Dela: She’s Back By ‘Public Demand’
Dela is like Kenya’s very own Adele. I’m not guessing this stuff up; she gave us the Swahili version of ‘Hello’ and everyone loved it. She has been in the industry since the age of 19 and she is still growing strong. The maestro who loves watching documentaries even went on to work with Jason Derulo when he came to Kenya.
How was that like for her? KenyaBuzz had a chat and she talked about that and her new upcoming album, ‘Public Demand’. The new album has 15 songs and she is releasing it today April 30th at the Alchemist. She explores love, relationships and politics. Which artist would she like a duet with? You’ll have to read to find out.
KenyaBuzz: Did you like the music in Black Panther?
Dela: I loved the movie. I also loved M’Bakku, his performance was great! Whoop! I also loved the music but I didn’t feel like it was enough representation of Africa. The artists featured in the movie were mostly from South Africa. They should have gotten more acts from different parts of Africa. But what Kendrick Lamar did on that album was dope.
KenyaBuzz: What’s your genre of music? Is it more of Afro-pop or Afro-soul?
Dela: I would say I updated my music from Afro-soul to Afro-pop more consciously but I’ve always been a versatile artist. So the change to Afro-pop was more deliberate. I’m still an Afro-soul artist it’s just that I don’t like being put in a box in terms of music.
KenyaBuzz: Tell us about your new album-Public Demand
Dela: My new album has everything. It has elements of my first album, it also contains the genre I’m focusing on now and what to expect from me in the future. It is a very versatile album. It’s everything from the Love ballads to political music. I’m talking about friendships and everyday stories that I’ve gone through or seen somebody go through.
KenyaBuzz: Why the name Public Demand for your album?
Dela: It all started with the #Delagates. The #Delagates are my ‘public’ and there’s a split with them in terms of the music they want from me. I have fans who love the ‘soft-side’ of my music and others who like the heavier stuff. So some want mainstream pop music and others want the club bangers and they’re all possessive. Public Demand infuses all that and offers everyone what they enjoy. It has 15 tracks.
KenyaBuzz: How long did it take to finish the album?
Dela: It took 3 years putting everything together. We started with a few songs to see how the market would react. When you’re making an album you don’t record all the songs at once because tastes change, trends come and go so you have to keep up.
KenyaBuzz: What has been your most memorable on-stage performance?
Dela: I can’t say because every performance is different, a different vibe, a different audience so it’s kinda hard to say. I always enjoy when I’m on stage be it a small intimate show or a big festival with a lot of energy.
KenyaBuzz: How did you coin the phrase #Delagates for your fans?
Dela: Yaay! I love my #Delagates a lot. I don’t know if there is any one moment where I sat down and came up with the phrase. It just sort of went with my name and my fans picked it up and it has stuck.
Kenya Buzz: You had your first album at the age of 19! How is that for a throwback?
Dela: (Laughs). Wow. That is truly way back. I was such a baby then and I really didn’t know what I was doing. I look back and I’m like Oh my God. I was in my fourth year in school and I had to take a break because I couldn’t keep up with the two. It’s been a really long journey since then and now I feel like I’m close to where I want to be.
KenyaBuzz: You studied architecture at varsity. Do you work on both music and architecture?
Dela: Architecture has definitely taken a backseat as I now focus on my music.
KenyaBuzz: You were one of the artists at Coke Studio Africa and you got to work with Jason Derulo! Did you fan-out?
Dela: I was star-struck for the first few minutes but then you have to get down to business. He was really good to work with. He was friendly and we built rapport really quickly. It was an amazing experience working with him.
KenyaBuzz: If you could sing a duet with any artist in the world who would it be?
Dela: Beychella! Okay, I meant Beyonce. That’s a no-brainer. She’s the best. I’m sure I can learn so much from her. If I chose anyone for collaboration it has to be someone I admire and I can learn from and who else would you rather learn from than the Queen herself?
KenyaBuzz: What should we expect from you this year?
Dela: More great music, more great performances.