Los Angeles-based artist Anna Dellaria released her latest single “Mama Said” on August 27th.
The anthemic single was written by Dellaria and produced by Brian Jones. Fusing elements of pop, rock and r&b, “Mama Said” is a powerful record about self-love and authenticity.
“I wrote "Mama Said" as a way to reclaim the power in being authentic and unique. Although I may not feel that strong and empowered every day, it's nice to have a reminder of the moments that sometimes occur when I do feel that I'm enough and that I shouldn't be afraid to be authentically myself,” says Dellaria.
Coming from a broken home, the San Francisco-native used music as an escape. Accepted into USC’s prestigious Thornton School of Music, the singer/songwriter crafter her vocal abilities by getting inspiration from artists like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé. She then caught the attention of Lenny Waronker and Rob Cavallo while performing backup vocals for John Fogerty, Chaka Khan and more.
“Mama Said” follows up the single “At My Worst” released earlier this year. Showcasing big vocals with catchy pop/r&b records, Anna Dellaria is an empowering artist spreading the message of self-love and uniqueness.
“Mama Said” is now available on major streaming platforms.
I'm a Pop/R&B Singer-Songwriter originally from The Bay Area, now based in Los Angeles.
When did you start singing?
I've been singing since I can remember! Humming melodies all over the place. I'd say I started really singing around the age of 6 when I'd put on little shows for family and friends.
Growing up, what were your favorite records to sing along to?
Definitely was obsessed with Beyonce and Tori Kelly. I loved the riffs and complexities of their voices, so I'd sing and repeat the same ones. I also loved Amy Winehouse and Aretha Franklin in addition to Stevie Wonder (all of Talking Book and Songs in the Key of Life!). Anything that offered a challenge was really what kept my attention in terms of singing.
Do you remember the first album you ever bought?
Honestly, my earliest memories of music, or even playing recorded music is rooted in waking up and hearing my mom prepare for her fitness classes with an eclectic playlist of all kinds of music! It was always a surprise. The next "purchase" of music was definitely via HitClips if anyone remembers those haha! I think one of the first CD's that I ever bought was likely the Soundtrack to "Dreamgirls".
When did you start writing songs? What made you want to write songs in the first place?
I started putting lyrics to all the melodies floating around when I was about 11. I had dabbled in piano and loved that I could finally put the harmony that I was hearing in my head to the melody I would be singing. Then I started writing poetry and putting those words to the melodies.
Songwriting has always captivated me in that it allows pure expression and creative freedom. It's the intertwinement of elements coming together to tell a story that will relate and connect to people somehow, and that to me was really incredible. It's also just simply been the only place and way I've found I can express myself freely!
What did your experiences as a backup singer teach you as a performer?
It reminded me that each song and performance has an intention, and my job is to enable that intention or help create that experience for the listener. So if a song requires simplicity - then that's what I need to focus in on in order to allow the emotion and story to come through vs. constantly trying to "showcase" something or prove my worth. Simplicity can be key.
What gave you the confidence to be an artist and release your original music?
I don't know if I ever got a sudden burst of confidence, as much as it was more so just this fire inside that I knew was only going to get bigger and more forceful and so I had to pursue my own artistry. Otherwise, it would've taken over some other way. However, I do find a lot of joy in writing for other projects and helping bring other stories to life that aren't necessarily so directly attached to my project.
Who was the first person to ever believe in you?
I'd say my older sister Lyndsie. My pursuit of a professional career in music wasn't supported initially by family. Retrospectively, I understand - this business and industry are really hard and there are no guarantees, which can be scary for a parent to encourage any child to go into haha. My older sister, however, was always so supportive and letting everyone know that I was going to pursue this one way or another because I had this ability. She's like the most radiant light you can imagine haha.
How would you describe Anna Dellaria, the artist?
Empathetic, Undefined, and Powerful.
"Mama Said" is your latest single - what's the story behind this song?
"Mama Said" was a very spontaneous song that I captured in a moment following this overwhelming exhaustion. It became more and more apparent that I was being held to these subtle expectations or standards that I didn't agree with - primarily as a woman in the world and particularly in this industry. Additionally, the news at the time (and still) was also taking note of discrimination and inequality in other ways around the world. I wrote "Mama Said" as a way to reclaim the power in being authentic and unique. Although I may not feel that strong and empowered every day, it's nice to have a reminder of the moments that sometimes occur when I do feel that I'm enough and that I shouldn't be afraid to be authentically myself.
Who helped you create this particular song?
This song was primarily just me and a lil GarageBand demo full of breaths filling in as percussion! I took this to my friend and producer Brian Jones, and he thankfully translated my demo idea into this larger harmonic motif that you hear in the chorus.
What do you like the most about "Mama Said"?
I've learned to love its uniqueness. Although it touches on some previously heard productions or pop melodies, I think the combination of the message and the fusion of genres between both pop, hip-hop, rock and R&B is different and refreshing.
What message do you want to convey through this single?
That even though you may not feel bold enough, or worthy enough - actively try to be yourself and live authentically. It's so hard! It's also ironic because I think so many of us don't even know where to begin or what we identify with or like, simply because we've never quite allowed ourselves the freedom to discover it fully. I hope this song inspires listeners to do their best to honor who they are without compromising out of fear that they might get some pushback or critique. You probably will! But any critique is likely from someone unhappy with their own lack of authenticity.
What can you tell us about the artwork?
Yes! The artwork was done by the magnificent Jake Clark. He's a fantastic designer. The photo was taken on the Metro in Los Angeles by Max Baker. I've always identified as a feminist, and so much of "Mama Said" celebrates the strength of a woman, so I figured a powerful stance with a proclamation of that love would convey the message well in a visual.
Do you remember a specific moment in your life where music made a huge difference?
Growing up, I had a bit of a challenging childhood. My biological father was a little aggressive and caused a lot of conflict for my sisters and me and my mom. Music was the only thing really holding me together through it all. It became my outlet to escape from the chaos at home.
What advice would you give to anyone who'd like to "work" in the music industry?
Find your "why" and hold on tight to it! What's the reason you got into art and making music? What is it that drives your spirit to it? Once you've found that keep a reminder of it so that when things get difficult or people start to question it you always have your real, authentic "why" close by.
What message would you give to women around the world?
You are so damn amazing, brilliant, smart, beautiful, worthy, enough, and equal.
What are the things you are the proudest of?
My family, friends and of course my two family dogs haha. I'm most proud of the community I around me that I get to be apart of that focuses on lifting one another up and championing each other.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
If we would all begin conversations with at least 50% more kindness and a willingness to listen. It seems to me that a good amount of conflict and continued chaos is initiated and fueled by miscommunication or ego. I'd like to think that if we could let go of our "egos" and go into difficult conversations prepared to at least listen to the other person - then we'd likely have a slightly calmer world.
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