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Interview: Sophie Delila

9 min read

Parisian musician Sophie Delila has hit UK shores with her latest record Hooked, a perfect summer record building on her Soul and RnB influences.

Sophie Delila

The singer took time out of her busy schedule to talk to Brendon about all things Hooked following an amazing performance at London’s Natural History Museum. Here’s what the Nature Of The Crime singer had to say.

Brendon Veevers: You have just come off stage here at London’s Natural History Museum. How do you feel?

Sophie Delila: I feel very happy. I’m always up for shows and unless something goes horrible I usually feel great. I’m putting a lot of myself into the show so I feel empty right now. I have to gain energy back and put myself back together but I feel great. It was a fantastic show.

BV: Any how do you think the reception was for the show?

SD: The reception was great. There were some fans that knew me and some people that were just walking by and just started to sit down and watch and I though everything was great and everybody responded quite well I thought. Everyone danced and sang along at the end so for me it’s a good reception.

BV: And you pulled people off the street as they were walking by to join in.

SD: Yeah I said hello to people joining us and I thought it was really good.

BV: So you’ve just released your new album Hooked over here in the UK. How has the reception been for the record so far?

SD: I think so far it’s pretty good. I mean, from the reviews and from the fans. I think it’s growing slowly for now but I like that because it’s good to just meet your audience. It’s the first record I have released in the UK so it takes a bit of time but I am really happy with the solid fan-base that I’m growing and that I’m getting to touch so I think it’s been good so far.

BV: So can you tell us a bit about the album?

SD: I think it’s a Soul, Pop album, stylistically that’s the general feel although I don’t think I’m a classic Soul artist I do have a strong Soul, Jazz and Gospel background so it’s really part of me but I’m not trying to make specifically Soul music. I think it’s just a natural thing and I always try to incorporate elements of a lot of different styles as well.

I like Reggae, I like a bit of Rock’n’Roll. I like electronic music as well because, well I’m from France and obviously there’s a lot of French artists that bring a lot of electronic music to the scene so I was into that for a bit and I think that influenced me but then on the story side of things, like what the songs are about, they’re mostly about trying to become a better person through relationships that you have so basically it’s a story about a girl who has been out of a kind of a tough relationship, quite bad, and who broke up and is finding someone new and who is really making her a better person. Someone stronger with better sentimental habits.

I don’t know if that means anything but basically that’s what the album’s about. There’s really a continuous sort of story throughout.

BV: You grew up in a musical family in Paris and the album has quite a vintage/Motown feel to it. Growing up who were your influences?

SD: It’s got that yes. I listened to a lot of Stevie Wonder growing up. My dad, he’s a huge fan. He’s also a big fan of Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye. So a lot of those classic….actually yeah I grew up with a lot of classic Soul like Aretha (Franklin) as well. Classic Soul and Blues.

So yeah I guess it influenced me but I am trying to do something contemporary so it’s got that Motown thing. I hope it’s got a little more than that as well cause really that’s what I think I’m doing anyway.

BV: My personal favorite track on the album is In The Morning – what’s your favorite and why?

SD: It depends really on my mood. I don’t really listen too much to my album and there are many ways you can look at it. It’s either what’s the best song I have written on the album, what’s my most challenging, the one I prefer that way or there’s just the one I would listen as leisure but it’s kind of hard to consider it leisure when it’s your own songs but I guess Nature Of The Crime is quite important because it’s the first one that I wrote on the record and that sort of set the tone to the whole record so maybe that’s the one for now, looking back and making the whole record. That’s really the one that shocked me first. It had the most impact making the album but then I love playing Another World a lot because its just on the piano. I love playing Hooked with the band with the backing vocals. I love playing In The Morning as well with the guitars so it really depends you know but yeah, probably Nature Of The Crime right now is the one I think has had the most impact.

BV: You do a lot on the record from playing the instruments, producing, writing and obviously you are the voice behind the songs. What part of the process do you enjoy the most and could not do without?

SD: The writing for sure is the part of it that I could not, not do but you know all of it is so important but yeah probably the writing….well the singing obviously too. I love singing so it would be hard not to sing my own songs

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BV: As well as your own records you have written for other artists including the track Another World for Westlife. Do you have any plans to write for other artists?

SD: I would love to. I would love to write for other people or with other people. I’m always open to it so I could not talk about any plans (laughs). There is stuff because I am talking to a few people. Because this song got on one of the Westlife records and people get to know you and want to work with you so I have been writing with a lot of people lately. It’s been hard keeping up with the writing and playing live and touring and I’m really behind and I have got lots of work to do by yeah so I don’t know what’s in the plans yet but I’m working on a lot of things so developing the plans. Of course I shoot for the moon so we’ll see what happens.

BV: You just told us you enjoy working with other artists so if you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

SD: I’d love to write a song with Stevie Wonder and I always say that because to me whether it’s songwriting or singing he is just top notch and at least most of the stuff that he has done, you know the seventies, is amazing so that would probably be him but lately I have been watching a lot of Chaka Khan videos and I would love to write a song for her because she can sing anything so you could write any melody and she could sing it all so that would be amazing.

BV: On the cover of your album you have a small tattoo saying Hooked. Can we ask, is it real?

SD: You can ask, but no it’s not real. I haven’t tattooed my own album title on me but it’s an idea. Maybe I can tattoo all the titles and cover my whole body with my song titles.

BV: What advice would you give to someone starting out in the music industry?

SD: Learn to lie (laughs). No I’m joking. You’ve got to I guess keep working all the time and trying to just keep getting better . That would be probably the first thing but obviously there are a lot of artists all over the world so it’s really hard to sort of make it. Just keep working and trying to be the best really and get out there and meet people. So you have got to have the level but that’s the minimum that you have got to have. Then get to try to make it so first is the music side but then you have got to learn how to talk to people.

BV: So what have you learned as an artist?

SD: So many things. I couldn’t even start to list them. I don’t think it’s something that you can put your finger on and say “it’s this and it’s that”. There are so many lessons. Things happen overnight you know. Someone tells you “no” and then someone tells you “yes, come in” so you don’t really control it but if you’re always out there and not giving up, that’s basically what I have learned is to keep going. That’s probably the main thing and that’s why I would give this advice.

The more people that give up around you the less competition you end up having (laughs). No, but seriously the competition never goes away. It’s always around but it’s a great thing and it’s very inspiring. I think it’s fantastic and it’s a great time for music and with the internet everyone is free to at least express themselves and to make music and to get their fans.

BV: Is there anyone in particular that you are listening to at the moment?

SD: Of course there is Plan B. Before I did work with him I heard his music on the radio, the Stay Too Long track, and I was like “wow, who is that?” and I knew him as a rapper from a few years back and then I heard this and I though that it was amazing and then we got to work together and that was at the time that the record was about to come out. I got the record and I still listen to it quite a lot. I think it’s a really great record and I think it’s got a few similarities with my record also. Well, they are very different but they have this sort of atmosphere, so they have a few things in common I think.

I’m watching a lot of videos on YouTube, some old funk stuff. What else? I like Florence (and the Machine), I like watching her too. That’s about it really. I recently bought Marina and the Diamonds. I think she’s great. She is amazing and I love her songs. She is a very talented artist and writer. I think that’s about it.

BV: So, whats next for Sophie Delila?

SD: Hopefully a lot more shows over the summer but I’m going to spend a lot more time in the studio as well because I always write and always record things. So hopefully a lot of big things. Actually on Tuesday I am going to be single of the week on iTunes so that’s really cool. That’s a big deal I think so that’s what’s next, next week.

BV: Thank you very much Sophie

SD: You’re very welcome

Sophie Delila’s debut album Hooked is out now.