One thing Detroit is known for is Motown because of its music history and originality. There are many famous music artists who hail from Detroit, such as Anita Baker, Madonna and Big Sean. Kristian DeLayne is determined to add her name to that list. DeLayne recently held a music showcase at the PJ Lager House in Detroit. She featured Detroit artist Dion Price and Jerel as well as performed two sets herself.
Rolling out was able to speak to DeLayne between her sets.
What made you want to become a recording artist?
I believe music, in general, is an art. I can go and sing anywhere, but my passion goes deeper than that. When I’m on stage or in the studio recording, writing my own music, having my own band, the whole essence of being an artist giving people a show that they remember for months and sometimes years at a time is amazing to me. There [are] many people that can sing, but it took me a while to learn how to be an artist, but now that I am, I couldn’t ever go back to just singing.
When did you discover that you had a true passion for music?
I’ve known my whole life, but when I really started taking music seriously, I was in college. This is when I started writing and developing myself as an artist. I was in a Christian music group where I learned stage presence and from that point, I really started cultivating myself.
You have an album out titled Musically Inclined. How was this album birthed?
This album was birthed out of hard work, a lot of money, time, energy, and frustration. Through it all, it’s Kristian DeLayne. It’s the music in me. We worked really hard to get that out and a lot of people contributed to that album. We couldn’t have done it without those people who worked and grinded and showed up to the studio many times to record a song over. It’s the truth; it’s the real deal.
What are the skills needed to become a music artist?
You need patience because it doesn’t happen overnight regardless of what you see on TV. You also need endurance. As an artist in Detroit, you don’t always have the support that you want to have, so you have to have motivation within yourself to really push and keep going. Now, everyone doesn’t believe in God, but to me, He’s the essential component to success. You have to have some sort of faith base to keep you grounded because once you make it, it’s crazy and if you’re easily swayed by the crowd, you could get into stuff that’s not you. I don’t want to be the person to say, “I never saw myself doing this or that.” I want to remain Kristian DeLayne when millions of people know who I am.
What are three hardships of being an artist?
Support, money, and time, especially for me because I have a full-time job and finding the time to do music is sometimes hard and without my job, I wouldn’t have the money to finance my dreams. It’s hard, but I believe it’s worth it. When you believe in what you’re doing and believe that you’ll make it, it’ll all pay off in the end.
Describe your style of music.
It’s hard to put a name on my sound because I’m still cultivating my sound, but I think when you listen to the album you’ll still hear Kristian DeLayne. My sound is me — Kristian DeLayne. It’s inspirational, it’s neo-soul, it’s pop, it’s R&B, it’s hip-hop, it’s a little country, it’s a little bit of everything, but if I had to put a title on it, it would be R&B pop.
If you could compare your music to another artist, who would it be?
If you listen to the album, you’ll hear a little bit of Jill Scott, you’ll hear Brandy in the harmonies, and you’ll hear a little Amerie in the instrumentation. People who have made good music inspire me. I try not sound like anyone but me even though there are different vibes and sounds, but at the end of the day, it’s me.
Are you working on any new music?
Yes, I’m working on new music. I did a new song to start the show and I’m opening up the second set with a new song called Why do I?. The second set is a little more chill, a little more real as far as the content of the music. I also have another track that I can’t wait to put out. I’m really into relationship writing right now so all the songs I’ve been working on fall into that lane. We’re trying to figure out if we’re going to release an album or a few singles, but I’m definitely in the studio working.
Do you plan on traveling with your music?
That’s the goal. There’s nothing wrong with Detroit, but I want to get up out of here and explore the world sharing my gift. If God gives us these talents and abilities and no one else is seeing it or being impacted by it, then you’re wasting it.
What advice do you have for the aspiring artist?
With hard work, dedication, and internal motivation, you can make it. Also, make sure you have a team. The one thing that I have that I think some people lack is at least one solid person in their corner encouraging them. When I want to quit, they’re there telling me I can’t do that and I think that’s key. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I can do this.” You have to believe it first because if you don’t believe it first, the people who are coming to your shows won’t believe it either.
What makes you keep going in this industry?
It’s that internal motivation and knowing someday it’s going to happen even though it’s getting hard. The support of my family, the support of my family and friends who are always there for me and at my shows, and my faith. I know that faith without works is dead so I know that at some point, that work is going to turn into something.
What can we expect from Kristian DeLayne in the future?
I will be opening for Brian McKnight May 18 at the MotorCity Soundboard, which I’m super excited about. Outside of that, I’ll be dropping a single soon as well as a few music videos.
For more information on Kristian DeLayne, please visit her website at www.kristiandelayne.com and social media outlets at Kristian Delayne.
Photos credit: The Music N Me Production