Camden native Desta French is set to reveal her debut EP Immigracious on October 12. Her latest single, ‘Mention’, is an RnB track charged with soul and an undeniably infectious beat. Having obtained over a million plays on her 2016 release, ‘Shame’, and delivered a charming COLORS performance, French is on track to erupt.
An impressive vocalist born to a Colombian mother and an Italian father, her style is freshly distinctive and naturally cool. We had a chat with Desta about her musical influences, her cultural influences, and her creative process…
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, anything Teddy Riley, George Michael, all that Jazz. Salsa, SWV and beyond.
Who are some of your favourite ‘new artists’ today?
Miles From Kinshasa, Qendresa both whom I’m working with. God Colony got some vibes too.
What can we expect from your new upcoming EP?
A selection of therapy sessions from that past two years. It’s an introduction to some of my world. It’s called Immigracious which I think is pretty self explanatory – it’s my perspective.
How has your upbringing in Camden affected your music?
Well it’s part of my personal culture so has definitely had an influence in a round about way. Language for sure, general vibes yeah. It’s messy like my brain.
Tell us about the creative process behind ‘Shame’
It was made in a vacant flat in north London while getting on a wave with Jamal Hadaway feeling all perplexed. We spent quite a while two stepping on the balcony.
What can we expect from you in the future?
The unexpected. I don’t have a manual I’m out here experimenting.
How do you overcome a creative block?
Sometimes you persist – sometimes you observe it and let it pass. It always comes back, you always got new shit to deal with, new sounds to inspire you.
When was the moment you knew you wanted to pursue a career in music?
When I stopped quietening the voice screaming from the inside of my brain.
Would you consider trying out other music genres?
Of course – that’s always happening. There’s a lot of stuff people are yet to hear. Couple art projects bubbling still…
How has your Italian and Columbian heritage inspired your music?
Bare dramas – wild stories and rhythm is inescapable. My ancestors always guiding my intuition musically too. That stuff you just feel deeeeep within- when you don’t listen, you fucked it.
Who would you want to collaborate with in the future?
Totó la Momposina, Teddy Riley, Blood Orange
What would you want to tell your younger self?
What advice would you give to young aspiring musicians?
To meditate and always be sincere.
Tell us more about your relationship with Jamal…
He’s my brother. It’s an open space creating with each other cause no ones trying to be diplomatic or filing down edges… he knows when I’m gonna like something, he’s just a sick guy.