Written while vacationing in Naples, FL. Ohhhh, sunny day!
Ah, a great interview to start the New Year! Hopefully, despite all of the unfortunate events of late 2014, this New Year will bring happiness and some great music to all. For example, I recently had great conversation with the musical artist Deleasa, right before the holidays. It involved a conversation focused on the simple things, which are often the best. To note, solo acts are often the easiest bunch to talk to because they are just doing it without the hubbub of 5 other musicians trying to talk over one another. As for an interviewer, it is much easier to listen! Despite the solo act feel, most of the time these musicians are humble and passionate folks who are on a mission to bring music to the masses. Deleasa is one such guy.
The week before Christmas, Big Picture Media invited me to their offices to meet up with Deleasa, a solo man with some awesome tunes. After perusing his music for the last week, I was eager to say hello to this dude and learn more about his musical world. He was already in the holiday spirit with a red sweater on, FYI be sure to take a look at his ugly holiday sweaters for sale. You’ll buy one; hell I’d even wear one after the holidays for fun. He comfortably sat himself down on the fancy black and white couch in the lounge as we began our talk. (Note to self, buy this couch for my next apartment). We began our conversation on some songs of his that I had been listening to: Too Damn Beautiful, Time in the Day and Discount Paradise. I asked him if any of those three had a special significance for him; “well, Time in the Day actually was the first single and first video I had ever made, so it holds a special place for me.” A fine place indeed, it is a perfect introduction to Deleasa’s music catalogue. Once I had mentioned that particular song, it almost seemed for a split second that Deleasa began to reminisce a bit about something in the past. Who knows? It was a nice thing to see.
Deleasa brings a poppy yet funky-soul feel to his music that makes anybody happy. As he went into more detail, he elaborated more on the eclectic genre he has throughout his music. Nowadays, it seems that musicians, mainly young up and comers, have such a breadth of musical genres and inspiration to pull from. To paraphrase the great Pete Townshend, “back in the day there was only four of us! Now you have music and musicians popping up at every corner of the globe being heard.” (The Daily Show, Oct. 8, 2012) It is true! Everyday, artists like Deleasa are making music that bridge the styles of past and present. As an artist, it is a comforting thought to know art is always being made and shared. Even though the business of it all may become more difficult, the musical adventure is worth it as Deleasa so eloquently notes. “I have always been exploring artists like Buddy Guy, Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton, John Mayer and Muddy Waters. They all built off one another in some way. Something I am trying to do.” A wise choice indeed, without the various great songwriters and performers to learn from, there is no growth to be had.
Foo Fighter’s HBO Series, Sonic Highways, entered the conversation here. It is a fantastic album and a perfect segue into this next discussion. Sonic Highways is a perfect example of Deleasa’s exploration into the vast music world. For those of you who don’t know, the series follows the Foo Fighters as they travel to 8 great American cities to review the musical influences within. Interviews with artists, music producers and various other music fans help shape and describe the American songbook. At the end of each episode, the band preforms a lyrical music video originally composed by the musicians for and in the city they currently are in. Deleasa admitted that he had not seen the best episodes of which took place in New Orleans and New York. However, he did regale me with a tale on his own adventures through New Orleans in which he decided to do a little pitstop from Pensacola, FL to New Orleans before heading over to Nashville, TN (another city covered in Sonic Highways). He noted the musical pulse that permeates New Orleans and how it really is not like any other city in the United States; “there is just the live vibe that is always around. From Bourbon Street to the French Quarter, music surrounds you.” I have never been, but every time someone tells me about New Orleans, I imagine the atmosphere to be pure music for everyone who visits. Glad to hear Deleasa was able to get a taste of that. As for myself, I got to get down there.
Referring back to that ‘live vibe’ of Deleasa’s, he mentions that there is nothing truly like performing on stage. Now, a studio recording is a complex and excellent way to feature a musician’s work to the public by viable means. However, there is little moolah as well as a significant limit to what can actually be heard and modified. “I would love to do the festival circuit, Coachella for example would be great,” says Deleasa, “there are tweaks that can be done with music during a live performance which creates a moment, that moment then can be shared right then and there with the people.” One can only imagine the thrill and excitement that can unfold while a listener is right in front of you as that musical adventure is shared. Perhaps the only thing that would be better than a live performance would be Deleasa’s dream collaboration with Jamiroquai, which seems pretty legit on his part. That would be a sweet album!
2015 will be a time for Deleasa to continue putting out music. He hopes to gather a crew of fans, something he will not have a hard time with. By the way, he also does a little DJing on the side with old and new methods at hand. This is a nice complementary element that may factor into his music along the way. Another cool thing is that Mr. Deleasa is a fashion star in the making. He would love to start his own clothing company and thinks fashion is a great art form to tap into. So keep an eye out for a Deleasa clothing line in the future! All in all, Deleasa is the man of the New Year to listen to and see. He brings a fresh and fun vibe to our ears and will do the same for you all. Take a listen for your New Years resolution and enjoy!
See below for a little video sample: “Good People.”