HerStory: Della$ie Is The Fearless Afrobeat Artist Who Traded Work For Werk
Dellasie Aning left the nine-to-five life, a few years ago, to pursue her dreams of becoming an Afrobeat artist, and the rest is history. The Brooklyn-native with Ghana roots describes her sound as hip-hop-soul and dancehall influenced strongly by African Culture as well as a New York attitude.
"I see myself as a pioneer in that my music is speaking from the perspective of a dual-citizen. This is rarely seen in African music," says Della$is, who recently performed at the Sounds from Africa and the Carribean showcase at SXSW.
Next up for Della$ie is video content via a YouTube Partnership, an appearance at the 3rd annual Ghana Music Awards in NYC, and a new single coming in June as she continues to share her brand of #BlackGirlMagic around the world.
Della$ie is obviously busy, but you know the IMAN Cosmetics crew is all about confiden #GirlBosses, so we caught up with the trendsetting beauty to chat about her motivation, her music, her unapologetic style and how she #celebratesherskintone, just in time for the culmination of #WomensHistoryMonth.
What gave you the push you needed to ditch the corporate world and pursue your dreams in music?
When I took my career into overdrive back in 2009 I was working a well-paying job at BET. It was hard to move on from that comfort, but as I tried to juggle a work/life balance to make time for music it was just impossible. By 2012 I had made my exit and was pursuing my music goals full time. It’s been an arduous, difficult, challenging road. But I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and most importantly I’ve learned how to survive. There was one show I did back in 2012 where this beautiful, young brown girl came up to me and said, “Please don’t ever stop. There’s no one out here like you for us. We need you out here.” I still tear up when I think about this. That moment was definitely my turning point.
You obviously like to take fashion risks and are unapologetic about your style. Who are some of your personal style icons?
Kelis, Naomi Campbell, and Grace Jones are my holy grail in terms of style. Each one is unapologetic, each one possessing such an intuitive understanding of what is next and what is fresh — and how to make that work with their personas. All three are sexy women but in a smart and artful way — not a basic and vulgar way. And they’re all so strong. And you can see that strength in their bold fashion choices. What I learned from them is I can be anything — a punk princess, a fly tomboy, a dainty debutante, a dominatrix, a fierce power-player — I love the way they switch it up and make their own rules. I feel like I’ve adopted a lot of that sentiment and I pride myself on being adventurous, bold and true to myself with my style choices.
Why do you love your melanin?
I love it because it makes me feel unique, it hides my scars so beautifully lol, I love the way it glows in the sun. I’m grateful for the fact that I’ve never burned, flaked or peeled in the sun. I love how striking the color white is against my skin, and I love the glow it gets when I add a little shea butter to it. I feel like melanin is grace and a blessing and I sometimes feel sad for the part of the world that can’t see that. It’s unfortunate but I also realize it’s not my problem. I love the skin I’m in!
What's the best beauty advice you ever received?
To drink plenty of water! I know we’ve heard this all our lives, but I didn’t realize how much this affected my beauty regimen. When I started making a more conscious effort to get at least 8 glasses of water in daily, I started to notice my skin clearing up and staying moisturized, my eczema and dandruff went away fully and I had way more energy to workout so everything just started falling into place. I really started appreciating myself and taking care of myself more. I never realized how powerful water could be, but it is!
Finally, what songs would be part of your Beauty Mixtape? That would be, music that gets you feeling confident for a photoshoot, a night out, a performance and just killing it in life.
The first track of three would have to be “Bossy” by Kelis because that always gets me hype when I’m getting ready to go out.
Next would have to be “Pana” by Tekno because this was the jam last year, and it always makes me feel sultry and cool. It just gets you in the mood to go out and turn up on some cool cat type of time.
Last but not least I’d have to play “Soft Work” by FALZ. This song always gets me hype and it motivates me because the song talks about his rise to success and his parents being proud and I can really relate to that.
Keep in touch with Dellasie:
Facebook : dellasiexo