The very limited options for interview locations usually circle between sifflant backstages, big hotel rooms or plain record label offices. The choice for my virtual interview with Irish songwriter and producer delush is somehow different from all these circumstances: Enda Gallery is sitting in his car outside a pub in County Clare. Of course, this is all due to the times we’re facing at the moment. Midst the Corona crisis, he  flew from his Berlin base to his home country Ireland. He’s fetching the WiFi of his local pub due to the lack of internet in the house he’s residing in.

Meanwhile, the ongoing health emergency doesn’t just occur to be the conversations starter to everyday conversations, but interviews as well. Amidst all this chaos, delush is set to release his debut album The Journey To Zero on April 24. Radio interviews, his release show in Berlin and other album-promoting opportunities were canceled. Yet, he somehow thinks that the circumstances might be helpful for the independent music scene:

“It’s an interesting time. People are more reliant on good music and good art than ever before. They’re less busy, less distracted. They’re not trying to juggle ten things every day while just listen to music on the side. It’s a chance for people to go deeper. The album is about picking you up in lots of different patterns, situations or forms. I’m taking you to a place of freedom and just enjoying the state of being rather than being concentrated on doing things in the world.”

On The Journey To Zero the young gentleman takes on various forms of easy-going pop that go hand in hand with R&B and soul. Within his lyrics, Gallery dives deep into his own feelings and emotions. For this record he even chose a special form of narrative. It is based on the classic structure of a hero’s journey, a storytelling method used often in literature or moving images to visualize the transformation that the character experiences on his journey.

In Gallery’s case, the lyrics focus on several feelings such as grief, self-pity, euphoria or relief. His interest in psychological matters even dates back to his teenage years:

“I had a really difficult time as a teenager, being very very depressed. I felt like I didn’t completely fit in the world. I had a couple of mentors though who gave me books to read and I started to discover things behind what I feeling. Trying to channel the heavy depression into music was interesting to experiment with, because it was use for something good. Another thing that made me conscious of perceiving emotions was doing one and a half year of therapy. I was discovering the root of where emotions come from.”

Late bloomer

Having worked as an accountant in his home country, he found out that music might be the key to his wellbeing after having played instruments in private for years. Even though he states that he was rather a late bloomer while starting out professionally as a musician, he decided to give up his job in order to move to Berlin and enroll in a Master’s degree course in music production. The purpose of creating music is essential for him as an artist until today:

“Maybe we’re the ones because we get to sit around, dive into the stuff and thereby process a lot of struggle of the world. We as artists have the luxury and the responsibility to dive deep into things and come out with something that distills into something. Then other people can have the journey and exploration for themselves. I see music almost as a part of my nervous system. If I’m letting things out in this way, then they’re building up in some respect. I feel like I really found my purpose in that way. That’s what I’m supposed to do in this world. When I’m doing music, I feel very much in balance.”

Photo by Jan Lehner

Amid the broad music scene in Berlin, he started out in busking circles, until he realized that his music doesn’t really fit in there:

“Playing on the street taught me that my music doesn’t work there. There’s music thats very jangly, penetrating and attention grabbing and with that music can catch people that are walking by. I realized, thats not the type of music that I want to make. I want to make more contemplated music, music that’s more healing, about self discovery. My favorite music helped me discover things about myself and that’s what I wanted to do for others with my music.”

Since living in Berlin, he released music with his band project Kilnamana and produced for electronic artists such as Kid Simius or Lexy & K-Paul. By that time, he also got to work for a major label. However, producing with other artists did limit the output of his solo project for some time:

“I had struggled to take the space, to actually stand up. I noticed this pattern of myself that I was always sacrificing when I could take some of the attention, I would give it to other people. I immediately just didn’t pursue any of my own music and helped other people produce there’s for some years. I realized I have to also just take the space when it’s my time, because I don’t need anybody making music exactly like I am. I think that’s valuable for a lot of people. I also love helping other people and I’m never gonna stop. But it’s also important that I take the space for myself.”

As a solo artist, delush is still frequently collaborating with several artists. The Journey To Zero features soul singer Tölu Makay and rapper Strange Boy, both from Ireland. After gaining so much experience in working with others, I was keen to find out who his dream collaboration partners would be. After all, it wasn’t too surprising, as their music fits in perfectly with the relaxed manner of Gallery’s work:

“I have some favorite musicians for sure. I would just love to make music with them to perceive how they do it up close. I would love for sure to make a record with Frank Ocean or Sufjan Stevens. Both of them are channeling things from somewhere else, I find that so beautiful.”

With his self-explorative lyrics and a musical style balancing somewhere between pop, R&B and even folk, delush‘s debut album The Journey To Zero is the perfect way to take your mind off things for a bit in these uncertain times.

The Journey To Zero by delush will be released on 24th April via Welcome To The New World.


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