Delilah Bon: “People’s responses to my music has given me fuel. I’ve not even started yet!”

Born from Lauren Tate’s frustration about the sexism she experienced in her last band, Delilah Bon has become a vital outlet for female rage. And she’s gathering a mightily empowered fanbase while she’s at it…

Delilah Bon: “People’s responses to my music has given me fuel. I’ve not even started yet!”
Aliya Chaudhry

Lauren Tate, also known as Delilah Bon, is in the middle of cutting up a wedding dress – an eBay purchase from five years ago that cost her £4 – to make an outfit for the Spotify misfits 2.0 Anti-Prom. This is a pretty common occurrence, really. In addition to crafting her own clothes for live shows, she also designs her own merch, as well as writing, recording and producing music herself. “This is the most free I’ve ever felt creatively,” she enthuses.

Before Delilah Bon, she had released solo albums as Lauren Tate and was in Hands Off Gretel. When touring with the aforementioned punk band, she would meet fans after shows. “I was noticing that the amount of guys that were coming to meet me were drunk punk guys that would just be coming to put their arm around me, and then I was getting groped. And this started when I was 17, so I was too afraid to say anything,” she sighs.

At the time, when Lauren started to speak out about it in her music, audiences reacted negatively. “Men would come to my shows to purposely cause issues,” she continues, “to harass the few girls that came to see Hands Off Gretel.”

Lauren started to channel her feelings about those experiences into music during lockdown, in what was initially conceived as a studio project. She decided to name it Delilah Bon – after one of her characters on The Sims 4 – and began melding together ’00s pop, nu-metal and hip-hop, while tackling sexism head-on in the lyrics.

On the song Dead Men Don’t Rape, for example, Lauren takes her audience’s outrage and flips it back on them. “People would be so angry and get offended about the title, but where is that anger when it’s another woman in the news, and all the different femicides across the world? People aren’t as offended as when you say, ‘Dead men don’t rape,’ and that’s the whole point,” she explains.

Clearly, then, Delilah Bon is a powerful outlet for Lauren. “Recently, I wrote about a sexual assault that I’ve never really spoken about publicly before,” she says. It can be challenging to voice these subjects out loud, she adds, but it’s easier for her to express them this way. “I’m in control of my narrative and I can say things exactly how I want to say [them]… I’ve got so much time to plan my lyrics and really think about what I want to say.”

While her music can be met with pushback, she of course gets a lot of positive responses, as well. “My inbox is usually full,” she smiles, “with people thanking me and saying that they use my music to walk down the street if they’re feeling scared or walking home.”

There’s more to come, too. “I have lots to lyrically address,” she says, alluding to a follow-up to her 2021 debut album. “I have songs that I’m writing about the music industry, about knockbacks I’ve had, about my journey.”

As you’d expect, she won’t be holding back. “Because of the way everyone’s responded to my music, it’s given me the fuel to think, ‘If they’re going to dislike me, I’ve not even started yet…’”

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