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Darrelle London (2011)

Signed to blogger Perez Hilton's Perezcious Music, Darrelle London, originally from small town Acton, Ontario, has a unique and whimsical pop sound for you. A music lover from the time she was young, she started out playing her tunes in cafes and worked hard to get where she is today, recording with one of her long-time idols, Chantal Kreviazuk and having her music played on the 90210 TV soundtrack, to name just a few of her accomplishments!

mindyourmind met up with Darrelle recently at London Music Club, a charming and cozy Victorian-house-turned-club for a brief interview. Here’s what she had to say.

When did you start singing and writing songs?

I’ve been playing piano since I was about five, and singing since I was twelve. I started writing songs in high school. Some of those first songs are kind of funny because they are about things I hadn’t yet experienced, like love and heartbreak. But, you have to start somewhere. I hope that first demo stays locked up though.

You’re the second artist on Perez Hilton’s new music label! How exciting! How did you get noticed by Perez Hilton? How did you 2 meet?

I emailed Perez a couple of MP3s about a year ago. He got back to me right away, and we’ve been working together ever since!

Why do you think Perez chose a Canadian artist from Toronto, Ontario to introduce his label, Perezcious?

Perez listens to music from all over the world. I think it was just natural that he would be looking in different countries for his first artists. He places a lot more emphasis on the music, than on where the artist is from.

Instead of going to law school, you followed your dream to be a musician. You got signed by one of the world’s most popular bloggers and your song, “Understand” is featured on the 90210 Official Soundtrack. What do you think contributed to your success so far?

Amazing fans, friends, and family. I literally couldn’t be doing this without their support. Perez has really helped to grow my international fan base, which is great. I’m also grateful to CBC radio, and Canadian press and media for giving me support and airtime.

On a regular day, what motivates or inspires you?

The people in my life, the city, strangers, fellow musicians. I try to be open to finding inspiration every day.

Do you ever get nervous or anxious before a performance? What do you do to calm yourself or get where you need to be before taking the mic?

I get a bit nervous before shows. I find it helps to spend a few minutes alone before going on stage, just to gather myself and get my focus back. I’m usually running around, saying hi to friends and thanking people for coming out, so it’s important to get my focus back before going on stage.

In the song "Understand", you find it hard to open up to others. Do you find it easier to express yourself through music?

Yes. I can say things in a song that don’t feel right saying within the “rules” of a relationship. I can say anything in a song, and that’s so liberating. That’s one of my favourite things about songwriting.

What helps you through that process of learning to trust someone and opening up to them?

With friendships and romantic relationships, it takes me a very long time to get completely close, open, and comfortable with someone. That’s why my true friends are so valuable to me.

Based on photos that have been taken of you, you seem to really like flowers. Do you have a favourite type?

Ha, I used to work at a garden centre, and I still don’t know anything about flowers! But I like to use them in pictures and sometimes in my hair.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for aspiring artists/musicians out there?

If you’re serious about it, then go for it, and work hard! It’s like anything else, you have to put a lot of time and work into it, but if it’s your passion, then it’s totally worth it.

Do you have any words to live by?

I try to make choices according to my own values and aspirations, rather than other people’s expectations.

Photos by mindyourmind