Jamaican-born East London singer-songwriter Denai Moore has been steadily gaining support for her music, which has traces of both Lauryn Hill and Bon Iver. She explains how a collaboration with SBTRKT has influenced her new EP I Swore ahead of a live show at Manchester’s Deaf Institute, 5 Dec.
You take influence from both soul and folk. Where does that marriage of the two come from?
I’ve always been influenced by soulful voices from early on, even before I started writing songs. However, I started listening to Feist and Bon Iver when I had a really bad writer’s block and I just completely fell in love with the genre.
Is your EP representative of that genre blend?
I think my taste in the last year has expanded so even though there are still strong influences from folk and soul music, there are a few electronic influences on this EP.
How did the collaboration with SBTRKT come about?
It basically all started when I got the best email ever earlier this year asking if I’d be up for writing with SBTRKT. I went to his flat a week later and he played me a few of the tracks hehad in mind for me, and the instrumental for The Light was the one that really stuck out to me the most. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with other artists and SBTRKT is one of my favourite British artists so it was really surreal.
How different was the production process on The Light to what you’re used to?
I’m used to being really involved in the studio with playing instruments and creating a wall of sound for a song, but it’s quite cool to be given an instrumental and to just write to it.
You’re ending your year with a new EP and a tour. Is it setting the bar for 2015?
I think the new EP is a small introduction of what to expect from my album, which I’ll be releasing next year. It feels so strange and weird releasing something I’ve lived with for so long but I’ve never been more excited about anything I’ve done.
What can we expect from your live show?
During my live show there will be lots of awkward jokes and bad introductions of my band. But honestly, I think I’m just excited to play the new EP and songs from the album that no one has heard before.