Denai, tell us a little bit about yourself…
I'm an Artist and Chef based in Margate.
Following a challenging 2020 for creatives, how have your overcome this & kept motivated?
I've actually found it quite helpful for my music, to focus on writing on my own. Usually I would have been on the road, or in sessions with other people. It's nice to have to figure that out on my own, what I want new music to sound like. I've been writing and producing at home for the past year, which feels super refreshing for me. In a strange way, time felt like a luxury, but having so much more of it gave me space to do things outside of my work, which makes me feel a bit more balanced overall.
Now more than ever, community is key. From music to food, how important is community to you?
Community is integral for food. Food just like music transcends language. I love to create recipes and share them, because they feel very human. We have a lifetime of food memories, lifetime of nostalgia on our taste buds.
You released your third album ‘Modern Dread’ in July last year, can you tell us a little about its inspiration & your creative process behind it?
The album was very informed about how I feel in the world. The chaos, the constant wave of noise, tragedy, injustice. It's quite perplexing to understand how to balance all of it and separate it from yourself. I wanted the album to feel a bit like whiplash, where you didn't know what was going to come next. This record was a big challenge to make, and pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Which artists inspire your music?
Right now I'm heavy on my friend Hayley Williams’ quarantine record. I've been listening to a lot of electronic music, Mr Mitch & Smerz.
Your music was a source of escapism for many during last summer & beyond, how did you stay positive over that time?
I just try to stay in tune with how I'm feeling. I think making things when it feels right, but allowing myself to feel switched off when I feel overwhelmed.
Living in Margate & being by the sea, has this influenced your creative thinking and song writing?
It's allowed me to be more detached to the digital world. I think the inertness is amazing, in a way I can share with so many people and I have a strong digital family. However, being connected to nature is also important. Seeing waves crash, and breathing in fresh air, walking along the cliffs. It's really beautiful.
As well as your music, you also run a modern vegan Jamaican catering company. How do you balance your multiple creative streams?
I balance each by going back and forth between both outlets. When I'm feeling uninspired I probably cook more and vice versa.
What is your all-time favourite vegan Jamaican dish/recipe?
I recently made a French toast recipe, that was super delicious but so easy. That's my current favourite recipe of mine.
If readers wanted to find out a little more about Dee’s Table & possibly try some of your amazing Jamaican food, where & how can they find you?
I share a lot on Instagram and also on the blog of my website! Looking to do more filmed content, so watch out. Discover Dee's Table on Instagram or visit the website.
From your music to your food, what are your plans for 2021?
I'm currently in the thick of finishing writing my new thing. My biggest dream is to write a cookbook!