Since 2017, DEJA has enjoyed the rays of music, but it’s only now we’re really getting to know what she is all about.
Born into the musical world, from featuring on Disney Channel at a young age to fulfilling a dance degree, DEJA hasn’t shied away from knowing what’s best for her. And whilst she admits, “I’ve had some great things happen in my career,” her honesty to the below is a testament to her ever-growing ambition. With the hopes of sold-out shows, to winning awards in the coming years, we keep a close eye on what DEJA brings next, and what better way than interviewing her about the journey she has already entailed?
Already hinting at a larger project to come, we caught up with rising star DEJA about her latest single, “One,” how it all started, and what is yet to come.
Hey hey, how are you and congratulations on your latest single “One.” How have the past months entailed for you?
I’m feeling good today, thank you! The start of the year was brutal ASF though. It’s now common knowledge that being an independent artist isn’t easy. There’s way more money going out than coming in. There are way more no’s than yes’. And recently, I’ve felt dragged down by the lack of recognition. Another tortured artist, hahaha! But this is what brought, “One” to me. It’s a direct representation of my frustration with music right now.
Breaking onto the music scene back in 2017 with your debut single “Play My Song,” how did DEJA start, and what influenced you to pursue music?
As you say, I started my releasing journey in house music. But I started my artist journey a long time before. I was 13 when I had my debut TV appearance on Disney Channel UK. I sang my little heart out! I started writing with the support of Capital Xtra a few years later. I actually took a big break from music to do my dance degree because as much as I love writing and singing, I’m OBSESSED with performing. I figured out at a young age that when I performed, I made people happy. I guess you could say I got into music to perform really.
Currently, in one sentence, how would you describe your sound?
A manifestation you can dance to.
With multiple singles to your name and an EP, how do you approach your creative process?
Always a funny one to answer, this. Every time I write a song, it comes about in a different way. But thinking about it now, my FAVE way to write – or at least to get an idea moving – is with a basic “type” beat from YouTube! I’d be in the comfort of my flat, which gives me the space to find the melodies and lyrics without external influence. Obviously, I then take that idea to the studio, and we’ll elevate TF out of it!
With this in mind, how did “One” come together, and what is different with this track compared to previous work?
“One” was a little different. I was in session with J.Ar.J. We’d just wrapped the vocals for a different song, and both of us had some time to kill. He lay down these dark sounds, and it all just came flooding to me. I guess it resonated cos I was angry at the time. I’d recently been done dirty by two members of my team, and always feeling overlooked by the industry, it was kind of inevitable that a song like “One” would happen.
It’s been a minute since you put out a project. Are you planning on releasing another one this year?
I have albums worth of music ready to put out. I just wanted to make sure I AND my listeners were ready. And I think we are. So, basically, the answer’s yes. I have multiple bangers coming out this year, and I cannot wait. I am my own biggest fan.
And what secrets can you spill?
I’ll just say, keep your eyes on me for 2024 cos girrrrrrl.
As you endure the highs and lows of the music world, what has been your number one learning perspective of the music industry, and what is your advice for aspiring artists that are hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Just do it yourself cos no one will do it for you.
What is your biggest pinch-me moment so far, and what’s the most fulfilling part of getting to make music as a career?
Whatever it is, it hasn’t happened yet. I’m the worst for this. I’ve had some great things happen in my career, but I’m not YET selling our arenas. I’m not YET accepting world-renowned awards. So come back to me in a couple of years, and I’ll update you!
And the most fulfilling part of my job? Being on stage. I love the live element to its core. I’m actually obsessed. It’s the energy, the choreography, the arrangements. UGH. It’s everything.
And lastly, you’ve got quite a busy few months ahead of you, but what are you manifesting for the rest of the year?
Big stages. Festivals. More music. Mo’ money!