Derelyn, The Sweet Soulful Songbird

I met Derelyn in 2017. I was interning for this music showcase in New Orleans, and came across this slightly shy young woman with beautiful blonde faux locs. Standing off to the side while the event played its course, I began to engage in small talk with Derelyn and she started to tell me what she did— sing. Obviously I wanted to hear her hit a note right there, but I figured she was a performer, so I decided to wait to see her live. Her time came and she blew me away!

After the showcase, everyone exchanged information and how they could help one another move higher. Me and Derelyn kept in contact since that day. Since then, this soulful songbird has opened up for Marsha Ambrosius and Sevyn Streeter, performed at local showcases like El Williams’ famed The SoundCLASH, and headlined shows at Abstract NOLA and Baton Rouge’s 2nd annual Bloom Fest.

Between text and email, I was recently able to talk to Derelyn about her craft, being a creative and where her strong passion for singing the blues came from.

BR: Where did your passion for singing and creating music come from?

DW: My mom and church . I heard her sing a lot around the house . She was as well known for singing in high school so when I found out she stopped , I felt that I needed to carry that torch. After she realized I could sing around 4, she put me in the church choir and that’s where it all started.

BR: Your vocal range must be LEGIT being that you’ve studied opera. Have you ever thought about performing opera as an occupation?

DW: I have but only to travel the world . I’ve always had that opportunity to but I didn’t feel I would be fulfilled by singing just opera. 

BR: El Williams is probably one of the best people in New Orleans known for putting artists on to the industry. How did you both meet and when was your first SoundCLASH performance?

DW: Yes. I was looking up open mics to perform at and his just so happened to pop up from then on the rest was history. My first performance at the SoundClash was I believe in Nov.

BR: What made you take a hiatus from music?

DW: Life. But I learned that when you understand and know your purpose you must push through and sometimes take a break. But not for too long because life move fast once you in your 20 something’s.

BR: “Use Me” is probably one of my favorite songs right now. The vibe just gives me that boo’d up feel. Where did the inspiration come from with that song?  

DW: The whole 90s era. One day I was listening to Janet Jackson, SWV, and Mary J and their sounds were all different but the same vibe. While listening I wanted to create a song that was timeless. Something that you can play back if you’re in that mood. 

Check out Derelyn’s latest single “Use Me” below.

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