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For Alan Delavan, being focused on himself is a good thing. That’s not to imply that this singer/songwriter is vapid in any way but rather that he looks for the value within instead of searching for reassurance by assimilation. It’s not a common approach for those in the music business but neither is the self-imposed solace that Delavan leads at times. There’s no way to completely shut the outside world off and in the song “We Started Something” Alan takes an uncommon (for him) opportunity to comment on it. Still, in doing so he always comes from a unique perspective with a personal tone. It’s immediately apparent that he is not writing music to sell sodas or automobiles. You won’t hear autotune or an 808 kick drum in “We Started Something” but what will be heard is the human fingerprint in both the instrumentation and the message of it. Delavan connects with exterior factors and channels a particular way of expression yet always with authenticity. He relates, “For me, music and art in general have to be honest. Having a sense of separation between you and the listener is not a true honest dialogue. I don’t like to spend time on the superficial, it bores me and it’s exhausting. People are not silly; they want to know about your deepest feelings, thoughts, and fears. They want to connect with your soul and the only way to do this is by opening up your heart. Doing this is a necessity for me.”

The sonic tapestry and message of Alan’s childhood is one he would characterize as “hippie.” His mother played a steady diet of music legends like John & Yoko, Joni Mitchell, and the like for him. Books on TM and spirituality make their influence felt in his lyrics as well. “We Started Something” is a personal anthem from a more peaceful and hopeful time…one which invites the listener to take in these ideas. The duality of the interpretation of this song is such that it also marked a change for Delavan himself. After experiencing a great deal of success in his homeland of Spain (performing concerts in some of the country’s biggest venues), he abandoned this and relocated to London to unearth his true sound. He confirms, “The most rewarding part of making this song was that it helped me to rediscover myself as an artist, showing me who I really am and where I wanted to go. This song definitely showed me the path that I always wanted to walk. It was a big ‘before and after’ moment when we wrote and recorded this song and definitely influenced the rest of the album. Lyrically it feels so close to my heart as well. When I’m at home, I normally write and sing when I’m in bed and I remember saying ‘I wish my voice sounded this relaxed, effortless and warm when I’m recording in the studio.’ I took a leap of faith and tried this approach during the session and managed to keep that intimate tone, almost like whispering. It was this sound and emotion I’d been wanting to hear in my music.”

We Started Something” was recorded in London with Alan’s frequent collaborators Dimitri Tikovoi (known for his work with Charli XCX, Marianne Faithfull, & Nicola Roberts) and noted artist/songwriter Maya Von Doll. In contrast to the modern formula of programming beats and extensive preproduction tweaks, Delavan showed up to the studio with a general sense of melody/structure and the lyrics he had jotted down the night before in bed. He prefers to be spontaneous when recording and working with multi-instrumentalist/producer Tikovoi allows him to have a one-man band at his disposal to enable this (Dimitri played all the instruments on “We Started Something”). The stripped down/minimalist production of the song exposed Alan as a singer, which was quite pleasing to him. Vulnerability during the recording process is not something most artist embrace…but this is no ordinary artist.

Delavan is quick to admit that the sonic and visual concepts of his music are symbiotic for him. He begins visualizing the imagery of the song even as he is recording it. He explains, “My idea for the music video of ‘We Started Something’ was to express the chaos that an artist sometimes experiences while creating. Showing that crisis that we can face just before an evolution or a good song. It’s a very intimate part of the process and I thought it was interesting to expose this.” The music video for “We Started Something” was recorded and produced by photographer/visual artist J Whitaker and cut and directed by Alan himself. The warm inviting tone of the song is manifested visually as sunsets evolve into a dreamy summer night where everything is calm and warm. The vibe of the song is inspired by the hippie/folk communities of artists and musicians of Laurel Canyon in the 60s & 70s and the presents a similar aesthetic. Expanding the aura around this artist, Whitaker states, “With Alan, the line between performance and reality is very thin. It makes you wonder if he is expressing himself in an artistic way or if it’s real life. He opens up his heart and lets the viewer or listener feel his vulnerability and the mixture of his spirituality and that unexpected naughty side of him…that gives a very interesting atmosphere to the imagery. He doesn’t like to spend that much on the surface, he goes deep creatively.” Delavan himself expounds, “I don’t care about promotion, likes or shares at all. For me videos have more to do with the desire of enjoying music and film both together. An artist without visuals just feels incomplete. I perceive melodies and images at the same time, both together. I’m very cinematic and try to make my music sound filmic as well. This video has a very strong cinematic atmosphere. It’s nostalgic but it excites you too. I wanted to make people feel emotions without labeling or analyzing them. It’s a very sensorial and spiritual video. We created this dreamy environment and it’s exactly how I see my music when I close my eyes.”

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