Delara, a rising multifaceted artist with a rich Iranian heritage and a global perspective, has created a distinctive musical identity and emerged as a local sensation. Her upcoming release, "Didn't you know," follows a string of successes, as she recently announced a highly-anticipated Norwegian-wide tour. Delara's journey to the forefront of the Norwegian music scene includes noteworthy achievements like her previous single, "Unbound," gaining rotation on Norway's most significant nationwide station, NRK P3. She has also made notable appearances on programs such as Nitimen and Selskapssjuk, where her charismatic personality and exceptional talent have endeared her to a diverse and appreciative audience. Delara's music, blending Persian influences with contemporary beats, serves as a harmonious bridge between East and West and is emblematic of her unique cultural fusion, making her a significant and influential figure in Norway's music scene, captivating audiences both locally and beyond.
Can you tell us more about your journey in the music industry, from co-signed by Alicia Keys to performing alongside artists like Dua Lipa, Khalid, and Kali Uchis? How have these experiences shaped your career?
These experiences are definitely motivational to me and have confirmed my belief of always going where your heart wants you to go, no matter what people or critics tell you. I didn’t choose a straightforward path, especially at the beginning of my career, singing a lot about politics and commenting on society in my songs. Many people advised me to avoid doing it, and they still do. I am a child of immigrants who eagerly discussed politics around the dinner table when I was young, and the music I have created from time to time is just a reflection of who I am. The Alicia Keys co-sign and festival bookings alongside Dua Lipa, etc., result from my belief in staying true to myself - and that nobody can fool me into thinking anything else!
"Didn't you know" has been featured in Norway's most extensive crime symbolic series, 'Gangs of Oslo,' also streaming on Netflix. How did this opportunity come about, and how has it impacted your music and visibility on a global scale?
I am not sure how that happened, but it was pretty wild hearing the song in the TV show. And then using it as the theme song? Crazy stuff! It seems like the show's going big globally, and I've got these new fans discovering my tunes through it, for which I’m grateful. I have always wanted to dive more into making music that fits TV shows and films, and this has opened up new possibilities in that space, which is exciting.
Your latest single, "Didn't You know," is a dream-pop offering combining soulful pop with thought-provoking storytelling. Can you elaborate on the inspiration behind the song and its lyrical content?
This might sound strange, but sometimes, while making a song, I get an image in my head, and I want the song to feel as close as possible to how that image looks. For example, sonically, this track is inspired by a particular part of Outkast’s “Ms.Jackson” music video. I wanted this song to sound like I remembered the outside of that spooky, slightly ruined tree house Andre3000 looked like. For the lyrical part, my inspiration was “What thoughts and feelings of mine hide inside this house?"
"Didn't You Know” delves into themes of introspection and confronting one's darkest moments. What personal experiences or insights led you to explore these themes in your music?
This song is more introspective than my earlier songs. It results from different personal experiences I have had starting from a young age, which you will hear about through all the tracks in my upcoming debut album, Shahrazad. This song, in particular, reflects on the existential aspects of life. Hopefully, the song and lyrics can impact my listeners personally by encouraging them to reflect on their experiences and emotions instead of pushing them away. It can be a source of comfort and self-discovery for someone out there.
How do you approach the creative process when creating songs with such deep and meaningful lyrics?
The deep music doesn’t necessarily have a deep and heavy process right there and then in the studio. For example, the whole approach to this track was not overthinking and letting out whatever came out in front of the mic. What comes out could be feelings bottled up for months, maybe years, that suddenly get unlocked in your mind by something simple as a sound the producer plays on the synth. Humans are too dynamic to be placed in boxes, which has been reflected dramatically in my work and catalog. My audience appreciates change and that they never know what they will get when a Delara song is about to be released.
You've described your musical journey as one of adaptation and evolution, leading to your unique sound. Could you walk us through the key moments or influences that have shaped this evolution in your music?Growing up in Norway, where most do look like me, has made me even more curious about my roots. Having a mother who shared many stories about her upbringing in Iran has been helpful. I'm a product of two cultures, drawing inspiration from both sides.
With over 100 million streams across digital streaming platforms and support from critical acclaim, your music has resonated with a massive audience. Can you share what it feels like to have such a wide-reaching impact on your music, and how do you connect with your fans on a personal level?
I always appreciate love from prominent publications, but to be one hundred percent honest, I do not read too much into critical acclaim. I don’t think it is healthy to get caught up in that as an artist cause I don’t want it to influence my creative process. My confidence, first and foremost as a musician, comes from communicating with my listeners and the energy I receive from them online, especially in real life, whether just meeting them randomly on the street or at a concert. To have such a wide-reaching impact with my music and constantly get opportunities to travel across the world and experience places and people I could never have imagined will never stop feeling surreal. And this whole experience is the root of what my debut album, Shahrazad, is about. The power of music, words, melodies, and the fascination of something so abstract significantly impact the world and people. Amid all the complexity we feel caught up in daily, it reminds me of how simple and alike we all are. I think that’s also how I connect with my fans on a personal level because they often share their stories with me on how a song has impacted their life or got them through something, and usually, we just chat from there and share our experiences.
Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you'd like to tease or share with your fans and the audience? How do you see your music evolving in the future?
A lot! I'm working on several exciting collaborations. I've been to Miami, Toronto, Karachi, Jakarta, and London to work on some projects I can't wait for everyone to see. I want to continue exploring new sounds and have many ideas I'm working on. Right now, though, my entire focus is on an upcoming tour where I'll meet my fans, which I'm really excited about. I'm also traveling to create new music with inspiring people. My long-term goal is for my music to reach as many people as possible, and I'll still strive to be a voice for those who need it.