We had the honor of talking with the talented Delaney Gibson about her career, her favorite TV shows, and what’s next for the singer. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell me a little bit about how you got started in music?
Delaney: I’ve pretty much been doing it my whole life, since five. That was my first performance. It was for a school play in kindergarten. I had the best memory in the class, so they gave me the part. They didn’t even know if I could sing. Turned out I could, and I went from there. I started studying classically when I was nine and really have done nothing else with my life. Ever since I got the bug, I’ve had to do it.
Did you have a lot of pressure when you started recording to sound or look a certain way?
Delaney: Oh yeah. And I’ve gone through a million different styles and music and whatnot just because it was really hard to just listen to myself and not listen to other people. When I first started out, I started doing my own music. I was about fifteen, and I had a manager that wanted me to be a cross between Courtney Love and Britney Spears. It was terrible. It was the worst thing ever. It started with that, and they wanted me to be a pop singer. It just wasn’t me at all. This is the first record I’ve been 100% me and it’s the type of music I want to do, so I finally got it right.
How does the song creation process work for you? Do the lyrics come first or does the melody come first?
Delaney: It’s different every time. A lot of times I’ll sit at the piano and on my guitar and write the music, and then I’ll write the lyrics later. Sometimes I’ll have a melody in my head, but it’s always different. I’ll dream a song. So it’s just always a different process.
Where does the inspiration for your lyrics come from?
Delaney: I always lie and say it’s not real, but they are pretty much about my life. But it’s kind of hard when your diary is being read to everyone in front of you, so I always say oh this was just made up in my head. Sometimes it’s my imagination but most of the time it’s just real life stuff.
Speaking of that do you have a song that you would say is the most personal for you or most dear to your heart?
Delaney: They are all really personal songs and a song on my last album “I Think I Have O.C.D.” is a true depiction. It’s a funny, silly song, but that was pretty true life. And then my song “Chicago” too.
I love that song. I think that is my favorite one from your CD.
Delaney: That’s my favorite too. I’m working on my second album, and we’re kind of going more in that direction of music.
I know you were nominated for numerous Mavric Awards. Is that right?
I know they have a ton of artists that are submitted for consideration. Can you talk a little bit about those awards and your nominations?
Delaney: Yeah, this is the second year that they’ve done it. It’s kind of like the Grammys for Ventura County. It’s my hometown, so it’s pretty cool. There are like ten categories this time. I won two awards last year, so that was pretty cool. It’s just a great thing to bring artists together in the community. We did a show last night with some of the nominees.
I’m just really excited that I got nominated at all. If I win, great, if not, whatever. It’s just really cool to spend so much time on a record and have people acknowledge your work.
So when are the awards given out?
Delaney: The award show is on February 22nd, and I think people can vote online until the 31st of January, then it’s closed, and the 22nd is the show.
I’ve heard your cover of “Creep” which is amazing by the way. Do you do any other covers?
Delaney: I do a lot of covers. It depends on the show. I do “Mad World” by Gary Jewels. A little bit of Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights.” Those are a few of the big ones. Actually, I might put a cover of a Paul McCartney song called “Goodbye” on the album I’m working on now. It’s never been recorded , but we might put that one on there.
Now with the cover songs, how do you take them and make them your own? What is that process like?
Delaney: It’s a little bit easier, because I usually only take cover songs that are done by guys. I rarely cover a girl singer, because it’s so hard to get away from what they sounded like. So right off the bat it’s a little bit easier to make it your own. I really just have to relate to the song, and then it just kind of happens naturally. I’ve had big cover songs in the past where I really didn’t like the song, and it was just really hard.
Yeah, it probably helps if you like the song. Now what’s the most memorable gig you have had?
Delaney: The coolest thing I ever did was in Wales, and I sang on the BBC. There were like 2000 people in the audience at the time. It was for a competition like singer of the world kind of thing. That was probably the best gig I’ve ever had, I love the BBC.
That’s awesome. How old were you then?
Delaney: It wasn’t too long ago. A couple of years.
I know you got your degree in music, and I know a lot of musicians forgo the whole college thing. Do you think majoring in music is something that makes a noticeable difference, and would it be something you recommend that other musicians do?
Delaney: Luckily, when I was raised I really studied voice, and I didn’t study a lot of instruments. I don’t know if that’s lucky or not actually. I taught myself piano and guitar, and I really didn’t have any rules. That’s the one thing about school that I don’t like is you lose a little bit of your creativity, because they tell you “You have to do it this way, and you have to do it that way.” You don’t go outside the box for song writing or anything. Luckily for me, I’m just really stubborn, so it worked. If somebody tells me I’m not going to do something, I’m like “Oh I’m going to do that.”
It was a really good experience for me, and when I’m with a band I can talk the lingo, so it kind of speeds up the process. But for creativity it doesn’t, it is a little stifling at times, because you’re just kind of stuck in a rut. I was such a bad student. I would just sit in the practice room and write songs instead of actually going to class. So I would recommend it, and I wouldn’t.
And that’s the most vague answer ever [Laughs].
[Laughs] It just depends on the person.
Delaney: Yeah. It definitely does.
Now the graphic style of your website and your Myspace compliment your sound perfectly I think. Do you get a lot of input with that or how involved with that are you?
Delaney: I do all the graphics by myself.
Delaney: It’s freelance to make a living.
Oh that’s awesome. You do a great job with it.
Delaney: Thank you. And I’m open to do anyone else’s if they would like to pay me. That’s like a great way for me to make money while I don’t have a show or something. I can do it at 4 in the morning when I have nothing else to do. I’ve got great photographers who did my pictures, but everything else is all me.
Well that’s amazing. Usually with artists they are so far detached from that side of things. That’s really cool you do it yourself.
Delaney: I’m lucky enough I know how to do it, but I kind of learned how to do it out of necessity. I didn’t have any money to pay anyone when I first started out, so I was like “I have to have flyers and I have to have a website, so I’m just going to learn how to do it.” And now I’m doing it for other people. It kind of worked out.
I know you’re also a member of the Screen Actors Guild so tell me a little bit about that. Do you have any dreams of acting or it is just kind of to promote your music on shows?
Delaney: Ya know, I got into it. I’ve done a few acting jobs, and mainly the only roles I’ve done have involved singing. For me, I don’t have a love for acting. I would hate to take away somebody’s role, because I really don’t love acting. I love singing, so most of the ones I have taken have been of a singer. But it’s fantastic money, it’s really good work, and if the work comes along, and I get a part that’s great. It’s wonderful, but I don’t plan on really pursuing it unless it involves a singing role.
I was on Baywatch which definitely isn’t singing. It was really dumb, but it was funny that I can say I was on Baywatch [Laughs].
[Laughs] That’s awesome. What was your role in that?
Delaney: I was a girl that runs on the beach. And I got tickled by David Hasselhoff, so that was kind of creepy [Laughs].
[Laughs] That’s a good story to tell! Now I know a couple musicians that I interviewed in the past that didn’t really care a whole lot about acting, but they took on regular type roles on various television series as a musician.
Delaney: I would love to do that. If someone wants to call me for that, it would be fine. Anything that’s a good story or anything for exposure and helps somebody buy my CD, then I will do it. It would be fun too.
Do you have any favorite television shows?
Delaney: Oh my gosh yes! I cannot live without Lost and The Office. Those are two that I can’t live without. Also 24 and I’m a big House fan.
I saw in your blog you were watching True Blood at one point. Did you enjoy that?
Delaney: Dexter, True Blood…. I want to be Suki Stackhouse. I just love her accent. In another life I could be her and be very happy.
So what’s next for you?
Delaney: Working on a second album. We’re actually working on it right now. I’m going to go in to record it in March. I’m going to the East Coast in March as well in April to tour. I think I’m just going to try and get that album out by the summer time and then go on tour for the whole summer. That’s what I’m focusing on right now.
Interview By: Emma Loggins