“I find truth so beautiful because everyone experience’s things in different ways and no one reacts the same” Delilah Montagu confesses in reference to her drive to be as honest as possible in the opening moments of her career.
The British singer-songwriter inked a deal with Columbia Records on her 19th birthday and she laughs about how she can no longer complain about having a bad birthday after that milestone. “I used to always love complaining about my birthday because I hate the attention but I secretly love the attention at the same time” she laughs. “But now I really can’t complain without my friends reminding me that I got signed on my birthday”.
Using songwriting to figure out how she feels about a particular situation, she finds a way to express her feelings and explore the complexities of human connection. From talking about her own experiences, to observations on society as well as reflections on her friends relationships, she hasn’t limited herself in finding inspiration. And that’s what songwriting is all about. It’s about allowing yourself to be vulnerable and becoming a storyteller in your own way.
Setting her eyes on making songwriting her musical legacy, she finds inspiration in the all-time greats of songwriting. Noting Leonard Cohen and Carole King as her idols she highlights the way they wrote about their truth was so beautiful and raw compared to the likes of Bob Dylan who had a completely different way of storytelling.
With her debut EP ‘In Gold’ now out in the world, Montagu has found her unique pocket as an artist. Stripping everything back and focusing on the storytelling, she delivers pure emotions and beautiful melodies.
Lead single ‘Temptation’ is a melancholic song that is so sad within it’s roots but she finds a hope as she tries to make sense of her feelings for someone. “Why is it you are the one I choose to trust?” she candidly asks in the beautiful ballad as she addresses toxicity. “With that lyric I just wanted to scream “you’re great and I love you but WHY?” because I just didn’t understand”.
Citing recent single ‘Gold’ as her most vulnerable moment as a songwriter she explains how falling in love and trusting the process is one of the most vulnerable things we can ever do as humans. “Even though it’s a more positive song, it’s really scary being confident in the love that you feel and the love that someone feels towards you” she explains. “It’s vulnerable letting go and realising that you just need to live in the moment and not rush things because It’s scary having that confidence. That song is pretty much just me saying “Please don’t break my heart. I’m happy but anxious as fuck” she laughs.
Explaining that music has always been about self reflection for her, she admits that it’s never not been a vulnerable experience. However she’s trying to get her head around all of the firsts she’s experiencing in her career and in her personal life. “I’m really young so along with all this music stuff happening and experiencing interviews, photoshoots and releasing music for the first time I’ve been also having a lot of first real life experiences too. I feel like its compiling into one big thing as music has always been my way of getting through life. But it’s also now my job as well”
Pondering on the high emotions she adds, “I was saying to my friend yesterday how I was feeling fine when I released ‘Temptation’ and ‘Gold’ but since the release of the EP I’ve had a very emotional couple of days. Not a certain feeling of sad or happy but just a lot of emotion. I think it’s because this EP is so vulnerable at it’s core and means so much to me. Its an overwhelming feeling to adjust to but I love it”.
This collection is a massive departure to her first introduction which came as a surprising collaboration with David Guetta and Black Coffee. The EDM produced ‘Drive’ was an experimentation that Montagu confesses was something she never thought she’d do but she was open to try. Noting that she could never continue doing that genre, she also has a lot of respect for it because she genuinely loves pop. “I love Lizzo so much, so if I could collaborate with anyone right now it would be her, hands down!”.
Surrounding herself with a strong team, she never felt pressured to follow it up with another EDM collaboration as they understood her artistry. “Stripping everything back to find that vulnerability is the most important thing to me and my team are on the same page as me, which is amazing”.
With the release of ‘In Gold’ she just wants people to feel like their soul has been understood. “I remember going to see Leonard Cohen live and leaving feeling like I’m understood as a human being. That’s the power of music. It can put love into music. I want people to walk away from listening to my music and feel like they are getting a big hug and that they are understood”.
It’s in these early and intimate moments of her career that Delilah Montagu is proving to be the perfect representation of a coming of age story in fruition.