The 20-year-old New Zealand-based pop singer walked across SIR Studio 5 stage in Los Angeles on a Wednesday night, singing “Imperfectly Perfect.” His eyes met every girl in the audience:
He wanted you to listen to him as he told you about being loved for who you are. Portray you as you. Be everything that you bring to the table. The inspiration of the song is to simply be yourself.
Denelle, a singer-songwriter co-wrote “Imperfectly Perfect” with a group called Jupiter Project. “‘Imperfectly Perfect’ is a song that is close to my heart,” Denelle said. “It’s about loving another person for who they are regardless of their imperfections.”
Denelle smiles, and then says, “That’s Crazy”, as he talks about Sam Smith. “I’m a big Sam Smith fan,” Denelle said. “I enjoy his music.”
It is no surprise that Denelle would perform a Sam Smith cover song.
He performed “Make It To Me.”
The romantic singer switched gears when he performed the song he wrote called “Staring At You.”
“‘Staring At You” is about being in a relationship with a girl that is so amazing that she catches the attention of everyone and it makes you jealous,” he said.
Denelle ponders as he tells me a difficult song for him to sing.
The name of the song is called “Let’s Go.”
“A girl that I knew had a problem with her ex,” Denelle said.
“He treated her quite badly but she had feelings for him. The song is about are you going to come with me or are you going to stay?”
“This Girl” is his favorite song to perform.
It is a song about a girl that is cool and that knows who she is.
When he is not writing about the girl of his dreams, Denelle spends his time listening to songs by his favorite singer, Ne-Yo.
“It is hard to say what is my favorite song by Ne-Yo,” Denelle said.
“If I had to pick one, it would be “Miss Independent.”
He adds: “Ne-Yo is a great storyteller. I love the way he structures his songs. The first verse is where he introduces the song. The chorus will be what the song is about. The second verse goes deeper into the song. I love the way he tells a story through his lyrics and melodies. I think that is really powerful.”
Another song Denelle listens to in his spare time is “Time For Love” by Chris Brown.
“I am a huge Chris Brown fan,” he said.
Denelle beams with excitement when we talk about Michael Jackson.
I tell him that Michael Jackson was my favorite person in the world. He agrees with me as he tells me that “Remember the Time” is his favorite song by Michael Jackson.
“Michael Jackson paved the way for so many musicians,” Denelle said. “Music would not be the same without Michael Jackson. Every singer puts some element of Michael Jackson into their music.”
Denelle talks about why he loves being a singer.
“I enjoy being able to jam,” he said. “I love feeling ideas come alive.”
He turns around in his seat as we talk about his legacy in music.
“I want people to see that my music is different and positive,” Denelle said. “I love people. I feel like the world is going so crazy at the moment. We need to go back to what love is.”
He hopes his music will allow him to be a role model.
“We have forgotten what it is to be a role model,” Denelle said.
“The world is getting worse and worse. I want to make a difference with my music because music allows you to have a huge platform.”
His biggest influence/role model in his life is his father.
“My dad made sure my head was always in the right place,” he said.
It is his role model aspirations for the youth that has inspired Denelle to work with a charity called A Girl Called Hope in the future.
According to their website, “A Girl Called Hope is a nonprofit organization working with young women who face life-controlling issues and behavior, such as abuse, addictions, depression, eating disorders, self harm and unplanned pregnancy.
“I plan to work with A Girl Called Hope in the future,” he said.
“I would love to put out a song about self-worth.”
His music is catered to teens and women in their early 20s.
He was born and lived in South Africa until he was 5.
“We moved to New Zealand when I was just a kid,” he said.
It is the scenic green beauty in New Zealand that makes him stay.
“My favorite thing about New Zealand is how green it is,” he said.
California is the first place Denelle visited in the United States.
He smiles mischievously as he tells me how he describes himself.
“I am quiet when I need to be,” he said. “I can be crazy at times.”
He loves jamming to music, playing his PlayStation and flying his Aussie planes in the air.
“These things are therapeutic for me,” he said.
It is no surprise that his favorite color is green.
His favorite food is Thai Cuisine.
His astrology sign is Gemini.
He has a passion to raise awareness on depression.
Denelle moves closer to me on the couch when I ask him questions about his love for cars. He points out to me that he has loved cars since he was a little boy. His favorite car is the Porsche 911 GT3.
“What I love about a car is the feel of a particular car when you drive it,” Denelle said. “Hearing the engine and feeling it.”
That leads Denelle to talk to me about open road driving.
“I like taking my car out on the open road,” he said. “It relaxes me. I find it to be really therapeutic.”
One of his goals is to drive a Porsche 911 GT3.
He goes to YouTube to watch car videos.
His favorite car movie is “Furious 7” from the Fast & Furious franchise.
“I was a Paul Walker fan,” Denelle said. “It is so sad that he is no longer with us. He was my favorite actor in the series.”
Like Paul Walker loved cars, Denelle loves to go on car cruises.
“A couple of friends and I get together on a Wednesday or a Saturday night,” Denelle said. “We meet up in a car park so we can all ride in the car together. We see where the open road takes us.”
His favorite open road in New Zealand is a road called Twilight.
“It is a scary road because it is so winding,” Denelle said. “You have to make sure you don’t go off the edge of the road.”
I was a bit shocked to learn that “Divergent” is his favorite movie.
He likes a bit of fantasy but its contemporary books that he loves.
He is also a fan of horror movies that he watches with his friends.
“I can’t watch a horror movie alone,” he said.” I love watching them with my friends because of the thrill that comes from watching one.”
As the interview winds down, Denelle shares with me his faith in Jesus.
“My faith influences everything that I do,” Denelle said. “I am here at this point because of Jesus.”
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden