whynow is the time to listen to… DellaXOZ

Up first on our brand-new series, whynow Is The Time To Listen To… – spotlighting some of the most exciting talent this country has to offer through quickfire interviews – we speak to Manchester’s DellaXOZ, aka 17-year-old Daniella Lubasu. With her debut EP, THE DELLA VARIANT, out just last month, we had a chat with the rising star about her releases, influences and ambitions for the future.

DellaXOZ

It’s often thought by some that music has had its heyday; that it’s somehow “not like it once was”. And whilst there are certainly aspects of the musical landscape that have seen dramatic shifts, the aim of this series is to spotlight some of the budding musical talent across a range of genres and styles, to showcase that we needn’t be glum about the future – but that it can look (and sound) very bright indeed.

Della, welcome as the first guest for whynow Is The Time To Listen To… What’s your story of how you got into music?

I’ve always been producing – I’ve been doing it since I was like 12. So it was a hobby at first then I realised I wanted to do it seriously, so I searched other types of beats from songs I liked and tried to learn how to do a decent rendition of them; then I tried experimenting until I found my sound and what I like. I made stuff on GarageBand and Sountrap first. I play guitar and piano a little bit too – but I’m not a pro or anything.

DellaXOZ

What’s your earliest memory of music?

That’s a hard question. Music’s just one of those things that’s always been there. I guess listening to the radio and watching Top 40 on the TV; looking at the big artists like Beyoncé and thinking, ‘I want to do that.’ I remember watching the ‘Run the World (Girls)’ video and trying to copy the dances but I couldn’t even dance.

Aside from Beyoncé, who were your biggest musical inspirations growing up? If you had any.

I always listened to Nicki Minaj. I just thought she had such great energy. Obviously, when I was younger, I didn’t understand the lyrical content at the time; but I still listen to her and appreciate her wordplay more. So she’s an inspiration in terms of her attitude and stuff.

I also like Taylor Swift and Lorde, and their songwriting. In the song ‘Wildcut’ by Lorde, the lyric “We were wild and fluorescent / Come home to my heart” is my favorite lyric; she paints pictures in people’s heads.

Can you describe your sound in three words?

Eclectic. Creative. Experimental.

DellaXOZ

It was like you’d prepared for that. Easy. And why should people listen to you?

Because I don’t really like to stick with one genre. Whatever I feel like, I just make it. I have random topics that I cover. It’s not just like I just make heartbreak songs, or songs about being confident. I feel like people shouldn’t be categorised into one thing, so I try and cover all these topics. All aspects of life.

Speaking of that: what’s your track ‘paranoia’ about?

‘paranoia’ is a kind of forgive but not forget kind of vibe. Like when you have conflict with people, it’s about moving passed it, cutting them off and letting them wonder why you’ve moved on.

You’re from the outskirts of Greater Manchester. What was it like to grow up there and what did it do for your music, if anything?

I think, because indie-rock is really big here, we kind of just always listened to that. Everyone plays the classic bands like Oasis and stuff, so I heard that a lot.

And without sounding like a job interview, where do you see yourself in a year’s time?

In a year’s time, I see myself performing, making more songs. I think just making music, but I think I’ll be a bit bigger than I am now. I just see myself continuing this.

DellaXOZ artist

Your debut EP is called THE DELLA VARIANT. Why that title?

It was a fun little wordplay; it was relevant to the pandemic, which is obviously when I wrote the songs, so I felt like that just had to be the name – like there was nothing else that it could have been.

What are you most excited about for your artistry?

I’m excited to experiment more because there’s so many things I haven’t tried and so many genres and sounds. I feel like with every song that I’ve made I know more about production. So I’ll release one song and then after it’s like, ‘Oh, I could have done this.’ Because when you’re experimenting, you just learn so many different things.

Are you a bit of a perfectionist, would you say?

Yes, that’s why I didn’t release music consistently before, because I was being relatively picky with things, thinking like, ‘Oh, this isn’t 100% perfect, I’m not completely satisfied with how this sounds.’ So yeah, I am.

Simple as that. Thanks Della.


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