We got introduced to Baton Rouge, LA-based artist Dele early last year and have been steady watching the content he put out very closely. Growing up between TX, Jersey and D.C, now he spends most if his time in Baton Rouge where he allows his creativity to follow freely.
The 27-year-old is coming off the release of his most recent body of work “Barnhouse,” a project that captures his sound nicely. We had the chance to catch up with the budding artist and discuss various things such as influences, recording process and the impact visuals have had on his career. Check out the full interview down below.
1) How did you start making and what gave you the motivation to stay with it?
I used to beat box back in elementary school and middle school. When I was in high school, my neighbor held me down with a copy of FL studio and I started making beats. My boy Adonis and I started making parodies until one day he was like “yo, let’s do this forreal”. I said “ok” and didn’t think much of it, the rest is how we see it now. I don’t think I started taking it seriously until I was like 22/23. As for motivation, I’m not really sure. I guess I’m not a fan of giving up and letting people down. I push through for the ones that believe in me as cheesy as it sounds lol.
2) Looking back at your last project “Barnhouse,” how much have you grown as an artist since that release?
Damn, as an artist I’m not sure, I’m always looking to make an experience for the listener when I create a project. As my own PR though, I would say I’ve grown quite a bit. Like, I think I’ve figured out more creative ways to promote myself since I released “Barnhouse.”
3) What did you hope listeners took away from that project?
I wanted to expand my soundscape, you know? Show people what else I could offer and remind OG fans that I was still capable of talking my shit. I did a lot of singing on “We Skipped Winter.” “Barnhouse” was originally an experiment to see how listeners would respond to the other side of my music. I was nervous to release it at first, but based on the numbers and support, I think I accomplished what I set out to do.
4) Are there any artists out there that you look to for inspiration?
YES! Rick Ross told me once to “emulate the greats” and I think when I look to create, whether it’s beats, content for promo or melody choices, I look to the ones who I think push envelopes and see how I can incorporate elements into my own creations and find a pocket, making it work for me. Jhene Aiko, Davido, Burna Boy, Drake, Rozay, Fela, Party, John Mayer, Frank Ocean are ones; I can think of off the top of my head, but there’s so much more! Even my friends in music, I look to those guys (and ladies) even more because I think we’re all just tryna be noticed for making good music people can enjoy. I think they inspire me to find ways to go harder ever more than any of the A-listers I mentioned.
5) Do you have a favorite musical project that you’ve worked on?
“We Skipped Winter” by far. I remember how satisfied I felt when I finished it. I felt like there was something on it for everyone. Pop, Rap, RnB, Hits, the arrangement, the transitions; I just felt like it was all there. The roll out of that project set the stage for how I would think to do the rest. Currently trying to work on the sequel to it whilst trying bust out smaller projects in between.
6) What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?
Aside from parties and bullshit with the mandem, I like to travel and see new things, meeting new people and learning from their stories. I also grew up in a farm town, so stargazing is always nice.
7) Are visuals something you’re planning to push out more this year?
Yes, Inshallah. I think it’s going to be a balance between that and new music. I reconnected with a kid I went to elementary school with and he’s a phenomenal videographer now. He goes by RMONDOE. He shot M.O. as well as my music video for Two Things. I expect us to make much more magic together in the future. That is a G.O.A.T. with an eagle’s eye.
8) What’s your recording process like?
I like to be alone, like.. nobody in the crib. Other than that, it doesn’t feel like it has much structure, I just want to capture a vibe. I think of the vibe like a huge clay slab. Get the clay first, chisel the sculpture later. After I make a beat or if maybe I just have a melody I really like, I turn the mic on and start recording. It could be complete nonsense, or lyrical genius. The words don’t matter to me, those can be fine tuned later. The beat structure doesn’t take precedent, nuances and be added and removed later. To me, the vibe is the gold and the most volatile. I get that first and the rest falls into place.
9) How would you describe your sound?
hmm, a reflection of me I guess. Airy, quality, versatile, powerful when it wants to be, vulnerable when it needs to be.
10) Do you have any big plans for 2019?
For me? I’m trying see more of the planet. For music, I’m just tryna give y’all more.
Well, there you have it folks. Thank you for your time Dele and glad we could give the people a clear overview of the man behind the work. Are there any last thoughts you wanted to share?
Umm..yea, more chune in route. “Barnhouse” is out now! My insta is @iamdele. Like and subscribe to my youtube channel. Love perpetual to Swidlife and all who support me and my music!