Interview with Delana Mitchell
Delana Mitchell, singer/songwriter
Interview transcribed from dictaphone.
Elspeth: When did you first start writing music and why?
Delana: I first started writing my songs in the year 2001. I started my first song in 2001. Why I started was because I was inspired by a friend of mine, Queen Omega - and another friend, Michelle Lashley who really showed support and pushed me. And that made me believe that I could do it. So I just tried it out and eventually I got the first one and then afterwards, well ... you know the rest (laughter).
E: So you ...
D: Wait, I didn't say why. Why? Because I have a passion for music. After the Creator, music is the number one joy in my life. And that within itself gave me more inspiration to live and to know that I am able to do things ... to do more things ... and that I have talent and I could show off this talent.
E: Tell us more about ... you were talking about the passion and the joy of the Creator. Is that what infuses your work?
D: Yeah. Mainly. The first thing. Everything else after.
E: Even though that means everything, what else inspires you?
D: The experiences I had in life as a child. I never thought I would turn out like this. I think I've come far, I've come a long way, because it was hard, it was rough. Just living life (sigh). God just took me out of a lot of things and made me a new person. And I don't know if it was supposed to be like this or because I asked for it or because of what I went through as a child ... this is the reward as an adult. But ... just life. Life and experiences and people ... and I love expressing how I feel. And the best way is in song.
A scene from the video
E: Would you say that your music has a particular style? Do you give it a name or do you just call it 'music'?
D: I would have limited it to a style. I got linked with some foreign producers and when they heard it they suggested 'reggae soul' or 'soul reggae' and I agreed at the time. But from when I started back to sing, because I had stopped after I had stopped school (I didn't finish school) ... after school I had stopped singing ... and when I started back to sing, I started with one style, which is reggae. Then I had jumped to another style, which is soul. And then it started changing. So I can't limit it to one style and say well, it's soul or it's jazz ... because it will keep on changing ... and I enjoy taking chances ... and I would like to do all different types of music ... to push and see just how far I can reach. Mmhhm.
E: This song, Mother to a Child ... how did that come about?
(Both laughing because it's obvious)
D: This song would be one of my greatest hits personally ... ever. I don't know what I would do next. And what has come before ... I mean, I really like them, but this song means a lot to me because ... and it came about because at the age of 30 and not having a child and not getting pregnant before that, I thought that was it. I had given up. And that's part of what the song says: you know, I had given up - that was it for me. At the age of 30 I said that that was it. No more hoping, no more wishing, waiting ... and then to find out that long after, I was pregnant. It did a lot for me. And during the early stages of the pregnancy, a little past the early stages (laugh) I was just down in a hole, I was depressed. And then I decided to do the song ... and the song just raised me up and took me out of that. So the song came about because of that - because I thought I couldn't get pregnant and I did get pregnant. And it reminded me that the Creator was still doing his work ... and I was the one who was weak. I was the one who had given up and forgotten all about that, so ... It just refreshed a lot of things in my life. The song ... yeah, yeah ... and the experience that caused the song. (laugh)
E: Anything else you would want people to know? Anything that I didn't ask that you might want somebody to know?
D: I am a pretty fun loving person with a very serious side that people often mistake because I laugh so much. I laugh a lot and they get mixed up when the other side comes on, you know? I think it goes back to the same thing - the experiences as a child. And when I did get a hang of the life ... when I did understand what the life meant to me and ... why it is so important to make the most of life and to enjoy what you have and to do everything now, it had no turning back. There is no turning back for me. I just have to do what it is I'm doing. Because it keeps working for me, you know. It keeps working over and over - the different stages, the different phases that face me. It keeps working out for me. Every time it works out, I am reminded that I am on the right track. You know?
Thank you, Delana.