With her single "Loud", London-based musician, Delilah Montagu, wants people to know that being vulnerable is cool and sexy.
[Article originally published on 25 September 2020]
From keeping her feelings close to her chest to wearing her heart on her sleeve, Delilah Montagu’s latest single “Loud” captures the moment in time where a shy, unsure woman bloomed into an empowered, confident inspiration. Written in Los Angeles with Delilah’s new confidant and acclaimed producer Robin Hannibal (Rhye, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak), the anthemic track charts Montagu’s journey towards self-love and discovering pride in her identity.
Born from a headspace of being confused about her sense of self, “Loud”, is a no-holds-barred expression of who Montagu is, signifying self-assurance in her ability to forge healthy connections with other people without losing herself in the process. By owning her story of battling addiction, heartbreak, and shame, Montagu has struck the explosive power that lays dormant in honest vulnerability.
In no way an easy journey to have made, impassioned songwriter and soulful singer, Delilah Montagu was pensive and stuck in the confines of her inability to be honest with the world during the release of her critically acclaimed ‘In Gold’ EP last year. Now with “Loud”, she emerges stronger and unstoppable, as she proudly shares her love for her girlfriend online, takes the reins on the creative processes, and becomes the driving force in her relationships.
At only 22 years of age, Delilah Montagu establishes with her world-wise touch that no matter who you might be, there is emboldened power in loving yourself. So be loud and be sure of yourself as you are now.
In conversation with Notion, Montagu delves into her evolution as a singer/songwriter, examines the impact of introspection in her lyricism, the best and most frustrating parts of making music, which parts of her personality are still touched by raw vulnerability, and much more.
Your single “Loud” follows you going from someone who is unsure and shy to a confident, empowered person. How did this track come to symbolise this turning point? What inspired it?
The track is a metaphor for being confident and sure of yourself in everything you do. I wanted to write a song to symbolise the moment when I realised I wasn’t afraid to be loud, even if I know I will always be changing.
Which three words best describe your creative process?
Vulnerable, tireless, and honest.
From your debut single “Version of Me” to “Loud”, you’ve grown more self-assured as a person. To what extent has your music helped you along in your journey of self-discovery? On the flip side, to what extent has your introspection impacted your music?
I think that my music has always been self-expressive, even when I was more introspective and so whilst I wasn’t as brutally honest lyrically, it still portrayed that part of me that didn’t want to give everything away. Now I write in a very exposing way and music has helped me to express things that I struggle talking about. For example in my song “Version Of Me”, I say, “I don’t have the words but I need to talk about it”. I find the words more naturally through poetry, which vicariously allows me to express myself and my deepest inner thoughts
Would you say your songwriting is intentionally following a narrative of fearless vulnerability or did this happen organically?
Organically! I have been striving for my whole life to be able to have the courage to be vulnerable, and that courage isn’t something I could ever fake or intentionally create. I feel very lucky to be able to have a virtual diary of self-growth when I look back at my first EP to the songs I’m writing now.
Having traced your growth till now, is there a message or advice you’d give your younger self?
To be honest, I think that all of the crazy beliefs I had when I was younger brought me to where I am now. For example, I thought I had to be super skinny if I was going to be successful, and I thought I had to write songs about imaginary heartbreaks. If I hadn’t thought that and ended up being unhappy when chasing that, then I might not have ended up in the place I am in today of total unapologetic confidence in who I am.
Looking forward, how do you hope to evolve artistically?
Oh wow I mean that’s a huge question! I just want to be able to be as honest as I can be at any given stage or time in my life. I want to hone in on my craft as a guitarist and pianist and songwriter, and let the music naturally take me to new places that I couldn’t possibly predict!
Are there any specific parts of you that still remain vulnerable that you’re yet to shape with confidence? How do you hope to use your music to further explore and improve yourself?
So many parts! I feel like there will always be so much vulnerability, I’m not sure it’s possible to be free from it. I am still compulsively checking Spotify and YouTube for how many plays I have and then comparing it to other artists. It’s something I’m working on at the moment because it ultimately wastes time and leaves me feeling bad.
If listeners could take one overarching message from your music what would you want that to be and why?
Being vulnerable is sexy and cool.
What’s been the most surreal moment of your career? What’s on your bucket list as an artist?
Definitely going to South Africa and playing in front of 30k people with Black Coffee!
My dream since I was young is to play a headline show at the Royal Albert Hall.
Finally, what is the most rewarding part of making music? What’s the most frustrating part?
The rewards for me are in the feeling of finishing a song that you know is so honest and true to you and then receiving messages from people saying they can relate to it. The most frustrating part is FINISHING. Starting is easy, it’s the finishing that’s hard.