Tuesday, July 26, 2011
MY CHAT WITH BRITISH SOUL VOCALIST ENRICO DELVES
About two years ago, I was on You Tube checking messages, and one of the messages I received was from a guy named Enrico Delves asking me to check out his page and music. I did and I was blown away by his vocals and British accent, and his rendition of Michael Jackson's classic "Butterflies." I have a strong appreciation for British artists, so I sent him an email telling him how much I loved his music, and if he ever comes to the United States to perform, contact me, so I can check him out live. Two months ago, I learned that the talented artist was going to be peforming at the legendary SOB's, and I made sure I got my ticket, and when I sent him a message informing him I would be checking him out, he was excited to know that I was going to be in the house to give him the support, and I was excited that I was going to finally meet the talented vocalist, who has been the toast of the UK.
Born in South London, Delves started performing at the age of 10, and has been honing his skills eversince. He's performed at various cafes and coffee shops in London and around Europe, but his big break came when he won the opportunity to perform at the 2008 MOBO (Music of Black Orgin) Awards, which enlarged his fan base, and created a buzz in America, where many celebrities including Tom Cruise has asked him to perform at parties. After soundtrack, we met, and I found him to be extremely out going, fun loving, down to earth and at times dramatic (in a good way). After seeing him perform, I learned that he was going to be performing at Best Buys two days later, so I managed to score an interview with this talented and fun vocalist, where he spoke about being in New York, performing at the Mobo Awards, the challenges that many Black U.K. artist face, and his future goals.
DA-PROFESSOR: How does it feel to be back in New York?
ENRICO: Oh yeah. It's my second tgime. Well the first time I was doing a musical of an comtemporary version of A Midnight's Summer Dream. I'm selfish. Now I've come back it's about me, my solo songs and everything. It's really good. I got to perform at SOBS. I got to perform at a school called Grand Campus and today I performed at Live at Best Buy, which was a really good experience. I'm loving New York but the weather is killing me.
DA-PROFESSOR: How did you become involved with Music?
ENRICO: I realized I can sing at age 10, and I was praticing to Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror" instrumentals. So I kept singing over and over and over and I was like 'oh I like the tone of my voice when I do that.' So I kept on singing the hell out of that song until my mum over heard me and she's like 'Enrico is that you?' I said 'yeah,' so she started the track again, and asked me to sing and she told my dad 'you got a talented child' and this and that, so it was nice to know I got something.
DA-PROFESSOR: Besides Michael, who else influenced you?
ENRICO: Ooh. I love alot of artist. I'm a huge fan of Rashaan Patterson. He's one of my favorite vocalist. Maxwell. I love Maxwell. Tao Cruz. He's from the UK. He does Electro Pop. Usher. Aaliyah. I love old school artists like Otis Redding. My influences are truly wide. Even down to Jazz and an artist called Liz Wright. It's truly wide (laughs).
DA-PROFESSOR: I saw a clip of you performing at the MOBO Awards. Congratulations. How did you become involved in that contest?
ENRICO: Oh Thank you. (Laughs) I was part of competition; it was Western Union competition. There were hundreds of artists who applied to get the chance to open for the MOBO Unsigned Awards. It got narrowed down by a group called In Doves in the U.K. I was one of the final ten and then I had to go in front of a panel whiche was like Universal A&R's and perform for them accoustically, and they said they would call me a few days later, but they called me in a couple of hours and told me I was the winner, so I was screaming and the rest is history.
DA-PROFESSOR: What was it like peforming on the MOBOS?
ENRICO: It's not cracked up what it's make up to be. It looks glossed. You're on stage and you got the make up, the sound is pumping through the speakers, but for someone on the outside, you'll be like it looks good. It looks great, but as an artist in the U.K. and you're unsigned, there's a stigma like 'ooh, you're unsigned. Without status (Enrico pronuced the UK pronounciation of the word Stay-Tus), or in this country it's called status, Without status, you're seen as a nobody but it has helped my growth in the industry.
DA-PROFESSOR: You got some hot tracks. I like the song "Room 143" What was the inspiration for that song?
ENRICO: "Room 143." You actually remember that? That was a really old song. I did that back in Norway. I did that back in 2008, back when I did the Mobo's, but yeah, it's been years since I did anything with that song. I recorded a verse, pre chorus and a chorus, even though it wasn't fully writen.
DA-PROFESSOR: Another favorite is "Role Play" What was the inspiration for that song?
ENRICO: Thank you. Sexual frustration, like (in a a dramatic voice) Yeah! Want you want me to be? I'll be anybody. I'll be a doctor. I'll be a teacher. I'll be this and that. The song concept is being comfortable and able to play different characters in the relationships. Being able to tell your girl to wear a nurse outfit and to say it's OK. It's cool. I won't take it personally if she wants me to be a fireman. I'm not gonna take it personally because I'm a singer and be like you want me to be a fire man. You don't like me, it's only role play.
DA-PROFESSOR: You also did a Dance Song I like.
ENRICO: "Fairy Tales"?
ENRICO: That's a song I recently did, and now I'm talking to different publishing companies. That's a song they picked. For me writing it became very personal, so I ended up taking it for myself. Rather than giving it to another artist. I'm very selfish, but not it's my song. "Fairy Tales" is my song!
DA-PROFESSOR: You made a great point about publishing. How important is it for an artist to own their own publishing?
ENRICO: Ooh. I thing it's the biggest thing in the industry. There's alot of money to make in the right avenues. So for instance, you're making moeny from performances, PRS. You're making money from publishing. Whether you're writing by yourself or writing with somebody, and you're able to make money off of sales and royalties, so you're pretty much covered (laughs).
DA-PROFESSOR: I notice that you perform with a live band. What is it like to perform with a live band and backing vocalists?
ENRICO: Ooh. I love it because it makes it more authentic. You're able to play around with it and being an artist, you're creative. When you're creative, you're always wanna tamper with certain parts of the beats and backing vocals. You wanna tamper with the chords and it makes it more authentic and intimate for my audience who are listening to me at that moment.
DA-PROFESSOR: How's the U.K. music scene for Black U.K. Artists?
ENRICO: There's a scene in the U.K. Defintelty, but it's a small scene in the U.K., because in the UK, because in the U.K. the Black population only count for 2 or 3 percent of the whole U.K., but the population is small, the support of Black artists is extremely tiny. I say the U.K. is crap for Black artists if you're doing Soul. I think you can make it if you're doing Pop, but again it goes into racial things on the sense of skin complexion if you're lighter or darker and the politics, but I woulse say the U.K. is harder to break.
DA-PROFESSOR: That was something I was unaware of, but the one thing I admire about U.K. artist is how you love the American Artist more than Americans. How important is that?
ENRICO: Ooh yeah. It's true. I would say from the 90's and 2000's the airwaves has been overloaded with American artists and alot of British influences have come from America and because we've heard it so much, it's like psychology if you hear alot of one thing, that'w what you get into, so American music is big in the U.K.
DA-PROFESSOR: In addition to singing and acting, do you plan on doing any acting?
ENRICO: Yes. I do plan to do some acting. As I said. when I first came to New York before I was doing a musical. It's something I want to look into once my music takes off.
DA-PROFESSOR: If you have the chance to work with any artist, British and American, who would it be?
ENRICO: Chris Brown. I'm really a big fan of Chris Brown. Like I said Tao Cruz. I'm a really big fan of his. Bruno Mars. Artist too many. I work with every and anybody! I'll be like a musical whore (laughs).
DA-PROFESSOR: How do you think you're making an impact ong the music scene?
ENRICO: The U.K. It's really taking places in the U.K. I'm a perfectionist and I'm aiming for higher heights, so I wass ba be massaive. I wanna be a universal brand. It's opening up in the U.K., but we've got alot more grinding to do.
DA-PROFESSOR: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
ENRICO: Whew!! Winning Brit Awards in the U.K. Winning Grammy Awards here. Performing everywhere. I wanna be universal. To see that in the next few years.
DA-PROFESOR: What advice what you tell a young kid who wants to pursue a career in music?
ENRICO: Go for it. Go for it whole heartly. Go for it with everything and take up everythign. Take up songwriting. Practice on the vocals. Pratice on the performance. Even though you're an artist, it's always good be an entertainer. Engage your audiences.
To check out Enrico Delves' music and videos Check out the following sites