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On first listen to Delilah Holliday’s music, you’d be forgiven for not immediately clocking the connection to her previous band Skinny Girl Diet. Emerging from London’s DIY communities, the band gained something of a cult following thanks to their fierce feminist punk, music that, sonically at least, seems a world away from her sleek new R&B influenced sound. - “I was always kind of self-conscious about it!” Delilah tells Clash. “It was always on the back burner until a couple of years ago. Then, I just thought this is making me really happy and I just want other people to hear it.”

Calling from her partner’s house in South East London, she notes how her new music seems, in many ways, very appropriate to the year we’ve just gone through - dreamlike, introspective yet laced with vivid realisation. Newest single ‘Devoted 2 U’ is a self-described “abstract love song” about the importance of prioritising the people and things that make you happy, whereas previous release ‘Falling Into Place’ expresses frustration with how society puts pressure on us to chase money over experiences.

“That whole viewpoint is not really conducive to appreciating life and being grateful for what you do have. You're constantly just wanting the next thing,” she explains. It’s this theme of genuine connection to the world around us that forms the basis for her first solo EP ‘Collective Consciousness’. “It’s that whole idea of us all being in the same storm, but some of us not having the same opportunities. It was an opportunity for the human race to move as a unit.” She adds with a laugh: “Of course, everything got in the way and politicians had to act like assholes…”

Like most of us, a year without live music has left Delilah with an eagerness to throw herself back in front of an audience as soon as possible, but she admits there’s an anxiety there, too. “I’m still in the same place - technically - but mentally, I feel like I'm a different person,” she notes. “I keep switching between like, am I gonna get super anxious? Or am I going to get wasted? It's probably a bit of both! I'm ready to fight through it though, after being in my room for so long. I'm ready now.” With new music this strong, we’ll want to be back right in the front row with her.

WHAT: Stylish R&B with raw sonics
WHERE: London
3 Songs: ‘Devoted 2 U’, ‘Falling Into Place’, ‘Goddess Energy’

FACT: Delilah previously played in feminist punks Skinny Girl Diet alongside her sister and her cousin. 

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'Collective Consciousness' is out now.

Words: Rachel Finn
Fashion: Zarina Shukri
Photography: Sophie Mayanne

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