From right here in Los Angeles, California, the talented singer, songwriter, rapper, guitarist and producer Dilan Jay was the first artist from his country of heritage (Sri Lanka) to place on the U.S. Billboard Charts. Dilan spent 8 years as a rapper under his former pseudonym, “DeLon”, during which time he produced 4 hip hop albums and 2 mixtapes and saw much success. He is known by his followers as the “King of Ceylon” and has collaborated with American songwriter Jacob Luttrell, singer Ty$Sign, and other prominent producers in Sri Lanka. Dilan retired from his rapping career as DeLon in 2016. Adopting Dilan Jay to help represent his new musical direction, Dilan released 2 acoustic singing albums in 2019, “3.14” and “Songs About Love and Other Stuff”, with sounds similar to Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, and inspiration drawn from Fleetwood Mac.
The 5-track album “3.14” begins with a touching piano ballad titled “Favorite Song”. Dilan bares his soul and has his heart on his sleeve through the vulnerable lyricism and raw energy. The harmonically-rich vocals showcase Dilan Jay’s spectacular range right out the gate. The reminiscent track focuses on the waves emotions that come with missing someone. Dilan belts out “If I’m honest, I still feel // The same way that I used to feel // And now that you’re gone // I’m still singing your Favorite Song” throughout the chorus and we can feel the power and emotion behind his words. The album transitions into a light-hearted and acoustically driven song “Ophelia” and we’re hooked. The catchy melody and overall comfort that “Ophelia” exudes makes us want to sing along and fall in love. Dilan Jay curates music that any listener for all walks of life can relate to and enjoy.
“Pineapple Life” gives us a refreshing glimpse at Dilan Jay’s versatility within genres. He creatively weaves through a groovy soundscape with undertones of reggae, tropical and surf-rock vibes. This quirky composition will get you up out of your seat and singing along with the eclectic stylings of Dilan Jay. As the album “3.14” transitions into “Kick Back”, it reminds me of a wittier version of Bruno Mars’ legendary track “The Lazy Song”. The doo-wop vibe and overall theme of wanting to chill and relax is contagious and a perfect song for the summer season.
The final track on the album is titled “Better Days”, a truly touching song that’s extremely close to Dilan Jay’s heart. It’s about staying positive and never giving up hope, even in your darkest times. “Better Days” is truly close to Dilan because it’s all about when he lost everything and had to rebuild himself from nothing. I highly recommend you check out the inspiring music video to match! “3.14” takes the listener on a brilliant musical journey of emotions, laughs and incredibly acoustic arrangements. Stay on the lookout for Dilan Jay and his future endeavors!
Listen to “3.14” here and read more with Dilan Jay below in his interview with the BuzzMusic team!
Can you tell us more about your upbringing and how you got started in your music career?
My music career actually began when I started DJing at just 12 years-old. I thought if I could play music, specifically at parties, I could become cool (a major goal for 12 year-olds!). Working parties thus taught me intricately about music and even more importantly, what sounds and beats made people move. I fell in love with music in those formative years, and I became a professional DJ for hire. My DJing eventually evolved into a rapping career, and so, I became a professional hip hop artist for more than 8 years (my pseudonym, “DeLon"). Performing as DeLon was an incredible experience which took me around the world and made me the #1 artist in my country of origin, Sri Lanka. I released 4 albums and 2 mixtapes as DeLon, and I also recorded hundreds more songs that I never released. In other words, I inadvertently became a producer. I became known by my fans as the “King of Ceylon” (“Ceylon” meaning Sri Lanka). I was the first artist ever from Sri Lanka to place on the U.S. Billboard Charts, and I had a #1 on MTV's Most Popular Music Videos, plus 6 #1 hits in Sri Lanka. I don’t say all this to brag; this is my story. In 2016, I decided to retire from “DeLon" so I could start in a new and different direction that I’d always been interested in — singing and playing guitar. I recently released an acoustic singing album called 3.14, which you can check out on Spotify, and I have another album slated to release this year.
What theme does your album “3.14” hold? What does the name of the album mean to you?
3.14 stands for the mathematical pi, which to me represents the theme in life that everything comes around full circle. In my life, I began making music, I later achieved fame (as DeLon), and then several years ago, I lost literally everything: my car, my home, my money, and for awhile, my purpose. I then of course picked myself up, and started again. I reinvented my music career — not to mention myself — and I created more albums as Dilan Jay. So my album 3.14 not only represents the evolution of life that I think we all experience, but the sequence of songs on 3.14 are written and laid out to illustrate this growth-decay-rebirth cycle.
Can you dive into your writing process for the track “Kick Back”?
I was sitting with my producer, and at the time I was so exhausted from working that all I needed was 15 minutes to sleep on the couch. Just the idea of needing to kick back for 5 minutes, you know? He grabbed the guitar, played some chords, and I just started singing — and that’s how quickly the song was born. We wrote the entire song in just 20 minutes, just talking about how crazy life is and needing a minute to relax from it all. This was the fastest-written song on the album.
What do the lyrics in “Better Days” mean to you? What inspired this song?
I wrote “Better Days” after I had lost everything in my life, and there was only one thing that kept me going: sheer hope. So this song is for anyone who needs to believe that better days are yet to come, because I can tell you that if you persevere and work hard, things will get better.
What do you hope your fans take away from the album “3.14”?
I want fans to realize that life does come around full circle in time. 3.14 illustrates my real, true journey of being sad, to being super happy, to an “I don’t care what others think about me, I’m going to do my own thing now” attitude. You can start in one place, and then you can realize that simply: you are who you are. People gotta love you for that. And if they don’t? Then screw them. The songs on 3.14 are written in this full-circle order, too, so fans listening to this album will be taken through an evolution of life’s ups and downs that I imagine we all experience. No matter where you are right now, things will come around for you. I’m proof of that, and I want my music to inspire others to believe in themselves and keep going.
What are you currently working on? We can’t wait to hear more!
I'm working on releasing my first 3 music videos for 3.14. I'll also be releasing my next album very soon, and then of course, my tour is on the horizon for 2020 which is very exciting!
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