Last week I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Canadian sweetheart Darrelle London over the phone and she opened up about her latest album Eat A Peach, her love for RVs and when she’s finally satisfied with her work! Check it out below!
(Rebecca Amare): Perez Hilton is a huge fan of yours; tell me how much influence he’s had on introducing people to your music?
(Darrelle London): He’s had a huge influence on my career. Of course things lead to other things I find, it’s kind of a snowball effect…but when I look back, if anything was a tipping point, it definitely would be when he first started supporting my music. So I’m obviously very grateful that he chooses to use his platform to showcase emerging artists.
(Rebecca Amare): Speaking of emerging artists, you recieved the Bell Emerging Artists Award in May 2012, what did that mean to you?
(Darrelle London): It was very, very flattering. I’ve never had support from commercial radio before, and I honestly didn’t really expect it, but I went in and played for the staff at CHUM FM in Toronto, and they were great and they added my single ‘Fine’. They are a Bell station and a lot of the Bell stations kind of look to what CHUM is doing, so that was huge. Then CHUM nominated me for Bell Emerging and then I got it! So, I’m so appreciative for that support and that meant airplay all across the country on commercial radio, and because I’ve never had commercial radio support, I didn’t know how much of an influence it would have, but the response has been amazing! It’s this amazing tool to connect with more people through my music and I’ve been having people reach out to me everyday, so it’s been a huge help at this time when I’m just launching my new CD…so yeah it’s been great.
(Rebecca Amare): Let’s talk about your writing process. Even Perez Hilton describes your music as very pure and pretty… Is this the vibe you’re going for when people listen to something of yours?
(Darrelle London): When I’m writing I’m not really thinking about the end product, I’m just kind of trying to get a bit of emotion out there. So when I’m writing I’m not necessarily going for that, I just try to be honest and have fun with songwriting and have fun with the topics that I’m writing about like relationships and awkward moments and just things I like to write about, like RV’s. So maybe that’s what comes across but I try not to take it to seriously for the most part so that might be where that comes from.
(Rebecca Amare): How do your new songs differ from your older material?
(Darrelle London): Well when I first started writing in high school, everything was very melodramatic. It was a lot of first heartbreak and that sort of thing. Even though I’ve always been a generally happy person, people would listen to my first songs and ask me ‘are you okay?’ because all of my angst would come out in my music. But since then I try to see more humour in things and I think that is reflected in my writing. I think just with time and experience you get a bit of perspective on things like heartbreak. Not that it’s not incredibly painful in the moment, but when your able to step back from it you can kind of see the humour and irony in relationship. I try to focus on that more and obviously I have some songs that are a bit more on the melancholy side, but overall it’s just not so dramatic.
(Rebecca Amare): In your music career, what was a major roadblock or obstacle that you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?
(Darrelle London): That’s a good question because ….everything! (laughter) It’s just hard, you know? It’s a really competitive industry. A lot of people want to do what I want to do. I think it’s just been about getting my music out there. I love the internet and I love the tools that it provides and I love that I can have a relationship with my fans because of it, but it’s still hard to sort of stand out and do the things you need to do to reach new fans and connect with them. I’ve been doing this for about four and half years and it’s generally been a slow build. Like I said, there’s obviously things like Perez Hilton that’s a huge help and there have been some things… I’ve been so lucky and had some great opportunities, but it’s not an easy career path.
(Rebecca Amare): ‘Eat A Peach’ is your latest album, what does eat a peach mean?
(Darrelle London): Well, I was having a lot of trouble naming this record for whatever reason. I would brainstorm for days and come up with nothing. I was thinking about records that had been named after colours and the only colour I could really associate with my record is peach, for whatever reason. That reminded me of a line from my favourite TS Elliot poem ‘The Love Song J Alfred Prufrock’…and the line is ‘Do I dare to eat a peach’. It’s about this man looking back on his life with regret because he never took a chance or he never was his true self. With this record and what I am trying to do with it is basically just putting a piece of myself out there and taking a chance and seeing what happens but I least I won’t look back on my life and regret that I didn’t do something like that.
(Rebecca Amare): Are you ever really completely satisfied with your work?
(Darrelle London): Being in the studio and recording is very stressful for me because I do have a lot of trouble letting go and calling something complete. So when I’m in that process I’m never satisfied. I will never be satisfied with a mix or a performance in the studio but I find that anxiety kind of goes away once I finally pry my fingers of it and get it mixed and mastered and there’s really nothing else you can do. So I try not to preoccupy myself with those little things that bothered me, and frankly they generally stop bothering me but I do definitely have a lot of trouble being in the studio calling something finished and letting go.
(Rebecca Amare): What are you a best fan of?
(Darrelle London): Well I am obsessed with RVs like I mentioned. I’m on the road a lot in my car, and whenever I see an RV on the road, I just get so jealous because I think they’re awesome and adorable, especially the tiny little ones, so I day dream about that a lot.
(Rebecca Amare): What can we expect from you in the future?
(Darrelle London): I just hope to just keep making music. I know that sounds kind of generic and lame but I really just want to basically be doing what I’m doing, but obviously reaching out and connecting with more people. Touring Canada… I’ve never toured across Canada, never hit up a lot of western Canada. Being on the road and playing on stage, that’s when I’m happiest and most myself. So basically just doing the things I need to do, to be in that situation. In terms of future records and writing…co-writing is a little bit new to me still, this is the first record I’ve done any co-writing on and that was only four songs, so I’d like to keep writing with different people and keep learning different things. At this point I have no idea what the next record is going to be like because when I finished a record, I’m just so creatively spent and thinking about promoting it so I haven’t even thought about the next record, but I just hope that there is a next record and that I can keep doing what I love.