How was the Jazz café?
Playing at The Jazz Cafe was really great, especially opening for Jace Everett, he and his band were incredible. I’ve played there before a while back and I really like it as a venue, it’s laid out really well in terms of getting to see your audience, in front and above you. Plus the location is fabulous, I love playing in Camden, especially since doing a residency at The Wheelbarrow for a while there, I really like that part of London, it oozes creativity!
Tell us about your new album?
Well firstly it is called “Outside Looking In” and it was written over a period of about three years. It has its ups and downs and quite introspective on the whole. It’s almost an emotional journey. The album represents three years of writing and is almost like a document of a roller-coaster of emotions felt during that time. Some songs were written prior to pursuing music professionally, for example one of the songs called “Footprints” was when I was working in a nursing home part-time in between studying. Musically I have been influenced by Blues, Country, Soul and Folk, I’d like to say the album encapsulates these influences to some extent and is translated in the sound.
Did you have a particular vision for the record?
As a lot of the songs were written prior to pursuing music professionally, an actual vision song-wise wasn’t completely considered, it just so happened I wrote these songs and they felt right to compile them together into this body of work. On a musical front and since it’s my first record, I dealt with the songs one by one, trying to make the best out of each song. I wanted to end up with something very roots based and I think I achieved that.
Are there many singles planned?
I am about to release my second single, “Spend A Little Time” and this comes out July 10th. The first single was called “Of My Own” and came out May this year, a week before the album release. I’m looking forward to getting this next single out because it’s a fun one to perform and play a lot, plus I like its sentiment. It was written after chatting to a few friends about what qualities we’d like to see in prospective partners (as you do!) and we got into the whole conversation about whether money matters, status, so on and so forth. I wrote the song to say that I personally felt that all these materialistic things didn’t matter, and how spending time with someone is worth more than any other superficial quality. It’s a light hearted cheeky song.
What was it like for you growing up around so much music?
As I didn’t know any different it was completely natural to me and I thoroughly enjoyed my relationship with music from a very early age. I was encouraged to listen to all types of music and my parent’s own love for country blues really rubbed off on me.
Why was the Rory Block record so life changing for you?
I think two reasons, it was the first time I’d heard originals, as in old school Delta Blues songs, I was only familiar with modern blues at this point and the songs and their rawness fascinated me. I think also subconsciously it was probably the fact that there was a woman playing Country Blues in the most amazing style, with just voice and very little (if any) instrumentation. It was inspirational and made me feel I’d like to do that in some form, it’s difficult to describe the feeling I had, I’m just grateful I did have it. I think it’s important as well that I don’t view myself as a complete blues purist either, I think my songs are more cross-over, I have the influence but I’m not trying to be something I’m not.
When did you pick up your first guitar?
I had a guitar when I was 14 but I picked it up very rarely, and could barely strum a few chords back then. I picked it up properly much later on in my early twenties when I was writing songs and I saw it purely as a way for me to convey the songs I had written across musically, learning the guitar and writing went hand in hand for me.
When did you write your first song?
I wrote my first song at around 19. I’d tried to write earlier on and nothing I particularly liked cropped up so I left it. Once I picked it up it was hard for me to understand why I didn’t do it earlier. To me songwriting and performing are equal. I wouldn’t be a performer if I didn’t write my own songs.
What are the defining moments of your career so far?
When I finally finished recording the album it was a particularly defining moment for me. The songs that I was performing and had for a long time were now documented and completed if you like. It was like turning a chapter in a book and I realized how lucky I was to be doing this as a living.
What’s on the ‘Delta Maid’ calendar for this year?
I’ve got a tour coming up with The Pierces which I’m really excited about and also a one off support for Bryan Ferry which promises to be a special night. Promoting my next single out July 10th and gig, gig, gigging! I’d love to take a trip to America at some point. I’ve never been there in a musical sense.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I recently bought Vintage Trouble’s album, I’m enjoying that a lot.
Desert island….. You can only take 3 records, what do you take and why?
This is always subject to change but right now I’d say:
Rory Block “Best Blues and Originals” for obvious reasons!
Stevie Wonder “Songs In The Key Of Life”, has the most amazing songs, plus I’d have some proper dance music to dance to ease the monotony and loosen up!
Hank Williams “The Collection” Timeless, classic songs, some funny, some full of pain, a lot to keep you going.
Delta Maid can be found online at deltamaid.com “Outside Looking In” is available on Geffen Records