Growing up, many rebel against what their parents like. It’s one of the sound arguments made in the ‘90s classic Clueless — when Travis laments that his feelings for his Dad’s favorite, the Rolling Stones, will likely be how his kids will feel about Nine Inch Nails. While that’s the case for most, it wasn’t for De’Borah. She grew up in a gospel loving family and noted that the musical times they shared were special memories of her childhood; but when she started to branch off and listen to her own styles she says, “I never thought of it as a rebellion, I just loved music and wanted to explore it.”
With American Gospel in her roots, this UK singer started to explore her own musical talents at a very young age. At only 11-years-old she put pen to paper and wrote about what she knew, “I think as a girl at that age it’s the first time you really start thinking about yourself – your self-image but also your values and opinions. So I mainly wrote about what it felt like being me and my feelings about the world around me. As I’ve grown I definitely feel those first signs of social commentary and introspection have carried on in my music.” Today she still writes a lot from her personal outlook on life, but the focus has switched towards the idea of heartache and alienation. Far from the 11-year-old she once was, De’Borah talked about where she’s writing from today, “My experiences, I think everyone goes through those feelings at some point in their lives, I just choose to write and sing about it. I think alienation is quite a strong word, but at the same time that’s what heartache, disappointment or even having the courage to be yourself can make you feel like – an outsider you know.”
With her dad being a bass player, it didn’t take long before she went from just writing and singing, to playing her own guitar at 13. As she continued to grow, she fell hard for the styles and sounds of Joni Mitchell, and it’s apparent when listening to both artists. Both have a stern control over their vocals, but are able to deliver delicately. When asked about Mitchell’s influence on her, De’Borah admitted what she loved most about the “Big Yellow Taxi” singer, “Her music – her melodies, chords, guitar and the way she used her voice to paint different shades and colours. On every level I think she is a genius.”
Maybe one day the two will find themselves in the presence of one another and they can sing “Case of You” together, or maybe one off of De’Borah’s latest EP, Chambers On A Sleeve. Whether she was writing at 11 or now, it’s always been a therapeutic process for her and when she really dove into her EP and had to note what track captured where she was mentally when recording she said, “I think I’d choose ‘Deep Down’ as lyrically it’s the most heartfelt I feel. Also it’s the first track I recorded and started experimenting with production-wise so, in that sense, it captures my initial aims for the whole sound of the record. I think my vocals tell that I was in a really calm and connected place with my music when I recorded it.”
Come the rest of 2016 this UK artist will start recording the follow up to Chambers On A Sleeve. De’Borah will be heading into the studio to record her first full length album. So be on the look out for that and more from De’Borah, like the tour she’s planning for February this year!