Ashley Delima’s debut single “Stay in America” enlists some heavyweight songwriting, production, and musical talent to make the biggest possible splash. Producer Marc Swersky teams with Delima and songwriter Brielle Brown and some of the best accompanying musicians working in popular music today strengthening her efforts here. The burning heart of the song, her words and voice, is what matters most and it gains immense luster from the surrounding virtues. Her testimony on behalf of the experiences of “Dreamers”, immigrants hoping to find a better life in America now facing deportation, resounds with passion and strong personal beliefs, but it never fails to entertain the audience. This is a physically engaging tune that percolates from the first and sweeps past the listener with great melodies and obvious confidence. Ashley Delima’s debut is truly a moment to savor and remember.
There’s some particularly stunning guitar work layered through “Stay in America” and it’s linked up with some especially pinpoint percussion and drumming that seems ideally tailored for the six string work. The overall percussion on the track gives the song a solid but restless foundation popping with energy from the outset and undergoing a number of transformations along the way without ever losing the original thread. It definitely has a distinctly Latin/South American pulse, but this isn’t presented as some niche genre piece. Instead, it’s strong commercial pop with a quantifiable style going far beyond the usual realm of such material. Delima’s voice is somewhat reminiscent of Fiona Apple’s and has a remarkable amount of raw throated passion and finesse alike. She does the same superb job of getting under the skin of the song that all the best singers possess and it’s all the more remarkable considering her young age.
The words are surprisingly sophisticated for a pop minded tune and express clear minded sentiments with forceful language cut to serve the song’s purposes. It’s one of the best parts of this song that Delima expresses herself with such beautifully evocative language that aspires to something higher than typical pop song fodder while still coming across to the audience on a comprehensible level. Ashley Delima’s “Stay in America” rides a line between entertainment and substance quite unlike many performers today, be there contemporaries or respected veterans, and it makes an impact early on that only deepens as the song continues. The song is a real winner on every level and the decision to record much of it in a live setting surely ensured that the performance would come off with the robust manner we hear every second of the track. “Stay In America” makes a powerful statement and is sure to win over countless fans for Ashley Delima.
Photo credit is Jesse Lizotte