DELS isn’t the kind of rapper you’re going to hear dropping rough cuts and freestyles every other day. The Ipswich-born, London-based artist is all about articulating his ideas and pushing things forward, whether that’s through his day job as an art director and designer, or painting pictures with beats and rhymes as demonstrated on his carefully assembled sophomore album Petals Have Fallen, which is out now on Big Dada.
We caught up with DELS for an in-depth conversation about the crafting of the record, the designing of the cover, seeing lyrics as images and pushing the boundaries…
How does it feel now that the album release is drawing closer?
It’s kind of weird really, just because you spend a lot of time making an album and putting it together, and I designed all of the artwork for my album, but it didn’t really feel until I actually got the physical copy through the post from my label the other day. Until that point I didn’t really have that satisfaction, but now it feels surreal that it’s actually all happening. It’s been a while since I’ve been out on tour and stuff like that.
How long have you been working on Petals Have Fallen?
I was working on the album for like two years, maybe three. But it wasn’t like a solid three years work. It was kind of like me finishing touring and working out what kind of record I really wanted to make. People always say that a second album is really difficult to do, but I really didn’t feel that pressure. I was just more interested in how I was going to grow as an artist and how I was going to develop my sound, write better verses and better songs.
It definitely feels like an album that has taken time to craft…
Yeah, I’m not really worried about hype dying down or people not wanting to write about me because I’ve taken so long to make a record. I got into this because I love music first, so all the hype stuff can take a back seat really – I just want to make good music and I’m focussed on making the best album possible.