In a world of fake artists and bubblegum lyrics that any five year old could write, it is refreshing to find an artist who is not only true to herself but also incredibly talented; an artist whose lyrics make you believe the song was written for your life and whose melodies make your skin vibrate with happiness. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you DILANA!
When I was introduced to her music about three months ago, she fast became my top female artist. The opportunity to interview DILANA was one I would never pass up. Once it was arranged, I started doing some research, only to discover that not only has DILANA opened for artists such as Aerosmith, The Doobie Brothers and Joe Cocker, but she was also on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. And now this small town girl (me) was going to interview a mega star.
DILANA proved to be as amazing as her vocals. Born in South Africa, she still carries that special something South Africans have: the ability to make people feel at ease within seconds of meeting them. Dilana Robichaux (originally Jansen Van Vuuren) was born is South Africa in 1972. Sadly, after losing one of her closest friends to crime, DILANA decided to move to Holland where she fast became a musical success.
With a massive following, DILANA became one of the Netherlands’ biggest stars. It was there that she met her now ex-husband who was from America. They moved to Houston after a two year stay in Scotland and although their marriage didn’t last, he is still one of her closest friends but it was LA that was written in DILANA’s destiny.
It was in Houston that DILANA first saw Rockstar Supernova, the television show that would give her great exposure and set her to new heights. For a person who never watches TV, Rockstar Supernova was a show DILANA watched religiously. DILANA did not own a TV set herself, but a friend would record it for her and every week DILANA would sit in frustration knowing she could do better than most of the contestants. She took a chance and sent in her demos and, out of the 25 000 entrants from all over the world, DILANA was called in as one of the top 100. For her that phone call made her a winner already. Although DILANA never won the show, she was runner-up. She believes that even though she was incredibly successful already, the show helped her gain new fans and gave her the exposure to lead her to bigger and better things.
Chatting with DILANA I realised why her music struck such a chord with me. It is real. Her music is full of pain and heartbreak but it is her incredible lyric-writing skills along with her brilliant self-confidence that make every song touch you in a special way. DILANA has discovered that using her life experiences makes the best music.
I got to watch DILANA perform twice at Africa Bike Week in Margate, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and I spent two hours having my mind blown. DILANA is able to sing, as well as perform and connect with her audience. Her belief in who she is as a person comes through on stage, and when she is performing her eyes are alive. She sings with a voice that is so powerful, it is how I imagine the sun would sound when it rises.
DILANA’s most recent album, titled Inside Out, was released in 2009 and is an album I listen to on repeat. Songs like “Falling Apart” and “Dirty Little Secret” will leave you feeling that you have somehow entered into the private life of someone you don’t know, yet you feel comfortable enough to share her story, which is what DILANA does best. She engages people in a way I have never experienced with any other artist that I have listened to or seen perform live.
Not only is she a musical genius but she also manages and runs the entire DILANA brand as well as a record label called Rusty Harp Records herself. Not one to live by rules and conformity, DILANA prefers to be in control of her destiny.
I am incredibly honoured to have had the opportunity to meet this Superwoman who has faced adversity in life and yet has come out singing and smiling and I encourage you all to start listening to her music.
After my interview with DILANA, she has recently revealed that she is expecting a baby girl. DILANA was already 4 months pregnant at ABW which, if you were lucky enough to see her perform, you would never have known.
I speak on behalf of so many fans when I say that not only are we ecstatic about the new album but also for the arrival of River Raine.
DILANA’s new album Beautiful Monster will be released in the United States in July 2013 in store and also on iTunes. Soon you will be able to order a hard copy from DILANA’s merchandise store, which is available on her website
Follow DILANA on Twitter: @DILANArox and join her page on Facebook for the SA release dates. Thanks Glen Wexler for the image.
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I am passionate about SA, writing and music. Love Rugby, Sharks Gal. Dream of travelling all the time. Paralegal by day..