Not many musicians can count sharing a stage with the likes of Chase & Status and Maverick Sabre among their career achievements. Much less by the mere age of 21.
However, not content with singing from the shadows rising star Paloma Stoecker, aka Delilah, has taken over the spotlight this month as she embarked on her biggest UK headlining tour to date.
An appearance in Glasgow last week has been followed by a string of dates across the UK including Oxford last night, Birmingham tonight and Brighton at the end of the week before drawing April to a close in London.
Surely this must intimidate the singer-songwriter who has been subject to nerves in the past? “I think it’s the opposite, I'm more excited because when you support people its nerve wracking ‘cos they’re not there to see you, so it could go either way," she said.
“They just want to see the main act and you're passing the time so it’s a lot of more of a challenge to get people into what you’re doing. But this time, especially the first tour, all the people coming are big supporters and fans of my music.”
And her ever increasing fanbase is reflected by a healthy amount of press and radio coverage. Having sung on Chase & Status’s single Time last year, Delilah has had no problem clocking up more than 6 million hits on her official YouTube video channel, while her debut single Go – which reworks Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody – has sold over 150,000 copies.
With a new album, From The Roots Up, on the horizon and the tour in fulll swing, things were looking rosy ahead of her arrival at Glasgow's O2 ABC2 last week.
“I'm really familiar with the Glaswegians and I love the crowds," she said. “They're very energetic and they'll definitely tell you if they don’t like something.”
Delilah recently unleashed a free downloadable mixtape labelled 2-4am. Indeed, on first listen it’s clear how powerful her voice is. Production is slick with twinkling pianos and a trip-hop quality reminiscent of the more sombre moments in Massive Attack’s Blue Lines.
It is not exactly a taster of the upcoming album but more of a gift to her swelling followers. “I wanted to put some stuff out and say thank you to all the fans of being loyal and patient and listening, so those were just a few songs that I'd written over the years," she added.
One song that sticks out is 21. With a nursery rhyme melody weaving in and out of lyrics like The day they cut your spirit from you, it stems from the story of a late friend. “He kind of went down the wrong path, got into lots of bad things and lots of bad circles and ended up getting killed before he reached 21.
“So I wrote that about him and that's what it was about through that experience, and I'd imagined had he been alive what I would do on his 21st birthday if he was still around.
“I think the beautiful thing about music is you can draw on something, you know a sad situation and make something happy and beautiful come from it.”
There seems to be a continuous tinge of melancholy to Stoecker's music. Her stepfather was tragically killed in a car accident before she started secondary school. Delilah started to take song-writing more seriously, playing on the piano and producing songs such as Come Home.
However, like her assertion of 21, there is always a silver lining. “I think they'll always be a happy ending at the end. It’s not Emo, and it’s not dark and depressing, It's always got a dark edge to it but it’s about love...it's not about focusing on the negatives.”
Music has always been a constant in her life. Born Paloma Stoecker in Paris in 1990, she spent most of her childhood in London nightclubs and venues with her stepfather, a DJ and gig promoter. After an introspective writing period following his death, she started to visit venues again, going “full circle” as Delilah describes it.
Surely being brought up with an eclectic range of artists such as Buena Vista Club and Radiohead made it inevitable she was going to take a musical path? “I didn't know that, but my mum always said, ‘I knew you were going to be a singer’. You know when you're a teenager you never know ‘til it happens, do you?”
Now she’s firmly cemented her status as a solo artist, she doesn’t want to be pigeonholed into a certain genre. Her success with Chase & Status may, in some listener’s views, file her under ‘Drum ‘n’ Bass’, ‘Dubstep’ or any genre that recalls urban radio station BBC 1Xtra.
She’s also a ‘female solo artist’, a tag which has salivated music hacks for years now. But it doesn’t hold her back. “Dance music is definitely ruling the roost right now, so being associated with any sort of dance music, or something that's popular, is not necessarily a negative thing. I guess I am a soul singer of sorts, but it's just got a modern twist on it.”
Delilah is meticulous in her approach to her songs and lyrics. “I just think it's my personality, all being a little control freaky and OCD in everything, and I think my music's just another way to express that,” she said.
Despite this ethos, it hasn’t stopped fellow record label artists giving her advice. “Having Plan B as a friend makes you grow some balls ‘cos you have to stand up for yourself," she said.
“We work very differently and our music is very different but I admire his creativity and passion for stuff and his work ethic, so I guess I took on board some of those things.”
Producers LV – from the Hyperdub label – also offered a few pointers behind the control desk. “It was a learning curve at something which is very kinda intellectual and scientific in their production, and it took a long time to get the music finished. But it sounds so beautiful now. I definitely think their method paid off."
As her tour moves further south towards the English capital, it might feel like this was a long time coming. “It was always a dream of mine but I was a bit of a pessimist. I just thought it will never happen to me so when it did I felt very lucky and very blessed and I've worked very hard.”