Neo-soul singer the della kit finds herself booking a trip across British Columbia to ward off any lingering negative energy from a relationship gone wrong in her latest video single, “Baby Blue.” Her vehicle of choice is a skateboard, a hobby that the singer picked up at age 12 while growing up in the Kootenays.
“Baby Blue” brings some Erykah Badu energy to the table as the della kit’s soothing alto tones navigate around swirling pianos and jazzy parts that maintain an improvisational quality. Her poetic and contemplative lyrics analyze the necessity of re-centring yourself after a major life change. A big proponent of finding artistic inspiration through nature, the locations featured in the video offer a lot to choose from as she winds her way through lush forests and striking mountains.
The warm, fuzzy red jacket that she grabs at the video’s outset is just a preview of the musical embrace that is to come as she seeks to rediscover herself among BC’s beautiful evergreen backdrop. We caught up with the della kit to talk about the new video, breakup advice, and where to get the best cinnamon buns.
What was the writing and recording process like for this song?
“Baby Blue,” like all of my songs on this project, was born through my creative-healing morning practice. I first started beating on my chest and using body percussion to create the rhythm and then looped my Rhodes and vocal harmonies to lay down the foundation and mood of this tune. Then started improvising over top and melodies and the first set of lyrics arrived. I later called in a good friend and incredible songwriter, Clear Mortifee, to come in and workshop the lyrics with me. There was a lot of crying and it felt like an 8-hour therapy session, but in the end we came up with one of the most potent tunes on the record. Once we finished our writing I invited AstroLogical to produce the song with me; this was the first song that he worked on with me. I then invited Sting’s percussionist, Nate Laguzza, to play percussion on it and LA-based flute player Ian Roller to lay down some extra sprinkles of sweetness. To finish I recorded all my final vocals back in the Kootenays during lockdown with Adham Shaikh.
Who have been some of your musical inspirations? What have you been listening to lately?
I’ve always been inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, and Sam Cooke. They’re some of the best songwriters in the world, and are amazing storytellers, while their melodies are impeccable and their music is so healing. As for what I’ve been listening to recently, I’ve been ] loving Pip Millet, Kimmortal, Kapok, IAMTHELIVING, Mereba, and Cleo Sol. I also spent some time in Barbados this Winter where I got hooked on Chronixx, what an amazing lyricist and songwriter.
This video sees you travelling all over the province – what was your favourite place to visit or shoot in?
I really enjoyed filming in Sandon BC in the vintage public buses. We actually saw a grizzly the day we went out there. And finished our day at a natural hot spring. Also Sandon is just a small tiny little town in the middle of nowhere — so cute and tiny.
Lyrically, the song sees you reclaiming your sense of self after a breakup. Do you have any other advice for moving forward after the end of a relationship?
My advice is to always listen to your intuition, and to see the lessons in the pain and heartbreak. To know that when something no longer feels right, it’s an opportunity to call in new energy. For me, all of my hardest times have taught me the most. And to be able to express that journey or experience through art is so incredibly powerful.
You write in your bio that you were “raised by hippies among the evergreens.” What about being in nature gets you in touch with your creative side?
There is something so profound about being in the quietness and stillness of nature. I find the trees, the water, the wind and the birds remind me of what it really means to live. I’ll often be hiking or walking through a forest and a song will just come to me. I truly believe that the natural world communicates with us and if we can just get quiet enough to listen there’s a lot that we can learn from it.
You’ve spoken a couple times about the desire to have cinnamon buns at your shows to fit the self-love vibes, and it even appears in your Instagram bio. What’s the healing power of a cinnamon bun?
I was raised by lovers of food. My grandmother on my Italian side used to bake all the time, and for a living actually. I remember her braiding Easter bread and then my mom baking it for us when we moved away from our family, almost as a way to remind us of our lineage. My other mamma also would bake us muffins before school and that was something I really appreciate. There’s something about the aroma of fresh baking that makes me feel so loved and so nourished.
Where can we get the best cinnamon buns?
My favourite cinnamon buns come from a small little bakery in Nelson BC called the Kootenay Co-op. In Vancouver, there’s a new cinnamon bun spot called Grounds for Coffee on Commercial Drive that I would also highly recommend. I’m crossing my fingers that they will sponsor me someday so I can have these fresh baked cinnamon buns at my shows and feed them to you.
What’s next for the della kit? Anything else you’d like us to know?
I’m already starting to work on my next album, which is super exciting. Next big show is Lightning in a Bottle, outside of LA so I am planning a tour around that. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with my LA family and community. I have a lot of shows coming up that I’m really excited about so be sure to check my IG for all of those announcements. We will be releasing another single and music video very soon with one of my favourite producers of all time, Mr. Carmack. Lastly, I will be performing on Salt Spring Island April 16 and teaching my singing workshop Sing for the Soul on April 17. My singing workshop is a way of connecting communities to each other through one of the most powerful mediums.