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Delilah’s “from the roots up” diffuses through Union Chapel

Hanan Abdel-Khalek went to Delilah’s recent show in London and found out what the singer’s up to in between gigs.

Parisian born singer Delilah shut the venue down on Tuesday, 5th August after delivering one of her most hauntingly beautiful performances to date in the very ethereal Union Chapel.

“Que a truck load of candles and thousands of rose petals when I stepped out on stage”, Delilah told East London News. She said she wanted to do the audience justice, and that she did.

It was no surprise for those who have seen her play previously. Her performance was more fragile than what we are normally used to: however, her soul-bearing quivers were endearing aided by her visually and audibly stunning presence. “The music I make is pretty sensual, at first I shied away from it, got embarrassed by the breathiness of my voice,” she said.

Insecure lay down foundations of her raw sentiment which was captivating, and enchanting to say the least. The mixture of honest and deliciously pressed short ballads from her old and new albums gave a humble accustomed appeal. Her voice, strong and charismatic she carried to every pew in Union Chapel.  Her performance felt like the rights of passage to an older more independent artist.

“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.”

For Delilah femininity and her sound are held synonymous, “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.” The elements of gentle airiness in her vocals, spill over to most tracks, like Only You – inspiring a merged theme of surreal background inflection, her sharp voice challenges the overtones leaving the perfect litmus combination.

From the Roots Up had much pressure to become an evolved pop piece decorated in Dubstep, as a step up from Heartbeat. The singer of English, Cuban, Nigerian and Spanish descent again proffered the unexpected as she describes her new record as “bigger”,  however, “with its strict noise limitations on the night and time curfew. We had to cut six new songs from the set. All big, loud, up tempo joints.”

Personally, I think it was a good move. The set did justice to her darker melancholic roots, echoed by Love You So. No doubt a Smokey blues tone grounded by a distinctive glass cut vocal had been unleashed into the perfect setting. The album itself is immersed in phrases and verses from the classics including her whispery chill inducing interpolation Go.

Delilah also announced her newly found independence from her record label. “Being an independent artist comes with huge amounts of … Change. I was signed at 17 so being a signed recording artist is all I’ve ever known. It works for some people but for the most part I think it’s a tough ship for any creative to be sailing. Unless they’re the ones at the helm. I found myself constantly justifying my choices to the people around me and having to fight for every bit of creative freedom. I wasn’t happy for a while I was really avoiding the studio because every session came with so many conditions. It’s great to be starting a new chapter.” It will be interesting to see how far the limitless creative reins she has already harnessed go, now that she has planted the foundations of an evolved but born again independent artist.

Union Chapel was also set alight with Nottingham based Ady Suleiman. With origins from Zanzibar, it explains the equable crisp husky set he delivered effortlessly leaving the venue in complete reverence. He has described his influences, “based around live sound than programmed, but I hope to find the perfect blend between these on record as I am also influenced my acts such as James Blake and Jamie Woon”.

He told East London News, “it was a dream to play at Union Chapel sharing a stage with Delilah, tonight it was all acoustic but I normally have base and drums”. Ady will be playing at Bestival in December with hopes to release a new Album in the upcoming year, definitely one to watch.

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