An Interview With The Musician DEJHARE On Her Upcoming Debut Album Unbreakable and More!
Posted On 24 Jul 2019
Get to know the acclaimed songwriter Dejhare!
With influences ranging from soft rock to world beat, and with a sprinkling of jazz and Motown, Dejhare’s music is inventive and vocal-focused. After the successful release of her self-titled debut EP, she is pleased to announce the release of her anticipated album Unbreakable.
“My songs are deeply expressive of personal experiences, dreams, and feelings, and the universality of these emotions.”
“What is Love” is her newest song released from this forthcoming collection.
Check out the music video here.
Learn more about Dejhare in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
You’re welcome – and thank you too! I am in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, now, working on a collaboration.
Now that we are half-way through the year, how has 2019 been treating you? What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them?
Time has passed by so quickly – suddenly I find that half the year has gone by. Overall, 2019 has been interesting and fun, but I had some personal challenges that I faced in the beginning of the year. My beloved 14 year old kitty passed away due to feline lymphoma. It was a devastating moment because it happened right at the time that I was preparing to release the first single from my upcoming album, and its music video. But life has to go on. I managed to pick things up again and now I am making good progress.
There are so many goals I would like to accomplish but realistically I have to prioritize things and do my best within my capabilities and resources. So generally, I feel good and I feel like I am in the right mindset and on the right path to realizing my goals for the year.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music is everywhere, so though I don’t come from a particularly musical family, I remember the joy of music from my childhood. But I was never formally involved in music – it was always, much as it is for most people – me listening to other artists and following what is on the charts.
So I never actually planned to be a musician or to get into the music industry . It all happened quite unexpectedly about a year ago while I was working on a wellness project. I wanted to simplify the “scientific message” and communicate it in a non-threatening and thought- provoking way that would appeal to the general public. One of the ideas I had in mind was to create a series of jingles where each jingle would represent an element in health and wellness. Then I realized that it came so easily and naturally to me, and I started to challenge myself and to put more passion and belief in my work. Besides, I have always enjoyed listening to music since I was very young, and writing music was a challenge that excited me. Slowly, I ventured from jingles into song- writing, and as I became more confident in my ability to put together the melodies and stories coherently, I started expanding the scopes of my song-writing into broader topics: life, love, our shared humanity, and all the sub-themes that these embody. This new discovery was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.
So I decided to dive into music because it came naturally to me, and because of the love and passion I have for music and the joy I get from making music. Though I really enjoying singing, my ultimate long term goal is to become an accomplished songwriter above and beyond just a musician.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
Well, I actually was doing something else before I ventured into music, so for me it actually works backwards. Unlike many other musicians, I started my adult life doing something completely different.
If making music was not my life, I would be a scientist and innovator, exploring new tools that make life better. I believe whatever we do, we should look for a meaningful purpose and put the best effort into it. Satisfaction comes with purpose.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I am new to this music industry and I take everything – be it a challenge or joy as part of the learning process and experience to grow and evolve. Personally, to me music making and album production is the most fun, fulfilling and the easiest part, and this was a pleasant surprise. The challenge starts when reaching out to the audience, getting your music heard, and getting yourself noticed. It is the marketing and promotional parts that I find to be hard, and this was also something I did not really expect. I am now starting to appreciate the effort and time an indie artist must put in into getting noticed, above and beyond simply making good music. Considering thousands of songs are being released on a daily basis, it is challenging to make way out there, get noticed and gain substantial exposure.
In addition, being an independent artist, there are limitations in the resources one has access to. For sure, I cannot spend or invest as much as record labels do for their signed artists, and this means you are always running uphill. It takes a lot more effort and time for me to plan and strategize the marketing part of my music to make it as productive and impactful as possible and yet cost effective. This is a hard lesson to learn as an indie artist.
Let’s talk about your forthcoming album, “Unbreakable.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? How will you celebrate the release of it?
I felt like I knew what I wanted to write since the start of putting the collection together. I want my first album to be versatile and diverse – putting together different sounds, and making it a cross-genre and a self-exploration process. I hope I achieved this.
The “Unbreakable” album strongly reflects who I am – my sound, my ideas, and even my feelings. It has a bit of every flavor and various vibes including pop, jazz, soft rock, retro, dance and Motown among others. Listeners can expect a variety of sounds, a variety of ideas, and the depth and honesty that identifies all my songs.
The start to end process was smooth and went as planned, and was fun and fulfilling and I enjoyed every moment of it. What really surprised me was how quickly we were able to put this album together, and now I am so impatient for my fans to hear all my songs on the album – I can’t wait to release it.
I would love to be able to celebrate the release of it with everyone who supported me throughout the process and who continues to support me. That would be great. I am still planning how we will do that, but I have been considering an album release party. We’ll see.
How would you say that your already released tracks “What Is Love” and “Trust My Love” prepare listeners for the rest of the album? What was the inspiration for these two songs? Can you describe your songwriting style? What is your process like?
Both tracks “What Is Love” and “Trust My Love” have different vibe and style of music. “What Is Love?’ leans more towards the 80s dance and Motown theme while “Trust My Love” is more of an upbeat pop song with some twist of complex rhythm and metric variation to it. And this mix of sounds and inspirations is exactly what listeners can expect from my album. Generally, like these two songs, my album is musically rich and diverse, and very honest. This can be felt in the 2 first singles.
“Trust My Love” is an honest, passionate and personal love letter from a lover requesting her lover to trust her love as a way to solidify their relationship. “What is Love?” takes us back to basics, to the core values that define the meaning of love. “What Is love?” also reminds us to think twice about what we would do for love and what we expect from love.
Like all my songs, “Trust My Love” and “What is Love?” are inspired by a whole range of things, from personal experiences, to ideas and thoughts that I have, to simple musing of my mind. It is hard to point to a specific thing that inspired these two songs. There are, however, some songs on my upcoming album that have a very specific and pointed inspiration, and I will share that in time.
When I write a song, I feel like I have a workable structure that helps me to accomplish the task in a productive manner. I started by finding the “hooks” melody which typically represents the “chorus” part of the song. From there, I will develop the other parts of the song from pre- chorus to verse to the bridge and outro in that order. When I have a full song melody structure ready, I will start humming to it until I can completely connect and relate my emotions to it. This will then spark the story and message I want to write for the song. From there I will start working on the song demo by writing the full lyrics, the basis of instruments and develop the theme and vision for the full track arrangement. When I have the demo readily prepared, I will then make an arrangement for a studio session to complete the writing and recording process.
How different or similar are the songs on “Unbreakable” to your debut self-titled EP? How have you grown on this latest album?
My self-titled EP was an experiment. I literally had zero experience and had just started writing music. Therefore, like many beginners, I tried to make everything simple and basic so that I could understand the sound elements better and slowly study them at a deeper level. I wanted to understand the basis of everything and the importance of having all elements complementing each other in a balanced way.
My debut EP helped me to grasp this concept, that feel and understanding and brought me the confidence to go further and dive deeper into more complex and richer music and songs. I started to challenge myself more and set higher goals for my next work. From here it sparked the idea of my first album “Unbreakable” which a bit more complex both in songwriting and story-telling.
Where can people see you perform next? Do you plan to tour at all this summer or later this year? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far?
Currently I am putting together the plan and logistics for my live shows which I hope to begin in late August / early September after I drop off my album. I am engaging musicians to build a band that will accompany me on my small tour. Since I am new, I plan to start playing locally within the Bay Area first and will expand to other cities after that. When everything is in place, I will announce the details (dates, locations, venues) for sure, but if anyone wants to catch me live early, the best bet is in the San Francisco Bay Area in early September.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music?
As I mentioned before, the experiences so far have made me understand more about various instruments and styles, sound elements and how making a good song is all about putting together everything in a coherent and balances manner. I think I have grown in a technical perspective, in that sense. Of course, every song I write is a good practice, and a constant learning process adding a bit more experience to the journey. Like everything we do, we get better, stronger and wiser with exposure and experience. Therefore I feel that all these have guided me to grow as a songwriter, an artist and a musician.
I think I am also growing as a story-teller. I am learning to be more diverse, more open, and explore emotions and ideas better. This takes some getting used to – imagine sharing your emotions with thousands of people – and opening yourself to judgment. You need to be brave to be an artist; I can say that.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now? What has social media done for your career so far?
Keeping up social media has been the one big challenge for a few reasons. One is because of so many other commitments at my end. But it is something that I need to do and cope as we all live in the digital era. Another is just the sheer number of platforms out there – how do you prioritize? What do you post where? And thirdly, because I am by nature a very private and reserved person, so it does not really come naturally to me.
But in this day and age, and as an indie artist, social media is how we can connect to the mass audience in this industry, and this is what makes it possible for indie artists to pave their way. Because of social media, I have received some exposure and traction. So I could say that it has helped to kickstart my musical career growth.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Gosh – favorite artists? Where do I start? It is perhaps easier to mention who inspires me, but this is not exhaustive or in any priority. I love Freddy Mercury and Queen – what a natural talent. And I am now exploring David Bowie’s back catalogue. These two artists were completely unbeholden to genre limitations or music styles. They just made beautiful music. I love Sting, and Sade, and Shakira, and Aretha Franklin. And Stevie Wonder – just amazing. I am discovering new things all the time. I love music from the 80’s – so warm and groovy and honest.
Just like favorite artists, there are so many present and past artists that I would love to collaborate with. It is so hard to narrow the list down, but I think Shakira, Sia and Bruno Mars would be at the top of the list, simply because their musical style and groove, and the concept and persona they embody, I think match and complement mine quite well. I would also love to sing with Bono from U2’s heyday, or Sting and Cheb Mami in “Desert Rose” – I love the Arabic grove and would thoroughly love being in something like that.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
Something like Madonna’s or those of Michael Jackson. I admire their creativity. I always love the idea of something cinematic, like a short movie with a story and substance. I think that is very cool. But of course this requires a big budget, a big production team and substantial time investment, which are all limitations for new artists like myself and indie artists in general.
Where would you love to hear a song of yours played?
I would love to hear my music played in favorite hang-out spots and realizing that Shazam immediately detects it. I would also love to have my songs played in mainstream commercial radios or in a big arena at a prominent event or in a cool movie or TV series. Hopefully with time. Fingers crossed!
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope the listeners can relate to my music, find some inspirations and a bit of hope through the universal message and emotions I embed in my songs. Like many people, I have gone through adversity and all kinds of challenges in life. Despite this, I have maintained a singular focus on my ambitions and my dreams, and I have maintained a sense of purpose in my life. I try to be strong, to be focused, and to be ready, and I try to never give up. So I hope I can make the listener strive for the same. But that is a lofty ideal. Most of all, I hope people can take the positive vibe and the feeling of hope that I try to share in my music. It is nice to feel a little bit better when you hear a song, isn’t it?
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
At this time, I have 2 other singles already out, “No More Games” and “Be Mine.” They offer different feel and music concept. “No More Games” has some retro feel to it while
“Be Mine” carries some jazz feel and vibrance in it. Here are the links to these new releases.
No More Games = https://song.link/DejhareNoMoreGames
Be Mine = https://song.link/DejhareBeMine
I would love for your readers to explore these 2 new singles as well.
Thank you so much, all access music, for your questions. I have really enjoyed this. I hope to hear from you guys again, and please explore my music and all the other new artists who are making excellent music without the backing of the big studios. All the best in everything