Rising Star : Dela Kay

Rising Star : Dela Kay

Dela Kay

Dela Kay takes center stage in her latest release IDWTAY, showcasing a profound blend of vulnerability and storytelling prowess. This musical journey offers an intimate glimpse into her personal odyssey and the complexities of contemporary dating. Drawing inspiration from revered artists like The Maine, Maggie Lindemann, Paramore, and Avril Lavigne, Dela Kay seamlessly embraces her Alternative roots. Join us as we embark on a compelling exploration of her evocative musical narrative.

Here at The Garnette Report, we had the pleasure of speaking with Dela Kay to take a deeper look at this rising star.

Zoey: What inspired the creation of your newest single “IDWTAY,” and how does it contribute to the narrative of your musical journey? I was in a phase of


Dela Kay: a life where I was truly dating for the first time to figure out who was best for me. I typically wasn’t the type of person to date more than one person at a time but decided it might be a good idea. There was someone I was interested in but they weren’t stepping up, so I started pursuing my other options. While moving forward I found it so difficult to focus on more than one person and was so pissed off, since that was my goal. So I took the idea to my buddy Stef and we just started writing about the shitty part of being in the weird in-between/ situationship stage with someone, while also trying to move on. It’s a little cheeky, maybe even a little toxic but I think the song shows a different side of me my fans haven’t seen yet. It’s definitely my most blunt and aggressive song to date.

Zoey: Can you share some insights into the creative process behind “IDWTAY,” including any specific influences or experiences that shaped the song’s unique sound and lyrical content?


Dela Kay: In the answer above, I already spoke on the story behind the lyrical content, but as far as the song’s sound, I really wanted something way more aggressive, since I hadn’t really put out a song like that yet. I pulled from a lot of alt/rock/pop influences (many listed below), and cultivated a sound that I feel is reminiscent of that 2000’s alt/punk-pop but also feels unique to me and my melodies. Avril Lavigne was someone we referenced a lot for this track, because she’s the queen of punk-pop. I definitely feel like this sound is up her alley.

Zoey: How did the vibrant music scene of Nashville influence the creation of “IDWTAY,” and what specific elements from artists like The Maine, Maggie Lindemann, Paramore, and Avril Lavigne did you incorporate to capture the delicate balance between moving on and embracing lingering feelings in the song?


Dela Kay:I honestly don’t think Nashville really influenced this song much, other than the song coming from me (and I’m originally from there). But Nashville does have a great scene of indie artists and underground grunge music happening there, and I think from being raised in that

scene I was able to tap into that. But now living in LA, I feel like we were able to put more of a commercial sound or a mainstream type of sound with it as well. The artists listed above are a perfect example of that mix of that authentic alt/rock/ pop vibe but also maintaining that listenability you would see for songs that would make it to radio. I love the catchy guitar riffs we have in this song as well as how aggressive the vocal is—kind of giving it that balance of catchiness but also being raw and real. And as far as the lyrical content, my co-writer and producer, Stef and I did our best to really capture that feeling of being caught in the in-between (or give that situationship-type anthem) that I think my fans will relate to.

Zoey: Your previous single release “Let You Down” is a deeply emotional and vulnerable single. Can you share the inspiration behind the song and the creative process with producer Stefano Pigliapoco?


Dela Kay: I wanted to write about the stage in a new relationship where you’re really scared of jumping in with that new person and Stef and I were able to kind of take that idea and run with it. He had started some of the music and I came in with melody ideas, then when we got to the lyrics the chorus came out first and it was super easy to finish out the rest. Super excited that the song was received so well and that my fans were able to relate to that vulnerable side of myself.

Dela Kay

Zoey: How did your collaboration with Stefano Pigliapoco influence the overall sound and atmosphere of “Let You Down”?


Dela Kay: I think in my answer above I kind of described my typical workflow with Stef and whenever we created things always ended up going really easily. We were able to cultivate that rock/pop feel while keeping the vulnerability intact and that’s what I try to portray in all of my songs on this project. So in a way that song helped shape the whole rest of these new songs.

Zoey: The song explores themes of trust, vulnerability, and the fear of self-sabotage. How did you navigate and express these complex emotions through your music?

Dela Kay: I think I try really hard to write lyrics that have easy listening ability and aren’t too complex for the audience. So without going too deep into those emotions I worked hard with Stef to put those emotions as simply as we could and I felt like it translated well to my fans. I also think the soaring intense melodies helped carry that lyrical content as well.

Zoey: Inspired by artists like The Maine, Maggie Lindemann, Paramore, and Avril Lavigne, how do these influences manifest in your music, especially in “Let You Down”?

Dela Kay: All of my songs have a theme of rock/pop/alt style music influences and a lot is pulled from artists like the ones above. The catchiness in melodies and the type of instruments used but also matching that up with real and honest lyrics. I think across the board in all my songs I want that balance to translate. I love that nostalgic alternative feeling when you listen to those types of artists and hope to emulate that in my own unique way for my music.

Zoey: You mention this era of your career being the most authentic. How do you feel your music has evolved, and what aspects make it more genuine to you?

Dela Kay: I think I’m not afraid to take up space, to be loud, to be the most honest lyrically. I think I boxed myself in for so long on what I thought the industry wanted me to be to become “successful” but now I feel like I’m making music that I love, that I would even love to listen to just as an audience. And all of that feels truest to me.

Zoey: Growing up in Nashville, TN, how has the city’s musical heritage influenced your songwriting and storytelling?


Dela Kay: I spent a lot of time growing up in places like the Bluebird Cafe and places where legends used to play, because my mom was an avid songwriter and artist. And so I really focused on songwriting being the main foundation of any great song, and then the rest following. I think focusing on creating real lyrics that are raw and relatable are the most important and Nashville is definitely known as a songwriting town. On top of that, they have a great indie music scene so that was just a further influence in my writing/music.

Zoey: Studying musical theater at The Chicago College of Performing Arts, what aspects of that experience do you incorporate into your songwriting and performances?

Dela Kay: I feel like my experience there has shaped me in my ability to perform on stage and tap into that different side of myself. Being able to hold an audience’s attention and to maintain energy. All of those performance skills I really pulled away from my time there. And also just my ability to connect with other humans. Learning and acting there really helped me tap into my emotions and my ability to relate to others through music.

Dela Kay: I hope to make a lasting impression, making my artistic mark with authenticity and edginess.” Can you elaborate on the kind of mark you aspire to make in the music industry? I strive to be authentic in my lyrics. To be vulnerable and honest but also to shock people and to have fun making music they don’t expect. So many more surprises this year that I can’t wait to share with my fans (so you all will just have to wait and see)!

Zoey: Your 2019 release “Think About You” became your highest-streamed song. What was the inspiration behind it, and did its success influence your subsequent work?


Dela Kay: Think About You” talks about not wanting to end a relationship but not fully being in it either. Also mainly about not wanting to face seeing that person move on from you. I always pull from experiences of my own but at the time of writing it I was more so using my imagination. This song did not inspire my new work, since it’s a different style of music (more in the pop lane), but it was a milestone for that time in my life and helped bridge the gap to me being where I am now in my music journey.

Zoey: “Daughter” marked a departure from your usual upbeat style. How do you approach experimenting with different genres and sounds in your music?


Dela Kay: I love indie, folk music just as much as I love alternative music and it’s something I feel very passionate about and that also feels very at home for me when writing. And when writing a song about my dad it truly just felt appropriate. I wanted it to have a cinematic feel but also feel really stripped down and vulnerable and I feel like my producer Ryan Dulude really helped make that happen, as well as being able to write with my dear friend Rikki Jo Randall.

Zoey:  Looking ahead to 2024, you plan a West Coast tour. What can fans expect from your live performances, and how does the audience influence your energy on stage?


Dela Kay: They can expect energy, honesty and probably silliness from me haha. I pull from the energy of fans like any other performer does, but I always do my best to translate my recordings to my live show as best as possible to really give my audience that same feeling they had when they first listened to my songs.

Zoey :As you gear up to release more singles through 2024, can you give us a sneak peek into what themes or styles we can anticipate from your upcoming music?


Dela Kay: “IDWTAY” is the biggest sneak peek! Lots more music in that vein as well as some more heartfelt songs like “Let You Down”. So excited for everyone to hear the rest of this project!

In the soulful notes of “idwtay,” Dela Kay takes a commanding bow, leaving an indelible mark with her profound blend of vulnerability and storytelling prowess. This musical journey, unraveling the tapestry of her personal odyssey and the complexities of contemporary dating, has been a captivating exploration.

Stream the song IDWTAY By Dela Kay

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Photo courtesy : Eshy Gazit Management

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