Artist —

DELS PRESS


Biography —

DELS

Kieren Dickins aka DELS is a new type of rapper (which is another way of saying that he’s more than just a rapper). Applying the kind of attention to detail, micro-management and macro-vision which Jay-Z used to build a business empire, DELS makes art. Popular art mind you, but art all the same, an album of emotional peaks, musical innovation and surreal, brilliant lyrics, held together by such a unique, such a strong vision that it sounds almost silly to suggest it’s just a debut. Growing up in Ipswich in East Anglia, Dickins “never set out to be a rapper. It just happened. I was always obsessed with words. I was always cutting out random letterforms from newspapers or books because I liked the way that they sat on the page visually. This lead to me scribbling random thoughts into the back of school books and eventually picking up the mic to record those thoughts on a beat. I loved the freedom of how words can sit together in hip hop.”

An early break came when Suffolk resident John Peel heard DELS and his crew rapping at a local event and asked them to come on to his…

Read More

DELS

Kieren Dickins aka DELS is a new type of rapper (which is another way of saying that he’s more than just a rapper). Applying the kind of attention to detail, micro-management and macro-vision which Jay-Z used to build a business empire, DELS makes art. Popular art mind you, but art all the same, an album of emotional peaks, musical innovation and surreal, brilliant lyrics, held together by such a unique, such a strong vision that it sounds almost silly to suggest it’s just a debut. Growing up in Ipswich in East Anglia, Dickins “never set out to be a rapper. It just happened. I was always obsessed with words. I was always cutting out random letterforms from newspapers or books because I liked the way that they sat on the page visually. This lead to me scribbling random thoughts into the back of school books and eventually picking up the mic to record those thoughts on a beat. I loved the freedom of how words can sit together in hip hop.”

An early break came when Suffolk resident John Peel heard DELS and his crew rapping at a local event and asked them to come on to his show on Radio 1. Ten years later and Dickins was back recording a session for the DJ’s spiritual heir at the station, Huw Stevens. But the intervening decade wasn’t wasted on selling weed, or unemployment, or running with a gang or any of the cliches of “urban” music. In his methodical, thoughtful way, Dickins put his efforts into his education. “Studying illustration, film, photography and Graphic Design.

Attempting to forge a career within the arts, which then led to me combining it all with my music. I’ve been working on “GOB” since 2007 behind the scenes.” Dickins worked with three complementary but very different producers on the record. One of the people listneing in on that Peel session was Joe Goddard, then of an unknown band called Hot Chip. He got in touch and the tow began working together, cementing a friendship which finds its pinnacle in their collaborations for this record. Micachu, on the other hand, is best known for her work with her band The Shapes, their classification as “indie” largely ignoring her classical training and long term interest in grime. Kwes, recently signed to Warp Records in his own right, has released singles with Young Turks and worked with The XX, The Invisible and Elan Tamara (who also sings on “Gob” and plays in Kieren’s live band). “They all provided me with challenging, but very inspiring music that enabled me to roam free creatively,” DELS explains. “Kwes, Joe Goddard and Micachu helped me shape a sound that is very difficult to box within one specific genre tag, which is exactly what I wanted with this album. I wanted the music to take on a life of it’s own. And not take itself too seriously!” This playfulness is a theme which runs throughout the record, often evidenced as a willingness to engage with childishness and the pleasures and pains of childhood. “I wanted to make an album that explored the coexistence between fantasy and reality in more than one way. Whether it’s written from the perspective of a child, like on “Shapeshift,” or using fantasy as a mode of escapism from a harsh reality, with something like “Droogs.” I hope what I’m trying to do will become clearer for people once they hear the album in its entirety. It’s quite hard to judge an artist off the back of two singles.”
He’s right. Once people see and hear “GOB” they know they’re dealing with someone special. And unlike rappers who truly only rap, Dickins can take a huge amount of credit for the record’s success, having been intimately involved in every aspect of its creation, from artwork and videos, right down to the fonts. Despite the title of his album, DELS is no loud mouth. He talks quietly, in measured tones, but when he talks we listen.

Read Less

Dates —

Press Assets —

DELS PRESSDELSCNV00011_CROPPEDDELS press pic2

Links —

Artist Info —

Based: London
Travelling: 1-2 (solo), 4-5 (band)
Territories: UK/Ireland, Europe