by Jacob Wingate-Bishop

Lip gloss. Black PVC, eyeshadow and brooding glares. Scenes of utter decadence against a backdrop of distorted guitar and psychedelic self-reflection. The 21st century’s answer to Marc Bolan. Enter D3lta, in the video for his new single, ‘Hello’ – released ahead of an upcoming EP, his debut collection of material.

Recently, I had the chance to ask up-and-coming musician D3lta (who’s already got three singles under his belt prior to ‘Hello’) some questions about his music, his life and all the things which make him tick. In return, his answers proved as hypnotic as the music videos and lyrical themes would make you expect. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Congrats on the new single, it sounds incredible! How does it feel now that it’s out there?

Thank you very much! It feels really good when you’ve been working hard to finish a song and then you’re finally able to share it with the world. Now we’re working on the next set of songs, so haven’t had too much time to enjoy it, but at my last gig in Athens people were singing the chorus back at me, which was insane.

Lyrically, what’s ‘Hello’ about?

The song was written during lockdown and its very much about overcoming your own metaphorical ‘quarantine rules’. Fear can isolate you from both the people around you, but also from going after life choices that you want to pursue deep down. It’s the theme of inner battle that we tried to capture in the music video as well.

How long did it take to write?

It’s a funny story, ‘cause I had started writing ‘Hello’ on my own, but couldn’t figure out how to get from the chorus back to the verse. The guitarist who plays in the band, Aggelos, came by the house one day and played me a random riff that he had written. I didn’t think much of it at first, but then when I went to bed at night and was singing the chorus, I had an epiphany of just sticking the riff after the chorus, went to the studio and finished the rest of the song that night.

‘Hello’ definitely has something of that 1970s, glam rock swagger to it – very Måneskin. How did that come about?

Haha! Yes, I’ve been getting this reaction since ‘Hello’ was released. I do enjoy outrageous costumes when performing, but in this case the nature of the song allowed me to go a step further. I love glam rock as a vibe, and I think that nowadays fewer artists are exploring the fashion angle of music.

‘Hello’ is somewhat similar to your first single, ‘Hypocrites’, but still different from most of your work. Did you set out to do something different, or did it just happen?

I try to follow each song where it wants to take me, so when I’m writing music, I don’t think too much about where it fits with the rest of the songs. In the upcoming EP, this is going to become clearer as the genre is influenced by the subject of the song more than anything else. ‘Strange’ for example was written about a tumultuous relationship and having distorted guitars wouldn’t really fit. On the other hand, a song like ‘Hello’ or ‘Hypocrites’, that has a stronger message, needs that driven sound for the emotion and intent to come across.

What was it like working with Thomas Mitchener for the production of ‘Hello’?

Mitch has a real talent for making people feel very comfortable in the studio and that vibe translates to the songs as well. Although we met with Gareth Grover on drums and Toby Newcombe on bass at the recording studio and our schedule was tight, it didn’t feel like it. Also, having worked with bands like Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, I can’t think of anyone who could bring ‘Hello’ to life as astonishingly as Mitch did.

Do you think you’ll do more stuff in the style of ‘Hello’?

In terms of sound, ‘Hello’ is at the end of the spectrum of rock, so most of the other songs that I’ve written aren’t as heavy. I definitely want to explore the creation of characters and a more theatrical element in my songs.

‘Hello’ is taken from your upcoming EP. How would you describe the EP – its themes and sound, etc.?

The EP has a glam rock/alt rock feel to it overall. The EP is about embracing all sides of yourself and not trying to polish anything out because it’s not how you’re supposed to be feeling about a situation. That goes all the way from being confused in a relationship, to wishing you could be there for another person and realising you can’t, and even waking up one day and feeling super confident and ready to take on the day.

When can we expect the EP to drop? I want to hear more!

I’m very happy to say that the EP is nearly done, we’re at the final stages of mixing, and it will be released early 2023. I am so excited to finally release a body of work, I think it’ll really help people understand where I’m coming from and what I’m about.

Will the EP include your previous three singles, or is it entirely new material?

It will include ‘Strange’, ‘Hello’ and three new songs!

When you returned to Greece, you had spent so much of your life in the UK that you became known as a ‘British sounding songwriter in Athens’. How do you think this shaped your image? Was it beneficial, or quite the opposite?

Well, because my mom is from Manchester and I grew up culturally in a British environment, that has always been part of my identity. I don’t think that it has shaped my image that much, but it has helped me differentiate myself from other Greek singer songwriters in the local scene.  After being in London and part of a very vibrant music space, it helped me really hone my songwriting and performance skills which is what I believe made the difference in getting attention in the Greek scene.

‘Strange’, another song of yours, reached the Top 40 in Greece. How did that feel?

It was pretty amazing seeing the song loved and shared by so many people. I remember when we sent it to a radio station in Athens a week before release to consider playing it, and they told us that they would start playing it immediately on heavy rotation without the song being anywhere online. People were Shazam-ing the song and couldn’t find it, which was pretty surreal. I am very grateful the song did so well, and it has inspired me to continue writing more music.

From ‘Hypocrites’ through to ‘Hello’, it’s clear you’re not afraid to be experimental. But what thread – if there is one – would you say weaves throughout your work?

Well, I’m not sure that there is a common thread sonically or musically. If there one though, it’s that I try to express the moment or a particular feeling in the truest possible way without restricting myself by boundaries.

How did you get into music?

I was surrounded by the arts from a young age. My mother makes candles and jewellery, which was always exciting, helping her out on weekends. My father plays the piano, and my grandma used to be a singer. I started playing the piano when I was 5, but then got into music when I picked up the guitar at 12 and started listening to Green Day, blink-182 and the whole punk rock movement of the mid-2000s.

What advice would you give to a young person today?

I’d say don’t be so hard on yourself. We tend to want everything to work out a certain way having a preconceived timeline, but life has its own pace. It’s about doing what you feel in your heart is right, whether that’s being with a certain person or pursuing a certain career, and down the line life will reward you if you trust the process.

It’s a cliché question to ask, but what advice would you give to an aspiring singer/songwriter?

I’d say that it isn’t specific to singer-songwriters, but my advice is to not give up if this is what you love doing. Keep writing, keep performing and out of nowhere if you believe in yourself others will start too. It definitely isn’t the case that people believe in you before you start being successful.

A huge thank you to D3lta for this interview, and congrats again on the new single. You can stream ‘Hello’ on all services now, and look forward to his first body of work dropping in early 2023.