I have been spending time with Alex of Deliah…
as he discusses the band’s new single, Infinite. The song is part of a trilogy so I find out what comes next and what the concept is; how the band got together and what sort of music they all grew up around – Alex recommends some approaching artists to investigate.
I ask whether we might see Deliah hit the road and whether they each have a favourite album; whether we can catch them perform at some point soon – they each end the interview with great song selections.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Alex: We’re good, thanks. It’s a pretty busy period at the moment, as you can imagine, but that’s how we like it.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are a four-piece band from Liverpool but based in London, fronted by Michelle. We fuse our three biggest influences into our music; them being a Neo-Soul-style sound with more cinematic, soundscape elements and heavier, more Rock-influenced guitars and drums.
The whole sound is quite hard to pin down but I think that captures it quite well. We’ve been spending 2018 putting together a visual trilogy called The Mind’s Eye that focuses on telling a story about the struggles of creativity and mental-health; the parts that you might not often see.
Infinite is your new single. Is there a story behind the song?
Infinite is the second single from the trilogy and this one focuses on the idea of honing a craft and the paradox of that; the struggle, and at time ugliness, of having to break through various barriers to ultimately create something beautiful. And, for many of us, that strive for a certain level of ability or success may never come. You may never be satisfied or even create your “thing of beauty”. We did this in the lyrics through all the paradoxes mentioned but in the video through having a dancer attempting to fly.
Are you already looking ahead to more material? What sure you working on?
Absolutely. The final instalment of the trilogy will drop before the end of the year, which we’re really excited about, as the video was one of the biggest tasks we’ve ever taken on. But, we’re looking at a new trilogy for 2019, possibly two, as this really gives our creativity a focus. Hopefully, a short movie will be possible too.
How did Deliah get together? When did the band start life?
The band started off as a duo, Michelle and I (guitarist, Alex), with session musicians taking over on drums, bass and keys. But, after playing with George (drums) and Tee (Bass/Synth) we all decided to make it a band, as that was how we were working anyway. It was a natural progression, especially as we started writing in the rehearsal room and integrating technology to take over what a fifth member would have been doing.
If I were to travel back to your childhoods; what sort of music would I find in your collections?
For me, you get a strange mash-up of Metal, Hip-Hop and E.L.O. Sounds very odd but when you lay out some of the elements, especially the more cinematic side of E.L.O., it does make sense. For Michelle, you would definitely find a lot of Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd – which, obviously, makes a lot of sense.
Shell would probably cross-over with Tee when it comes to '90s R&B, but Tee would listen to a lot of Gospel music too. George would definitely cross over with me a lot more, especially when it comes to Metal and Hip-Hop.
It seems like eclectic sounds and multiple genres run through your music. Do you think this wide and adventurous approach to music is what stands your songs out?
I’m not sure about ‘stand out’ but I think it helps define us. I know a lot of bands or artists find it hard to pin themselves down to one genre and that someone on the outside could easily categorise them but, in our experiences, they can’t. We like that - it’s something that we don’t do on purpose, nor is it something that we are going to rigidly abide by but the ambiguity of our sound is what makes it so fun for us to work on.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
At the start of the year, we said that just getting the trilogy out would be our achievement of the year. And, even though we’ve been lucky enough to play some amazing festivals and shows as well as grow the band in the right direction, just getting the final chapter out will be our biggest achievement of the year.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Supporting Maverick Sabre was pretty amazing, as was playing with GoGo Penguin. Live is really important to us. Sounds super-cheesy, but probably working on this trilogy has been my favourite thing we’ve done so far.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
For me, it’s Rage against the Machine’s debut album (Rage Against the Machine). Shell’s is easily Tango in the Night (Fleetwood Mac). Tee would say Speakerboxxx/The Love Below by OutKast and George, Nirvana’s In Utero, for sure.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Alive today…that’s a tricky one. I’d probably say Florence + the Machine. Not just because she’s huge, but because she is a massive influence on Michelle and has fans that would probably appreciate our sound too.
As far as rider goes, we’d have as much Nut Butter and Biscoff Spread as humanly possible…maybe a bath of it.
Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
We’re supporting Demons of Ruby Mae at The Black Heart in Camden on 4th October and we’re in plans for a couple of small tours, but we’re not allowed to say anything just yet or jinx them! Head to our socials to keep up to date with that…
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Do what you want to do. If you want to create abstract, avant-garde art then do it and own it. If you want to be a Pop princess then own that too. Too many people do what other people want them to do in order to ‘succeed’ and everyone has an opinion on what you should and shouldn’t do. Sometimes you should listen to them but, ultimately, it’s down to you.
IN THIS PHOTO: Little Grace/PHOTO CREDIT: Robert Mulder
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Little Grace are three mates of ours from Liverpool who are just simply quality. Dark Rooms, an American band that have been a big influence of mine, who share that ambiguity in sound and another friend of ours, XamVolo - he’s doing big things and in a really interesting way.
IN THIS PHOTO: XamVolo/PHOTO CREDIT: Robin Clewley
Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Films, football and food...or, maybe, for Shell it’s sketching, F1 and…still probably films.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Shell is going for Every Valley by Public Service Broadcasting
Tee is going for Evergreen by YEBBA
George is going for Higher Ground by Little Grace
I’ll go for I Get Overwhelmed by Dark Rooms. Thanks for having us; enjoy the tunes!