Vanessa Delaine


She wasn't always so self-assured and adventurous. It's been a tough and rewarding journey for Vanessa Delaine whose original sound is now cascading through the airwaves as her new blues single ‘Moon Blues’ rockets up the charts.

Vanessa Delaine brings an exquisite sensitivity to her music, creating an authentic sound that simultaneously honors and breaks the traditional rules of songwriting. It is an approach that is earning this artist out of Wodonga, Victoria, Australia much acclaim lately and has propelled their debut radio single ‘Moon Blues’ to the top of the charts. One critic recently went so far as to comment: ‘Vanessa Delaine's soothing vocals contrast with howling blues riffs to impart a rugged believability to this superb narrative.’ Reporter Lauren Scott recently caught up with Vanessa Delaine to learn more about this intriguing artist, their artistic inspirations and plans for the future.

LAUREN: As an artist on the rise, what is one thing you are most excited about and one thing you are most afraid of happening in your career?
VANESSA DELAINE: My album ‘Runaway’ was released on iTunes December 2015. It hit the Blues Charts and No #18 USA, No #15 The Netherlands, No #23 France and Botswana and it stayed on the Blues Charts for 3 weeks. It was such a surprise and it made me realize what a small world it is and how music can reach far beyond our own little world. I started to get excited about the potential of my music. I began touring in Australia and my guitarist and I have just started his second and my third tour for the year. I am so delighted, inspired, and deeply touched by the beautiful compliments I receive and I am excited about sharing my heart and soul through music with more and more people. With my song 'Moon Blues', it was a last minute decision to include it on the album as I was giving my producer a CD of songs that we could select from. I just accidentally found the lyrics that morning. I quickly sang it into my iPhone and added it to the CD. The reaction of both my guitarist and producer to the song was priceless and this has turned out to be a favourite for many. I would also like to say I am so delighted to have also won Best Country/Blues Song (Akademia July 2016) for my song ‘Long Gone’. I don’t believe there is anything to be afraid off. I am already living the life I dreamed and I just keep dreaming up more and more things I want to do.

LAUREN: Your song 'Moon Blues' is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
VANESSA DELAINE: I think I might have been talking on the phone at the time and almost dropped the phone to get to the radio to listen. It is such a delight to hear my song playing on the radio and I am so grateful for the opportunity. I am so happy that people are enjoying this song.

LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
VANESSA DELAINE: I wrote this song in 1996. At the time I was studying Contemporary Music Performance and I had to write a blues song. I’d never written a blues song before and so I just decided I would write something that was along the lines of ‘how blue can you get?’. I still remember the moment the words ‘Climb to the Moon’ came to me and I remember thinking ‘that is really cool’. It was then that the song started to get a voice of its own and I am still amazed at how cool the lyrics are. As I said, I forgot that I’d even written it and so I have been blown away by the response it has had and really enjoy playing it live with my guitarist.

LAUREN: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
VANESSA DELAINE: Quite often I hear musicians talking about how their parents always encouraged them to fulfill their dreams and I think about how easy that must be. Although I came from a musical family, I was born in the 1970’s where people didn’t encourage you to follow your dreams. My mother said I needed to get a real job instead of doing music because that wouldn’t pay the bills. I started singing in front of people at 11 years old, but back then dreaming about being a singer was discouraged so I kept my dreams to myself and did what I was told. I did have a real job for many years, and then one day I was in a car accident that left me unable to walk for quite a few months as I had injured my back. Playing my guitar and singing became the catalyst for my recovery. Nine months later I had written and recorded my first album which won a few song writing awards. I went on to study ‘Contemporary Music Performance’ as an adult and enjoyed playing music for quite a few years until I got married and had children. Then I didn’t touch my guitar for 7 years. As my 40th Birthday approached I decided to sing at my party. I was incredibly nervous but went ahead and did it. I was totally blown away by the response of family and friends, many who had never heard me sing before, but I don’t think I was ready to get back up on the stage at that point. When I moved to the country the following year, I had a stall at a local Country Market, selling hand-made items and one day I asked the manager why nobody was playing music at the market. She asked if I knew anyone who could and without even thinking about it, I said I would do it. Now here I am, 45 years old and travelling around Australia singing my own songs from my Top40 Album. I've won two international song writing awards and my music is played on radio around the world so I am very proud of myself. Not only that but my family are very encouraging and also very proud of me. It was almost as if I had to let it go of the music to get it back. I was told by a very wise person once that this is my gift. I think I had to learn it for myself and now that I am back doing what I love, I will not be stopping anytime soon.

LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
VANESSA DELAINE: As an artist/musician, I think I am a little bit of everything: down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated. Some of my songs are very serious and others are fun and people love to chill out to my music. I do take my music very seriously and I like to have fun. I think my producer said he had never had anyone as organized as we were when we walked into the studio. We produced the album a lot quicker than some of his other singers because we knew exactly what we wanted to do.


LAUREN: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
VANESSA DELAINE: I have an amazing team and I am so inspired by their work. It is terrific to have great support and people sharing your dream. My guitarist Michael Barnard is so talented and plays guitar, slide guitar, blues harp and mandolin. Our combined talents allow us to bring out the best in each song. I also sing a couple of songs that Michael has written in our set-list. They are just stunning songs and I love singing them as much as I love singing my own. They are completely different to my own style of writing but it allows us to create the blues/country/rock crossover style that people just enjoy so much.

LAUREN: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
VANESSA DELAINE: Yes, as I said above my Dad was a musician and I sang with him at a lot of events up until he died in 1995. Dad also wrote a couple of songs that went on my first album, which I was recording at the time of his death.

LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
VANESSA DELAINE: I think the most rewarding thing is being true to yourself and knowing that you are being the best person you can be. I am finding joy in the journey. For instance the first time I overheard someone saying to their friend ‘Oh it's Vanessa Delaine playing tonight. I’m so excited!’ that was so beautiful. The challenging thing is not lose sight of your own vision or allow someone else’s vision to become more important than your own.

LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?
VANESSA DELAINE: I’ve been inspired by many including: Keith Urban, Kasey Chambers, Bonnie Raitt, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, and John Denver.

LAUREN: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
VANESSA DELAINE: My most memorable performance was recently on our Runaway Tour. People were just loving it so much, so many beautiful compliments, requests for encores. The place was fully booked with people waiting to be seated. At one point the Manager came out and said to me ‘You are killing me’ as he was completely rushed off his feet. Such a wonderful night. Can’t wait to do it again.

LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
VANESSA DELAINE: If this is the path for you then you should definitely pursue it. Don’t let anybody convince you otherwise.

LAUREN: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
VANESSA DELAINE: We are having a blast on our current Runaway Tour VIC, NSW & ACT and it looks like we will be doing another tour in January 2017. I am looking forward to getting videos done of our two winning singles and writing some more songs and I think we will be recording some more songs very soon.

LAUREN: Very exciting. Thank you for taking the time to let us into your world as an artist. I wish you continued success in your career.

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