The interview that you’re about to read is with a talented young lady who released her second solo album in the summer and is currently on a UK tour. I’m talking about Denai Moore, singer-songwriter born in Jamaica and based in London, whose music style has been categorised mainly as soul and pop-folk. If you want to see her live, the closest she will get to York is on 3rd October in Leeds.
Although she has a very busy schedule at the moment, Denai was very nice to take a few minutes of her time to answer to some of my questions. So, right before she was going on stage, because she had a show in Brighton that evening, we had a chat over the phone about her music. Here’s what she had to say.
You’re in the middle of your We Used To Bloom UK tour. How has it been so far?
Oh, it’s been amazing! It’s so rewarding, especially because this time last year I’d just finished recording the album. It was recorded all through September. I actually played London on my birthday. And this new live show is so much fun, I play quite a few different things.
What’s one thing you love about touring?
Travelling to different cities, because it’s a reminder of how music really connects us all. It’s the one thing that blows my mind, especially when I go to cities I’ve never been to before, and just be there with people because of music. I write music on my own in my bedroom and it’s amazing to see how impactful it can be on someone else’s life.
Should we expect you to come to York in the near future?
Yes, hopefully! I definitely look forward to it.
Is there a place in the world where you’ve never been but you’d love to have a gig there?
I’d love to play in Spain, just because I played around Europe quite a lot, which is always really fun and the audience is so different. It’s so much more appreciative. I found that around Europe people appreciate your presence more and I’m keen to see what the audience looks like over there. Or even Japan! I’d love to play in Japan. I went there for three weeks last year for holiday and I fell in love with the place and the culture.
You released in the summer your second solo album called We Used To Bloom. Why do you think people should listen to it?
It means a lot more to me than my first record and I played a lot more on this album for sure. Me and the producer of the record became friends by the end of the album and it’s really fun as well to work with someone that I can call one of my favourite people. I think the album reflects me more, it’s more daring, more personal. I’m a lot older, I’ve had a lot more life lessons and I learned a lot about myself as well and I think the record is very representative of me.
Why is the album called “We Used To Bloom”?
It’s because I think I’ve become a better version of myself and I grew into an adult as well.
Do you have a favourite song from this album?
I’d say ‘Does It Get Easier?’ is the most rewarding because it was the hardest song to write. It took us a while to actually get each part of the song right. There’s a lot happening in this song.! So, it was really rewarding finishing it. I’d pick ‘Does it get easier?’ because of that.
You’re only at the beginning of your 20s but you’ve accomplished so much already, so you seem to be a hard-working person. Do you have time for activities that normal young adults do such as watching TV shows, going out and so on?
Yes, of course! I think it’s really important to just step out of the studio world because it’s really easy to just be stuck in that world. So, definitely, I always make time for myself outside of it. I love reading and going to local bookstores, eating in really cool restaurants and stuff like that.
I read that you’re originally from Jamaica. Does your origin have an influence on your music?
Not necessarily. I’m a fan of Jamaican music but I wouldn’t say it directly has an influence on my music. Maybe in the sense of me rebelling against it as a teenager. I guess I’m more interested in the culture and just the beauty of the country. I went there quite recently and it really spoke to me, just the surroundings and how green it is. Especially because I live in London. I had a lot of inspiration just based on my surroundings. So, I think the influence comes more from being around the country as opposed to the music scene that comes with Jamaica.
Which is the next milestone that you want to reach in your career?
I think I really want to keep writing and keep pushing myself. It’s really important to challenge yourself. But I think all the best musicians do it and I really respect that.
Denai Moore comes to Leeds on 3rd October at Headrow House. We Used To Bloom is out now.