No matter how much and how loud some people get in the public arena on how we’ve already achieved equality between men and women, as a music publication that receives thousands of submissions, let us tell you this: simply not true. We get a ton of songs from men and very few from women. So we’re extremely honored to be talking about DeLashay’s first official EP, Love Trials. It is a project that has the power to turn rock fans into R&B lovers. It speaks on a myriad of subjects, it engages in a musical rollecoaster of sound elements and production styles, and it transforms itself from a love letter to a power statement as it progresses along. Welcome to DeLashay’s Love Trials.
1. Is It Love?
DeLashay kicks off Love Trials with a song that focuses its theme around identifying genuine love and separate it from what could be lust or infatuation: “I think it’s crazy that you may be the one for me/ I guess that’s why I try so hard to make you leave/ Maybe if I just took the time to read my energy/ Maybe that’s when I’ll see that this where I’m supposed to be”. You soon realize the artist’s got storytelling superpowers as you just wanna hang on to every word and find out why, when, how. Listening to her singing is like dipping your soul in gentle balm. DeLashay’s clear, warm voice shamelessly puts the sweet undertones to good use making even uncomfortable admissions sound like casual talk: “Okay I get it maybe I’m a bit confused/ I just don’t want to end up singing the blues/ I’m so bad at this thing that we call love/ And I must admit it’s very hard for me to trust”. In her own words: “Is it Love was written only hours before my actual studio session. When my manager emailed me the beat, out of the many ideas I had, these lyrics are what stuck”. Gotta love a good songwriter’s gut.
The music of Is It Love, is, as a matter of fact, very in tune with modern studio production. The claps are large and monochrome, the mysterious synth is omnipresent, the overall composition is minimalistic, and DeLashay follows the same melodic line for both verses. With the sum of these striking elements at her command, DeLashay leaves a strong, positive first impression.
Song Credits: Dejsia Hendrix (DeLashay) – singer, songwriter, co-executive producer; D Dilla Productions – music producer; Broderick Huckaby (Huck) – executive producer; Jose Santiago (Chico) – sound engineer.
After AmoBroBro (who we previously introduced to you HERE) amusingly enumerates the names of many exes, he poses the question as to why the two protagonists are “repeating the cycle”. He soft-raps the entire time, artistically peaking in atmosphere with these lyrics “We finish together/ Birds of a feather”. Rather astonishing how those skrrrrts in the back don’t disrupt the song’s flow but rather add a fun touch to it, easing the weight of the lyrics. When AmoBroBro goes to sing “I ain’t tryna waste no time/ I ain’t tryna waste no breath”, you’d legit think this is a professional R&B singer. And yet, he markets himself as a rapper. Curious!
As we get to hear DeLashay’s part, you just might gasp in silence and slight horror: “All my exes hate me/ Mad ’cause I ain’t had they baby/ Crazy, trippin’ I am not your lady” The blood is boiling under my skin. Society is not talking AT ALL about these guys who try to coerce women into having children with them. Happens way more often than you think. In the name of all women, especially young women, DeLashay, THANK YOU for having touched on this taboo, embarrassing, abnormal, but common real-life subject. This lyrical moment monumentally backs up the artist’s intention for the EP: “My goal was to make women feel comfortable with expressing their emotions, how they feel, and not being afraid of asking certain “Questions”” We’re on the second song but you’ve already accomplished your goal.
The dark-pop music influences à la FKA Twigs is godly as it successfully merges the two artists’ voices and presence into a beautiful singularity. Breathe will be your favorite if you’re seeking for soothing, relaxing music with a dash of star quality.
Song Credits: Alexander Moore (AmoBroBro) – lyricist, producer, sound engineer; Dejsia Hendrix (DeLashay) – singer.
3. That’s How You Feel
This song is one that will satisfy those who appreciate the likes of Ciara, Ashanti, Chrisette Michelle, Jhené Aiko. Modern R&B at its finest. With minimalistic production style, the song gets to the essence in few seconds letting DeLashay vocally shine and take the spotlight. “Let me climb on top of you/ Do the things that lovers do” – these 2 lines right here comprise the core of That’s How You Feel: grown-up, sexy talk veiled in R&B ingredients. “This track definitely took me out of my comfort zone. When creating it, I had to channel my inner freak without getting too explicit. I guess you can say it’s my first official sex song.” – confesses the singer. Albeit lasting 2 minutes, the record is of imposing presence on the EP, evidently flaunting a radio-friendly format, sensually-appealing lyrics, and DeLashay’s natural, unprocessed vocals.
Song Credits: Dejsia Hendrix (DeLashay) – singer, lyricist; Yung Bala on tha Beat – music producer; Broderick Huckaby (Huck) – executive producer; Jose Santiago (Chico) – sound engineer.
If you wanted the one song off Love Trials that will bring you closest to the artist in matters of vocals, raw energy, and atmosphere, this is the one that takes the crown. You is a pure, acoustic performance giving off interlude vibes. It very much stands out from the other 7 songs with just the guitar and voice making up both the foundation and the substance of the record. “You got me loving every part of you/ From your walk, to your talk, to the things you do/ If loving you is wrong then I don’t want to be right/ Because I know I need you in my life”, with effortless vocal power the artist evokes the positive, emotional side of falling in love. The hook is incredibly organic, simple, memorable, with the prolonged i vocals sticking out immediately: “Baby I will riiiide riiiide for you/ You got me hiiiigh hiiiigh off you/ I want to spend my liiiiife liiiiife with you/ Even in this darkest tiiiime tiiime it’s you”.
Song Credits: Dejsia Hendrix (DeLashay) – singer, lyricist; Beats By Arum – music producer; Broderick Huckaby (Huck) – executive producer; Jose Santiago (Chico) – sound engineer.
Think of mixing Destiny’s Child’s Bills, Bills, Bills with Ciara’s Greatest Love, and you get Questions. you will adore this one. It’s an ambivalent song first leaning towards ending the romance, “I’m sick of questioning/ Why are you doing this/ I’m tired of playing these games”, only to prove a significant amount love right after through the questions it brings to the table, “Do you love me?/ Do you care?/ Do I still please you?/ Do you still want me here?/ Is it too much?/ Can you handle it?/ I got so many questions”. The record’s demeanor is slightly more aggressive than the ones thus far, we get a nice versatile melodic line between the verses and the hook, and it’s guaranteed to strike a chord with ’90s R&B connoisseurs. Musically we’re starting to identify a pattern that’s likely to be DeLashay’s production stamp in time: heavy claps, strong drums, omnipresent acoustic guitar, and very few (sometimes zero) artificial adjustments on the vocal tracks. Let’s see if the artist will abide the same organic execution pattern in the remaining 3 songs off Love Trials.
Song Credits: Dejsia Hendrix (DeLashay) – singer, lyricist; D Dilla Productions – music producer; Broderick Huckaby (Huck) – executive producer; Jose Santiago (Chico) – sound engineer.
6. Moving On
If we sound biased when describing Moving On, it is because we are. This is by far our top favorite record off Love Trials. It is the most powerful, the most commercially appealing, the most musically complex song, thus the absolute BEST of the 8 compositions. We like that DeLashay has left Moving On for 6th place on the list, as usually most artists push their best records in the beginning while the end feels like filler content. This makes an indirect promise to the listener: I might have even better songs further down the line so make sure you sit through the entire album. As a matter of fact, this song picked up the mood and injected resurging energy levels on the EP. Outstanding. The immaculate production, mixing, and mastering instigate a hype reaction from the audience as it introduces synthetic sounds on top of the organic piano. Moving On will most likely feel like your most comfortable spot on the EP when you first listen to it as it encompasses the beloved hit elements we are all so used to subconsciously: in-your-face lyrics, multiple backing tracks, alternation between high notes and low notes, a rich but cohesive instrumental.
“Here we go at it again/ You told me she was just a friend/ She didn’t mean that much to you/ And that’s where all the lies began” – oof! the lyrics hit hard in this one. DeLashay didn’t hold anything back and she went full savage mode detailing things that we weren’t ready for 😆 “Is it because you really know that you f*cked up this time/ Or is it that you see me doing better/ Knowing that I’m probably wetter for a man that’s even better/ Plus he got his sh*t together” Someone send Cardi B the link to this song. We feel like she might relate these days.
If you thought DeLashay’s got a strong voice, you didn’t get to hear half of it until she reaches her full potential on Moving On during the bridge section and last hook. ❤ Damn she’s good!
Song Credits: Song Credits: Dejsia Hendrix (DeLashay) – singer, lyricist; Dray Beats – music producer; Broderick Huckaby (Huck) – executive producer; Jose Santiago (Chico) – sound engineer.
7. Oceans Of Flames
Okay, now we know for a fact that DeLashay’s left the best for last. This collab ballad between DeLashay and Redwine The’Goat brings a great change to Love Trials right when you were about to make up your mind about the singer’s style. Oceans Of Flames interestingly has a tint of jazz attitude to it becoming a powerful artistic expansion of DeLashay’s versatility. The joint vocal strength of both artists is something to be admired and talked about for days. It sounds so homogenous that you might forget that it’s DeLashay’s EP and think you’re hearing a duo. We’re willing to bet on this song’s likability with the audiences that favor Pop music over R&B.
Song Credits: Dejsia Hendrix (DeLashay), Nick Redwine (Redwine The’Goat) – singer, lyricist; Tennis Player – music producer; Broderick Huckaby (Huck) – executive producer; Jose Santiago (Chico) – sound engineer.
8. That B*tch
If you weren’t entertained enough already, That B*tch will flip your experience of Love Trials to 180 degrees. DeLashay actually shows off her rap skills sounding like an entirely different person How does she do it??? It’s a song acting as the ultimate statement of self-confidence getting really bold during the verses. The hook is ridiculously catchy and it inverses the usual structure of female on hook and male on the verse with the very opposite, DeLashay rapping and Redwine The’Goat singing. ⭐ That B*tch is such an exception to the rule that it asks for an EP continuation of its own. It’s too good. 1 minute and 48 seconds of club-worthy music. An ending note from DeLashay herself: “That B*tch was a fun, ratchet freestyle I did because the beat was so dope. I channeled my inner b*tch and ran with it.”
Song Credits: Dejsia Hendrix (DeLashay), Nick Redwine (Redwine The’Goat) – singer, lyricist; Timmydahitman – music producer; Broderick Huckaby (Huck) – executive producer; Jose Santiago (Chico) – sound engineer.
Somehow this EP of 8 songs feels like witnessing several years-long timelines of DeLashay’s life and progression. The artist’s vocal abilities become exceedingly convincing with every song and her personality takes clearer shape with every fluid rhyme. Love Trials distinguishes itself from your average modern EP by the fearlessness with which DeLashay sings, raps, speaks, questions, confesses. Welcome to your new favorite R&B singer.
Review by Mariana Berdianu
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