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Rapper DeLon Talks About U.S. Tour And Upcoming EP ‘Awake’

DeLon is a DJ, producer, singer/rapper born and raised in LA with roots in Sri Lanka. He offers a unique sound by combining electronic beats with hip-hop. DeLon has worked with popular artists such as Ty Dolla $ign and has opened as a DJ/rapper for Anderson .Paak. You might know DeLon for his 2013 “Pretty Girls” video, which received #1 MTV Most Popular Music Video. At a very young age DeLon knew he wanted to be a musician. He started DJing at age 12, and at age 14 he was inspired to become a rapper, after watching another student freestyle on top of a cafeteria table. Age 19, he started producing electronic/hip-hop music. From there, DeLon’s career took off.


Through his music, DeLon hopes to create a positive change within society, by emphasizing the importance of staying true to oneself. In 2015, DeLon released two singles off of his forthcoming EP, Awake titled “Middle Earth” and “For Real.” He also opened up for R&B singer Eric Bellinger during Bellinger’s 14-date tour. DeLon’s recent release is titled “Stronger,” which dropped in March and marks the third single off of Awake, which encourages fans to resist pressures caused by society. DeLon sat down with Melina Joseph from 24/7 Hollywood to discuss his experience during his first U.S. tour with Bellinger and what fans can expect from his upcoming EP, Awake.

Take me back to your first night on tour. What were your thoughts? How were you feeling?

I was nervous! We were in Seattle, and I was pacing up and down, and I’m never nervous. But the thing is, it’s the crowd. So like, we were in Portland, and it was more suburban. When I get out to a crowd that’s large like that, my automatic assumption is, “Okay I have to turn everybody.” And that takes a lot of my energy. So yeah, I was damn nervous. I think the next thing that has to be done though is a real college tour.


Is touring in the U.S. what you expected it to be like?

It is, it is. I like it a lot. But you never really get it right your first time. First show I changed it, second show I changed it, third show I changed it, fourth show I think I got it right. I hope next time I have the right public, that’s the main thing. Like, the right fan base. The right fan base changes everything.


How was it like sharing a stage with Eric Bellinger?

Being on his bill is great. He’s a fucking incredible guy and his manager is awesome. They’re just really nice people and that’s why I went on [this] tour.


What was your favorite city to perform in?

Portland! It was off the chain. The people were just crazy! They were just having a good time, yelling and screaming. You know what I mean? I think they were just more like music lovers. It didn’t matter whether the song had been on the radio or not. They listened to the song for the value of the song at that moment. So that made it easier to do the show.


What song did you enjoy performing the most?

I’ll tell you what my hardest song is to perform. My last song, “Stronger,” because the hook is another guy singing, and I like his voice better than mine.


Who is the guy singing?

His name’s Nick Capelle. He’s kind of got a rock voice. It’s very rough sounding. So during the hook I’m always wondering, “What am I supposed to do? Run around here!?” That’s the hardest one because the other ones I’m singing all the hooks. I know what the funnest one is now. It’s “They stuck on that dumb shit for real” (his second single “For Real”) because everybody gets that shit on the first try. Everybody’s going crazy and I’m like “yeaaahhhh!”


Speaking of “For Real,” this track marked the first video release off of your upcoming EP, Awake. How was it watching the complete project?

When I saw the outcome of it, I thought it was very clever because there’s a bunch of hot girls in the video. But the whole point is to show that you don’t need plastic surgery, you’re already pretty. But it was great to see. I thought it was a great video. We shot seven videos in three days. We have a whole project, like a 20-minute project of the whole EP. So that will come out later. It’s all one story, so “For Real” is one part of that story.

What can we look forward to in Awake?

Okay so the first track is just an introduction to who I am. The second track is called “Gravity,” and it’s about being from outer space. It’s very spacious, it’s really out there. The third song is “Stronger.” It’s like, this is who I am, this is where I came from, and now I’m here. Next song is called “Middle Earth” which is about being reincarnated over and over again. Next song is “For Real,” so it’s kind of like me now getting and understanding that this world is fake. And then “Bust a Rhyme” is like now I’m gone. Like, I just lost my mind, I can’t be here anymore. And then the last song is called “Red Lights,” and it’s me going back into outer space. So it’s like a cyclical lifetime after lifetime and then back. I’m kind of introducing Electronic slightly into the Hip-Hop right now. And then I’m just going to go and dubstep it out.


What inspired you to create Awake?

Change. A lot of change happened in my life. I feel like I did wake up. I feel like I was not the same artist I was two years ago. So though I didn’t change completely, I just altered my set, all my lyrical content a bit. Now I feel like I’m standing on a foundation. Because before I felt it was not foundational, cause everything I did was for the crowd, or it was to make a hit, or it was to try to do something that pleases the audience. And you know, that shit don’t work, man. It’s not real. It’s not me.


What do you hope your fans get from listening to your music?

Shoot, I remember thinking about that and I thought if I can inspire an artist or even like a fan to maybe take another class, or go back to school. Or a woman to not get plastic surgery- not because she doesn’t want to, but because she feels the pressures of beauty. You understand, because there’s a difference. There’s a major difference. If someone wants to do it to do it, that’s fine. But if you want to do it because you don’t feel pretty. I don’t agree. Every woman is beautiful. So if I’m able to inspire people on any level that way, then I think I’ve achieved what I’m trying to do with my music.


Where do you hope to see your music career one year from now? Five years?

I just hope to always be on tour and to be doing big venues with people who love my music. That’s my goal. If I can accomplish that, I feel like I’ve accomplished being a great musician and having a fan base. It’s all about your fans.


Do you have any advice for aspiring singers, artists, and musicians?

Just be yourself, dude. I’d say that’s the most important thing.


Is there anything you would like to add?

Just add me on Instagram (@dilanjay_) and Twitter (@DeLonMusic).




Cover Image via Radio and Music

Interviewed and Transcribed for 24/7 Hollywood 2016 by Melina Joseph

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