Emerging singer-songwriter Damélola talks musical influences, most meaningful song and her empowering latest release ‘Forever’

Photo Credit:: Ali Zaidi

Damélola is a singer, composer, producer and lyricist from London, commonly recognised for her cool quirky lyrics and versatility in songwriting, as well as thought-provoking music material. She has honed her own sound, combining R&B sensibilities with Pop-Soul/Funk stylings.

What inspired you to begin a career in music?

I’ve been singing and performing since I was about 9. At home, my mum used to play a variety of music, from Bill Withers to Gabrielle to Shaggy (haha). I was always on my feet dancing and singing along every time! I began listening, writing and being inspired by artists such as Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan and Fantasia, by their voices but also their stories and hustle to success. So I’d say those as well as my mum (she is the queen of hustle!).
What differs you and your sound from other upcoming artists in the music industry?

All the music I listened to back then, I still listen to now. That’s definitely something that was important – creating timeless music and music that connects. I don’t like to box myself into a category – I’m free spirited and exude self-expression.

Your latest release ‘Forever’ is out now. Can you please describe the creative process and explain the meaning behind the single?

When I first started writing this song, I noticed I was writing from an outsider’s perspective. It was like my future self was talking to my younger self. It naturally developed into an empowering song, as it was so relatable to many women I knew. A very enjoyable process, with that ‘chase your dreams regardless’ vibe.

Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as a musician, when you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?

I have always had the mentality of being grateful for what you have and life generally. Having a positive outlook on life is so important for me. It’s simply going through a bad situation and instead of saying ‘I give up’ you say ‘what can I do better next time?’ My family and friends have been an amazing support system also, so I’m thankful for them. I believe my gift was meant to be shared, so I’ll keep going until that’s achieved worldwide!

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

Ah so many to choose from. One that comes to mind is an unreleased song called Mis. It’s a very heartfelt downtempo R&B song with play-on words (such as misunderstood, mistake etc, hence the title). I wrote that song from a very painful situation in the past, and to this day I still get emotional sometimes when singing it.

Throughout your musical career, have you experienced any ‘wow’ moments? Those moments that you stop to reflect and can’t believe you are where you are?

Again so many, I’m truly so grateful! One would be winning a competition to perform main stage at the Mighty Hoopla festival, opening for Chaka Khan. THE Chaka Khan! My first ever UK festival too – what an experience! I always reflect on every achievement as I’m so happy to have progressed and grown more than I did yesterday.

Photo Credit: Julia Palenova Lawrie

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

Ask yourself ‘Is this what I want to do for the foreseeable future?’ and ‘Do I LOVE music?’. If both answers are yes, then go for it. Ignore the pressures of society and do you! Stay positive no matter the outcome and most importantly, be HAPPY!

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

I plan to release some projects soon, create more content and just keep growing as a creative overall. I’ll always be learning new things and hope for great things in the near future.

Did you learn any new skills during lockdown?

I’m a super curious creative and love learning, so yes! I learnt beat-making and improved my skills in vocal engineering, and media. I’m intrigued to learn much more.

Anything else you would like to add?

The ‘Forever’ music video will be released on October 16th so be sure to subscribe to my channel and check it out! Stay blessed!

‘Forever’ is available now via all major platforms.

Connect with Damélola

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

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