Interview: Alec Coiro
Photo: Kat Slootsky
The last time we met up with Denitia, it was when she came out with “Fadin’,” her collaboration with Kendall Morgan. Since then, she sent us over a copy of her new single “Special,” which totally hypnotized us. Not only did it give us another chance to talk with Denitia, we also got to visit her out where the ocean meets the city in the Rockaways. Plus, she’s cooking up a playlist for us (more on that soon).
Denitia creates lyrically intense, musically lush tracks. She tells us that lately she’s been sequestered in her home studio, writing, and letting the beach inspire her. She also tells us a little about collaborating with Sean McVerry, who worked with her on this “Special,” and gets into why the track feels a little more intimate. A big part of the reason is because — as she tells us — it’s a track that’s drawn from her autobiography: the story of her move from a small town in Texas to the big city, and the drive to “say you tried your way.”
Read on for the full story.
From what we understand, “Special” is going to be part of an album you are still in the process of finishing up? How representative of the rest of the songs on the album is “Special”?
Special is actually a single, it’s in its own world, not attached to an album at this point. In some ways, it represents where I am headed creatively, I feel like I’m moving into a more direct space. I feel like I’m a little more pointed in intention, and that sort of shows in the production choices.
Speaking of the album in progress, can you tell us a little about how it’s being made? What’s your process like when you’re recording?
I’m writing a lot. I spend a lot of time in my home studio, writing and making demos of songs. Where I start varies, sometimes, I’ll have a rhythm section built out and some other sound already happening and something inspires a melody, a feeling. Other times, it’s just me and a guitar, and I’ll write a song that way from start to finish. I live near the beach so the open air and quiet really inspires me when I’m working at home.
I actually made this song, Special, with Sean McVerry on production. It started with a progression Sean played on keys, I started writing to it and we pretty quickly just vibed off of what each of us was doing and the song came together that way.
That’s cool, yes, I feel that way too, there is something more vulnerable about this space. My intention was only to make a song that carried love in it, but not necessarily your typical love song. I wanted to create a vibe that felt beautiful and also about real life experience of watching someone work hard and get weary, and wanting to reassure them and show love. I wanted to make a song that says hey I see you, I get it, it can be weird out here, but you’re killing it, and you’re beautiful just because you exist. All of that, plus I just wanted the song to feel smooth and like a wave crashing over…
It’s 100% autobiographical, it's something that I’ve witnessed in other people around me, something I can relate to because that’s also my experience.
You’re a Brooklyn-based artist, but we’re told this song is inspired in part by a looking back to your Texan/country background. What inspired this looking back to your roots on your new album?
I live in Queens now, but yes, I think my roots are always with me. It’s important to me make some time for reflection, so when I wrote about leaving a small town life, I was thinking of how I also did that, left my home in Texas to go after what I wanted in life.
With this in mind, how autobiographical are the lyrics in the song “You left a small town life / to say you tried / your way, you did it for yourself”?
Yeah exactly, it’s 100% autobiographical, it’s something that I’ve witnessed in other people around me, something I can relate to because that’s also my experience.