last released a record, but that doesn't mean Delilah has turned her back on music. Rather the 23-year-old from Hackney, who has worked with Chase & Status, Plan B and toured with Prince, has been busy honing her new sound ready for a small UK tour under the title "NoFilter". Its the first time the Paris-born singer has given her fans the chance to hear new songs since the release of her debut album, From The Roots Up, in 2012; and after witnessing her final show in London at Islington's Union Chapel it's clear to hear her ethereal yet powerhouse electronic style is still unique.
Words by Hanna Flint, Photography by Eva K Salvi, Styling by Minna Attala, Hair by Meggie Cousland at Carol Hayes Management using Bumble & Bumble, Makeup by Sarah Jagger at Carol Hayes Management using Nars, Stylist's Assistant Claudia Walder
All clothing by Chalayan, Accessories Delilah's own
In her own words, Delilah admits 'times have changed' and she's 'taken that time to create something that yet again can not be categorised', so Hedonist magazine took the time to get to know the girl on her ever growing musical journey.
Hey Delilah! So people have described you as a cross between Sade and The XX - how would you say your new music compares?
I am a huge fan of both of those artists! I think the way in which I have grown since my last album release is more so as a person. Taking time out and learning to understand what makes me happy and what makes me sad has really helped me to write songs on a more personal level and in doing so, hopefully connect with more people.
Who would you love to duet with?
I am a massive fan of Andre 3000 and have been for a long time. I also really respect the branding and artistry and lyrical talents of Kanye and Drake. It would be amazing to work with either of them on my new project. I have been really lucky with the calibre of producers and artists wanting to collaborate already, so I'm very grateful for that.
What do you think of the resurgence of a lot of pop-based music (Rita Ora, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande)?
I think the music industry is a big place; there is space for everyone to express themselves. Pop music is just that, popular for its own reasons. It tends to be fun and light hearted, so I can say there isn’t anything wrong with a bit of that.
What's the most played tracks on your iPod?
I don't have an iPod! I don’t really listen to music like that, when I listen to music it’s more based on a memory or a feeling. I have a massive mental library of music and I like drawing on old records or checking out new artists on Soundcloud. But to me music is more like art, when there is a cool exhibition on I will go and check it out but I can't say I have that many pictures on my wall!
I am probably the most anti-glamorous person you would meet in the street
You’re known for making classic hits your own - what do you enjoy about doing that?
I like making covers my own as a sort of nod of respect to the artists whose work I love and also as a way to hopefully expose a new younger audience to music they may not have heard. Sometimes I get hardcore fans of Minnie Ripperton or Chaka Khan misinterpreting my interpretation of their songs and comparing the two versions, but I try and make something new from something old so there is really no comparison. If I have chosen to cover a song it’s because I think the song and the artist are great and you can’t compete with greatness only learn from it.
You wore a stunning white gown at your showcase at Union Chapel, are you as glamorous all the time or is it right place right time?
I am probably the most anti-glamorous person you would meet in the street so when it comes to my day-to-day life comfy is cool.
Who inspires your music and your wardrobe?
I am still learning a lot about fashion, I have made a lot of fashion faux pas in the past. I am learning there’s a balance when dressing for a womanly figure. I tend to go in extremes: ultra glam or dress like a boy, so I’m trying to find a happy medium. I think that finding your own style is important. Style and fashion are completely different things!
In terms of music I would say I am influenced by the way things or people make me feel. I'm a very emotionally driven person so I find writing about feelings is a great way to connect not only with my fans but myself.
What do you think about the way women present themselves in the public eye - lots of female artists seem to have the ‘less is more’ idea when it comes to their risqué wardrobe?
I’m a big fan of women! I think we are incredible in so many ways and a lot of us are able to juggle so many aspects of life, family and careers, so you won’t find me bashing on other women. However I do feel that we are far more harshly judged and criticized than men. I feel like the pressure to be desired is significant and the desire to be significant only adds to that pressure. Sometimes as women we live in a world obsessed with image and I think It is very easy to get caught up in that. It's tough to not let people's judgments of the way you look not affect how you feel. I think that's why you see a lot of women vamping it up, to try and feel a little more in control of people's perceptions.
I think feminism has been given a scary stereotype, I feel to be a woman is an incredible gift.
Are you a feminist and how would you define the word?
Yes! Of course why wouldn’t I be? I think feminism has been given a scary stereotype, I feel to be a woman is an incredible gift. There is so much importance in being a woman, a mother, a sister. I try and embrace that power through my music. The music I make is pretty sensual, at first I shied away from it, got embarrassed by the breathiness of my voice. It was only once I started becoming comfortable with myself and owning my sexuality, growing up, into a woman that I realised how important femininity is. It doesn't make you weaker to show vulnerability, or mean you are stupid because you choose to practice silence. To me the power of a women is in her aura, her quiet confidence, her mystique. All of these things are incredibly sexy and to me epitomise femininity. Women are constantly striving to prove they can do just as well as men, but we are different, we are women.
How was your time touring and working with Prince?
Prince is an incredible performer! I think that is something recognised the world over. His musicianship is inspiring and his creativity is limitless and it was an honour to share the stage with him and it is so much fun to be able to create in the studio with him. The entire family at Paisley Park, 3rdEye Girl, NPG and Liv Warfield are all talented and bursting with energy they all have such a passion for what they do. I feel so grateful to have witnessed even a second of what goes on at Paisley Park.
Did he leave you with any lasting lessons?
Always keep it funky and classy. LOL
What's next for Delilah?
The next chapter has so much going on, I’m terrified but so excited! I feel like I get to start my journey all over again but this time exactly as I want it. I can’t wait for the world to see what I’ve been working on.