Interview: Sophie Delila Talks Magic and Music
Sophie Delila will soon be a household name because she can own any room with the strength of her voice. The 29-year-old songstress, stricken the rhinovirus (also known as a nasty case of the sniffles), bravely risked losing her vocal stability to have a chat with Music Under Fire about her musical history and why her life could use a remix.
At first glance, Sophie Delila has a stunning appearance. The strength her cheekbones, the arch of her brows, and the unrestrained curl of her voluminous locks makes her a remarkable beauty. The elusive mix of Algerian, Mediterranean, Jewish, and French cultures contribute to the allure of Miss. Delila and make for an even more interesting/influential being. In guy talk, she’s hot! For those of us who refrain from public dribbling, we can appreciate her unique features with some form of social grace; the retro flare of Sophie’s style stems from an appreciation she has for sixties movies. Sophie feels that she can identify with the actors and their features, which is where she gathers some of her inspiration. Bashfully, Sophie shares she’s attracted to anything “a bit funky” with a raspy chuckle at herself before continuing on to say “simple things with details; originality but classic with a rock twist…”
Superficiality aside, it seems that her fashion tastes are similar to her musical state of mind. Her upcoming release My Life Could Use a Remix is the follow up to her self-released debut Hooked, which a fresh-faced enthused Sophie distributed while in New York, her home away from her current place in London. Although the singer/songwriter is Parisian and misses her beloved NYC, she found herself quite at home within the British musical realm. “I was really attracted to the music,” Sophie shared, pointing out that London is also a lot closer to her heart in France. “I really miss New York. I’ll definitely be back in the states eventually,” Delila promises more to herself than her audience. It’s obvious that her time in the states was invaluable as she studied over at the highly acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston for two years before delving into the underground music world of New York. It was a tough move from New York to London, but one that brought Sophie to a higher musical plain and allowed her to come into contact with great artists such Plan B.
Delila said it was a mutual acquaintance that brought Plan B and her together to work on an impromptu duet. Sophie wasn’t modest about her fandom, “Plan B as in Plan B?” She laughed as she shared her initial reaction to the collaboration of “Would I Lie to You,” a song she said they rehearsed only once before hitting the stage, “it happened really naturally,” Sophie said of the performance and onstage chemistry. It was so “naturally” good that they continued on for a few radio shows, playing off of each other’s talent and building their professional relationship.
Sophie, however, is no stranger to musical relationships due to her parents’ musical connections. With mom being a well versed singer and dad being a talented pianist who modestly chilled with Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye, Sophie has always been enveloped in music. Classical piano was a hobby by five and songwriting was a done deal by eleven, so Sophie has always had her foot in the door of excellence. “Studying music and being able to sing everyday really enlightened me,” Sophie expressed, going onto say she always wanted to be in music, whether she wanted to be a singer or producer or classical piano player was the question. There was no decision to be in music for Delila; she always had to do music.
Speaking of music, Sophie is more than excited to share her newly developed song, several years in the making. My Life Could Use A Remix has got fans on the edge of their seats. Although she strays away from the “soul format” her voice is soulful, to say the least, and her Jazz, pop, and gospel influences are evident. Her new single “What Did I Do” is a riveting piece about the loss of a friend through misunderstandings that caused the young artist to reach deeper into her to gain therapy. Most would cringe at the thought of revealing hurt and confusion, especially when you’re on the receiving end of the short stick. Most people would be even more hesitant to divulge the truth behind the song, but Delila attested to the power of music. “Writing is a bit of therapy…it’s good to share it…you have to let it out…I really have to…” Sophie explained with ease and humor. The singer didn’t even think about sharing it or the implications of revealing so much of her own true feelings, which, in a nutshell, is the basis of her album.
This record is all about exposure, both in details and in collaborations. Sophie was more than excited to have worked with the likes of Dan Black, Monarchy, Julian Velard, and the legendary Don Black (yes, Don), who wrote the lyrics of “Diamonds Are Forever” and worked with MJ and Quincy Jones. If that doesn’t tingle your tootsies, Sophie hatched it out the details for a few tracks such as “In My Bed,” which is what she calls a “funny song” that garners the right kind of audience reaction she’s looking for. She also revealed “Bound to Fall,” a collaboration with Julian Velard, is song about a friend who passed away, and “Start a Party” is a feel a good track about helping a friend when the roads are a little rough, and the those are just a few out of a rumored sixty song writing process production. It’s a good mix of fun, mourning, happiness, anger, and any other emotion imaginable, which is exactly what the modern day singer-songwriter was going for. The record is supposed to be more emotional, with more hope and positive feel with lots of questioning about life, according to the artist who takes pride in the unrestrained, in depth “piano based” writing process that differed from her debut record, which she went at alone.
Although this album is just near completion, Sophie is excited to discuss dream collaborations on future workings with Bruno Mars, “I would love to write a song with him,” she said without much hesitation before rattling off about dance song fantasy song with M-83 or Daft Punk. When asked about the current musical choices for her listening pleasure, Feist, Muse, Peter Gabriel, Plan B, and Miguel, which can only make fans even more hopeful for a collaboration with somebody off her eclectic playlist.
As an established musician/producer and an up and coming singer-songwriter, Sophie said she wants to be remembered and seen as “a great artist, a great person, [to] touch people’s lives…” before she continued “artists want to be magicians and change people’s lives.” Well, Sophie, mission accomplished. And audience, this is no magic trick; Sophie really is that talented. But what would she do without such a clear path to follow? “I think it [her alternate career] could have been in fashion design…graphic design. Something creative; I don’t think I could have done something not creative… Definitely not a lawyer,” and Sophie, I couldn’t agree more. You can do whatever you put your mind to, but you don’t strike me as the nine-to-five-suit-and-tie-kind of chick.
Remember to pick up her single “What Did I Do”and keep your ears open for My Life Could Use A Remix.