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SONGS WITH A MESSAGE AND DEPTH
South-African singer Dilana enthuses the audience with her acoustic band in Ingolstadt's Neuen Welt.
By Sandra-Isabel Knobloch
Ingolstadt (DK) "We have the voices for the voiceless!" - With lines like this and the ways in which she uses them in her own compositions, South-African singer Dilana proved again that she wants to accomplish more with her music than just entertaining the audience. As it turns out, she manages to do both pretty well: she raises awareness of current issues such as the unbelievable animal cruelty in Dutch nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen and the huge problem of human trafficking. This is also how her brand new single "Behind Closed Doors" for the Dutch CKM (Centrum Kinderhandel Mensenhandel) came about, a haunting appeal to humanity with lines like "How long must we wait for the sun and endlessly cry for our freedom?"
With her music and her humorous intros to her songs, Dilana masters the art of addressing her audience on a very personal level. She even literally gets personal with them in the true sense of the word, when she gracefully walks through the audience, hugging people, during her haunting rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Which other artists do something like that?
For her concerts, the exceptional artist manages to create the perfect mix of beautiful original songs and cover songs that she has made her own. Dilana has been a guest at Ingolstadt's Bluesfest before and performs some of the same songs she has already played. But, just as she keeps evolving as a person and singer, her songs keep evolving as well, ripen with the years, reflect her innermost feelings at her current stage of life, and fit her like a second skin, which she keeps renewing. One of those songs is "Loud Silence", which is about loneliness and inner demons, but also "Dirty Little Secret", about not knowing who her father is.
Dilana has been through a lot during her 45 years, and her music is a reflection of all the good and the bad things that happened in her life. The audience finds the real blues more in her lyrics than her music. Dilana and her acoustic band with drummer/percussionist Niels Voskuil, bass player Johannes Adema, and her sympathetic songwriting partner Jeff Zwart on guitar stylistically walk the paths of Rock and Pop, while taking small trips into Country and Reggae. Last but not least, it's especially Dilana's brilliant voice, full of depth and exceptional character, and her enormous vocal range that causes people to get goosebumps many times during this acoustic show in a packed Neuen Welt. There is only one thing Dilana now owes her old and new fans: a Live acoustic album to take home, to last them the one or maybe even two years they will have to wait until her next performance in Ingolstadt.
Bloody Good Horror Album Review
“Beautiful Monster” is a remarkable album, one that as a listener I'm enthralled with, one that as a songwriter I'm in awe of. “Beautiful Monster" is not just the best album so far this year, it's one of the most emotionally resonant albums I've ever heard."
Running Wolf's Rant - Beautiful Monster
"Chatting with DILANA I realised why her music struck such a chord with me. It is real. Her music is full of pain and heartbreak but it is her incredible lyric-writing skills along with her brilliant self-confidence that make every song touch you in a special way."
Zoiks! Online - InsideOut
"Dilana’s album is authentic. You can hear the drums, the guitars, the bass, etc. She’s a real rock star and I’m glad she had the balls to make a real rock record and not a pop record."
"In a world of fake artists and bubblegum lyrics that any five year old could write, it is refreshing to find an artist who is not only true to herself but also incredibly talented, an artist whose lyrics make you believe the song was written for your life and whose melodies make your skin vibrate with happiness. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Dilana!"
"Remember the 2006 rock-reality show Rockstar: Supernova? I watched it faithfully and my favorite artist was Dilana, runner up to winner Lukas Rossi. Compared to Janis Joplin, Dilana has a raspy/gravely, amazing voice. This woman kicks ass - many know her, but unfortunately many still do not! Dilana is destined for super stardom... When Dilana hits the stage with her colorful dreadlocks and hard rock energy, the crowd goes crazy for her. This is not unusual, as Dilana has quite the following, with very devoted fans! Dilana has a presence that is natural, sensual, enchanting and beguiling - let's face it - she's got IT! Dilana's interaction with the crowd is amazing, and I adore her sense of humor. A guy standing next to me kept screaming....I LOVE YOU DILAAAAANNNAAAA! After about the 50th time, she had him come forward by saying 'who said that...I need to see you'. Classic!... A Dilana show is a must see. The voice that comes out of that petite little frame will melt your face off - I say bring it"
"The human voice is an instrument capable of a connection more personal than any other. Some voices are able to cut through us and reveal parts of ourselves we didn't know existed. That kind of relationship between a singer and a listener is rare, but it's the one I have with Dilana... 'Beautiful Monster' is not just the best album so far this year, it's one of the most emotionally resonant albums I've ever heard."
"This chick is bad-ass and can no doubt rock with the best of any men. I cannot imagine this album not moving anyone who has a chance to hear it. Dilana's voice is astonishing. I cannot think of a single thing about this whole album that I don’t like. Nothing. I love it all. I love every track."
"The ultimate rock chick, Dilana bursts forth into the limelight with a 'get me noticed' kind of determined confidence that leaves nothing to chance. 'My Drug' is certainly addictive; a cultivated chaos of great rock instrumentals shot through with Goth and a sensuous vocal Di-light that leaves you breathless. Dilana is… Dilana. "
"Her voice has been compared to that of Janis Joplin , Tina Turner , Melissa Ethridge and Bonny Tyler, but the diminutive Dilana's voice has its own unique quality... She does a dead on impression of both Turner and Joplin. Compared side by side, in the opinion of this writer, Dilana is better than both. This comes from a Janis Joplin fan..."
"The South-African born singer had a buzz-saw voice that can cut through steel and is a polished live performer that had enough awareness of dynamics to change up her sound. She did a version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" on the show that was absolutely hypnotic."
"Dilana Robichaux took command of the rockstar stage, bringing her smoky vocals and a stage presence that was undeniably spectacular... Since the shows end, Dilana is still rocking music lovers who are there for her with open arms. "
- Road Crew Magazine
Dilana will go down as one of the greatest female singers ever."
"A great rock record has three or four hits and then some killer deep tracks that the diehards love. 'InsideOut' definitely has that... I can’t decide which song is my favorite on the album."
- Zoiks! Online
"Possessing a powerful whiskey-and-honey voice reminiscent of Tina Turner and Melissa Etheridge, Dilana can pull off country-inflected ditties ('The Question', on which Motley Crue’s Mick Mars contributes a distorted slide guitar solo); bluesy-punk tunes ('My Drug'); or upbeat, hard-edged pop (on her version of 'Holiday') equally... On 'Inside Out', Dilana maximizes her strong, soulful voice to add dimension to her thoughtful lyrics chronicling global and personal struggles, as well as kicking out rocking party-rock jams."