Manchester’s DellaXOZ releases her new single and video ‘i want, doesn’t get’, self-produced on garage band and mixed by Nathan Boddy (Nilüfer Yanya, PinkPantheress, Celeste). Following self-released singles ‘AHH!!’ and ‘Where Do I Belong?’, which saw her receive support from The Guardian, ‘i want, doesn’t get’ is a bright introduction to the joyful experimentation of DellaXOZ – where textured alt-pop and indie rock foundations meet to deliver a message of accepting hardships.
On the track, DellaXOZ comments; “My mum says “I want doesn’t get” a lot as a jokey response to me when I say that I wanted something. After having a long creative block during the pandemic, it randomly inspired me to create a song where I basically just complain about things in my life, while simultaneously accepting them. It’s about this weird ‘half-relationship-half-vibes’ kind of situation I had that came abruptly to an end on the day lockdown was announced. For the first few months I didn’t really try to process it, so this song for me was kind of a therapeutic vent of all the irrational and paradoxical emotions we’ve all experienced – like bitterness and resentment but contrastingly acceptance and even indifference. It sounds pessimistic, but I came to the understanding that these things are inevitable and it’s best to accept them – or at least be indifferent to them.”
DellaXOZ is the moniker of 17-year-old Daniella Lubasu. Growing up on the outskirts of Manchester, she feels that the city’s strong indie rock legacy has had an “inevitable” impact on her. Equally significant was the music of her Congolese heritage – with its upbeat rhythms, driving bass and intricate electric guitar riffs a constant presence in her childhood. It’s in this intersection between the genres where Daniella grounds her sonic identity. At age 13, armed with a cheap mic and free software from the internet, Daniella wrote and produced her first song, using music as an emotional outlet throughout her teenage years. The potential for music to shape mood is a recurring trait of Daniella’s idols too. The clever wordplay and bravado of Nicki Minaj have emboldened her to channel her own “irreverent villain energy”, the untethered chaos of La Tigre and Bikini Kill directly influenced her single ‘AHH!!’, and she is in awe of pop stars like Lana Del Rey and Lorde’s ability to seamlessly shift emotions en masse. DellaXOZ is Daniella’s real-time chronicle of expression and introspection, manifested via her own brand of glitchy, alt-pop-flecked indie rock.
With her formative teenage years navigated during a global pandemic, it’s little wonder that Daniella sets classic coming-of-age concerns to the backdrop of wider social issues and commentary. Her current ethos as DellaXOZ is to capture “the fleeting emotions and multi–dimensionality of the teenage experience”, and she rejects the narrative of apathy and distraction misassigned to her generation, explaining “I think it’s necessary to know what’s going on in the world to not become distanced or ignorant. Current world issues like hate crimes, bans on safe abortion and poor gun control are things that I feel personally provoked to shed light on, and have already written some rage-y unreleased songs about.” Currently studying for her A-levels, her lessons too expand the narratives within her songwriting. Drama classes led her to include references to Greek mythology in her tracks, where sociology galvanized her to pen her own “riot girl feminist song”. It’s exactly this kind of boldness and conviction to play with sounds and ideas that mark DellaXOZ as a key young creator in the next chapter of Manchester’s musical tradition.