In-spireLS are honoured to bring to you the creator of the world famous blog ‘Vex in the City’ which has thousands of readers around the world. Welcome to the amazing and in-spirational word of Delia Rene, Writer, Actress and Singer. There really is nothing this woman cannot accomplish and we know once you read her interview you to will be motivated to take your visions to the next level.
Your blog ‘Vex in the City’, which you established in November 2008, started out as a space where friends and family could read your latest ‘friendly’ rants on topics including’ sex, relationships, and your everyday happenings whilst residing in London. Since it started you have built up a major readership from people all over the world. How proud are you of how far your blog has come?
I am extremely proud of how far my blog has come, especially in a day and age when every man and his dog has a blog, and mine has been able to stay appealing to my readers, it makes every blog worthwhile! My blog would not be as well known as it is, if it wasn’t for my readers and I am truly grateful to every single one of them, because they are the ones that continuously push and promote my blog to others, it truly makes me smile from ear to ear.
You must get a great amount of comments from your readers. What would you say has been the best recognition of your blog to date?
I think the best recognition I got was for a blog entitled “Not On The 1st Night” which basically was about females having sex on the first date, and assuming that because they’ve done that it will consequently end up in a serious long term relationship, there are exceptions to this rule, however I quote from the blog “why is he going to bother with the pursuit when he’s already won the race?”. After I posted the blog, I received so many emails and comments from both women and men about the impression of sleeping with someone on the first date, I respect that a lot of females were adult to admit that they have been in that situation, and men gave their honest (brutal at times) opinion of females they have slept with on the first date.
Your first blog was titled ‘If Women and Sex were like Pro-Evolution’ where you raised the issue of women coming second best to men and their love of the beautiful game. What was the feedback like from your male readers and how important has it been for you to raise questions such as these that will get back mixed views and perceptions, especially different to the views you share?
When I uploaded this blog, the first comment I got back was from a close male friend of mine, who saw the funny side to my blog and actually agreed with me, he did however, portray his own personal point of view when it comes to females and football, and basically said that men and football are like an informal marriage that all females just have to put up with. I am encouraged when I get back perceptions from other people, but everyone that knows me knows that I love to debate. Everyone has their own opinion and I hope that my blogs encourage people that would be strangers to come together, have a laugh and a good old banter on relationships, its great! I find the more people express their views, the deeper we can get into a certain subject and more knowledge can be shared, and knowledge is power.
Outside of the blog you have written for a number of online magazines. You were appointed as the lead writer for the ‘Sex and Relationships’ section in Eclectic Magazine as well as also being a featured writer for Complexxd Magazine. How different would you say writing for your blog differs to contributing to a magazine?
When writing for a magazine, you have to approach it from a different angle, because I was then working as part of a team. When writing for both magazines, I asked the editors what the theme for the subsequent issue was going to be and therefore wrote a blog that would tie in fluently with the magazine. You also have to deal with a word limit, which at first I struggled with, because I was used to just writing until I voiced everything I had to say, but I saw it as a good challenge because it allowed me to progress as a writer. Additionally when writing for Complexxd, the editor had expressed she didn’t want me to swear in my blogs, which is elemental in most of my blogs (especially when I’m angry) but again I took it as a learning curve and I was extremely proud to know that, expletives aside, it didn’t take away from the essence of what I wrote, that was a great lesson for me.
How does it feel to see that your words have a following and that you are actively recognised for your writing talents?
It is truly humbling to see that people have so much support and love for what I do! I initially didn’t even consider myself a writer, I started my blogs just as a personal outlet, but God is truly amazing in showing me that I had a natural talent in writing. To see me being recognised for it, makes me work that much harder because I do not want to disappoint the people that have brought me this far.
Your talents stem much further than writing. On top of being a successful and published contributor you are also a singer and actress. At what age did you realise that you had a talent for both acting and singing?
I’ve been singing since before I could form a sentence! My father is a singer and also plays the piano, so I was brought up around music and luckily for me I was raised in every genre from hiphop, reggae, lovers rock, pop, to even classical music. Throughout my life people have known me as a singer, but it was only until 2 years ago, when I was 22 that I realised that I had a natural talent for acting.
Out of all of your individual talents, do you have a favourite or do you embody them all equally?
I would say that my initial passion has always been music and to sing. The fact that I can pour my heart out in a song or on stage there is no other feeling than that! I am the concert queen so I’m at a concert every month, you don’t want to know how much money I have spent! But as my writing and acting has taken off, I have embodied them all and put effort into every one of them. I am trying to be the best singer, writer, actress and presenter that I can be. I truly believe in the saying “never put a limit on your talents because you then put a limit on yourself”. I believe if someone is multitalented that you should take it as a blessing and try to the best of your ability to do everything you put your mind to.
In 2010, you made your acting debut in the theatre production ‘Love is a Losing Game’ which has had 3 sold out shows so far and counting! How did you find the overall experience?
During rehearsals, when I first became a part of the production I was unbelievably nervous! I was surrounded by professional actors and people that had been doing it for years and there I was this “first time actress”. I would constantly laugh in rehearsals (much to the annoyance of the director) but I am so thankful I had such a strong, talented and supporting cast who through guidance, activities and a lot of patience made me appreciate acting for the art form it is. It was a team effort, and thanks to all our hard work it paid off! Being part of it was one of the best experiences of my life thus far.
What was it like to be acting on stage with other professional actors and what did you learn from your fellow performers?
It is not easy being an actress, can I repeat that it is NOT easy. Before you even consider being an actress you have to truly respect it for the craft it is; you have to truly understand your character, your storyline, and the amount of time you put in outside of rehearsal time is pivotal to how well and believable your character is. Every week at rehearsals, we would do different activities to help projection, diction and exploring our characters on a deeper level. I take my hat off to my fellow performers, especially Babi Isako who was like an open book and really helped everyone individually to become better actors. We all progressed as a team, and supported each other in our weaknesses, if we didn’t think our character would say or do something in a particular scene, or we wanted to add or take away from the dialogue, our director was flexible and respected our opinion and that was so important, without that the play would not have been as strong as it was.
Your singing is a major passion of yours. Why haven’t you come out with your own music, or is this something that we can look forward to?
During college and university I was more active in producing and making music. I was able to collaborate with many artists within my area and others I had met at talent shows and open mic nights. I had two singles I put on Myspace which a lot of friends know about, but now I’m older, my voice has matured and so has the things that I write about. After university, I became focused on my job and my acting and writing took off, but it has always remained a huge passion to me, recently I have begun songwriting again, and you never know you may be hearing some music from me soon whether it will be me singing it or someone else.
What musicians do you most admire and why?
I admire Michael Jackson he was a major, gigantic influence to me growing up as a kid and he’s been there all my life. Not only was he a singer, he danced, directed, produced, was an actor and so much more! His talents knew no limits, and it is so mind-blowing that his past songs are still current. You can’t hear “Thriller” or “Don’t stop till you get enough” and not move your hips! My personal favorites of Michael Jackson have to be “Man In The Mirror, Butterflies and Do You Remember The Time.”
I am an old school fan, so Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendergrass, Al Green, Earth Wind & Fire, Aretha Franklin, Brain McKnight and Whitney Houston. I am a diehard 90’s and slow jam mogul but I like current artists like Take That, Michael Buble, India Arie. Don’t even get me started on Gospel artists like Kim Burrell, Marvin Sapp, Smokie Norful , Karen Sheard, nothing and I mean nothing beats gospel.
I admire artists that irrespective of what they look like, where they come from make beautiful music, it’s as simple as that. My musical taste is eclectic, that’s the beauty of being a singer is that you can find beauty in the smallest of things, whether it be the melody, the instruments used, the lyrics ah it’s GREAT!
What actors whether UK or abroad do your rate within the industry?
One of the main actors that I am star struck on is Tyler Perry, he is simply amazing. The way he can play so many different characters especially when he is Madea has me in stitches and people say that’s me in 40 years, I love his work ethic and also how talented he is in front and behind the camera, it is inspirational.
Actors such as Halle Berry, Kimberly Elise, Loretta Divine, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Wesley Snipes, Morgan Freeman, Taraji Henson, Denzel Washington and of course Will Smith.
What I love about these actors are not only their longevity within the industry, but their ability to play so many different characters and just when you think they couldn’t do any better, they evoke more emotion from you and I reach a higher level of respect for them.
I rate a lot of up and coming talented actors within the UK such as Tanya Edwards, Kyla Frye, Jean-Louis Pascal, Aaron Fontaine, Daniel Bailey, Ria Horsford, Khelan Hunter, Jason York, Vanessa Vanderpuye, Yashi Woodburn and of course Babi Isako.
Put simply I would say God, my family and my friends. I am extremely blessed with the people that God has placed within my life. Whether I am singing, acting, or presenting I have a massive support system. I am inspired mostly by people that have gone through challenges and refuse to back down and continuously strive for what they want out of life. I never want anything handed to me on a silver platter; I want to be able to say that I have deserved everything that comes my way. I am surrounded by entrepreneurs, motivated, and extremely talented human beings and we support each other in every venture and every success we get and that’s what inspires me the most.
Who are your biggest supporters?
Apart from my parents and my close inner circle, I would have to say my followers of my blog! They don’t have to tell other people to read my blogs and follow me on twitter or email me words of encouragement but they do! There have been so many occasions when I have been at an event and a random person will come up to me and say how appreciative they are of my work and how I have inspired them to do their own ventures that’s the greatest feeling ever. When people ask for my personal advice for their own blog, relationships or events I am truly moved and it motivates me tenfold so to every single person THANK YOU a million times because I wouldn’t be here without you and I am looking to help every single person achieve whatever they want if they ask for my help I am an extremely supportive individual.
Being so open-minded and real in your writings, have you ever come up against any animosity? If yes, how have you overcome it?
Sometimes, people would say that they didn’t agree with something that I have written and I don’t expect them to! I’m writing from a perspective point of view, things that I have gone through personally in relationships or I have seen, therefore my opinions are my own and I understand that people will not always concur with it. I openly encourage if someone wants to critique my work or bring a different viewpoint to express them, because that’s what my blog is all about. If however, it’s just someone being negative for no reason, and obviously is trying to push my buttons I ignore them, I don’t have the time or patience for negative people that like to bring people down , like I constantly say on Twitter “Don’t Rage Me”, because anger is what I’m good at!
The acting bug has also seen you recently become the Co-Director of ‘Truly Inspired Youth Company’ how have you found the overall experience and what has been the most challenging part of having this role so far?
It has definitely been a learning curve for me! To take myself into a directing role and understand what my position is within that has been a special experience for me with highs and lows. It is a position with a lot of responsibility, and I have the cast and the other director expecting a lot from me, which I have enjoyed but they also are aware that this is the first time in this role. I learnt a lot from being in my play and also the experience has taught me a great deal about myself as a woman. The most challenging part of my role has been to separate my personal friendships with some of the cast members and to show them that they have to respect my opinion as a co-director. So therefore if I have hard on them, or critique them I have their best interests at heart, another thing I loathed was telling people that they didn’t get into the cast to see the disappointment in their face was heartbreaking but within this industry you have to get used to it.
Now if singing, acting, writing and directing wasn’t enough (because really a wonder woman has no real limitations!! 🙂 ) you are also a host and you recently hosted the ACLT charity celebrity auction which was also a celebration of the late Daniel De Gale’s birthday. How proud were you to be involved in this event?
I was literally jumping up and down when I received the phone call to say that I would be hosting the event, and after 5 minutes of screaming like a school girl the nerves set in, but I was extremely lucky to have my close friend Reggie from @reggiesworld co-host with me, he was able to calm my nerves, gave me confidence and we bounced off each other’s energy and jokes. I loved hosting alongside him and I hope to again in the future, and especially for such a special cause such as the ACLT. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel De Gale’s parents when I went to give blood, and his mother is such an angel she was supportive and thanked us personally for giving blood for the ACLT. Plus there were male celebrities to auction I didn’t need much persuasion to be involved! I even managed to buy one of the celebrities on the night for myself woohoo . So I look forward to my date with Asher D. Hosting the event was my personal way of saying thank you to Daniel’s parents and I know a lot of my friends knew him personally so it was nice we all stood together for such an important cause.
Even though you must be accustomed to the stage, did you get a sense of stage fright or did you take it all within your stride?
At the end of your bio, you described your blog ‘Vex in the City’ as a movement. What are your plans and direction for your creation? and could your very own book be created in the style the ‘sex in the city’ books/series that you lend your name from?
I am now the proud owner of Vex In The City Ltd Company. My plans are not only to release books, but also write my own plays, create events, work in TV and film, workshops, and scripts. I also look to help other writers or those looking to get within the entertainment industry. A “Vex in the City” book is long overdue as my readers have been telling me, and I am working on it, I would look to write it from a diary point of view, exploring different issues which makes people laugh, cry and understand more about love and life.
What are your plans over the next few months?
Over the next few months I will continue to co-direct “Family Affairs” tickets are now on sale at http://www.eventelephant.com/familyaffairs . We will be doing an additional date for “Love Is A Losing Game: True Love Never Dies” which is the sequel to the first play, so make sure people sign up to www.talentedandyoung.co.uk or follow me on Twitter. I am also proudly a member of the “Me & My Sis” foundation which is a nonprofit organization which through therapeutic services, aromatherapy, products, workshops and events look to empower, educate and support women of all race, age and cultures. I am the Head of the blogging team within this foundation, and I have a lot of exciting plans for the company, our website launches next week! I also am involved in a big project which I can’t really speak about right now but trust me it’s going to be amazing, it’s something that the UK definitely needs and I know that everyone will love. Also, thanks to my wonderful mentor Sabian Muhammad @therealsabian , he’s helping me adapt all my business ventures, he is an amazing entrepreneur with expertise in social media and has a passion for family, youth and education. I’m just looking to involve myself in as many things as possible to strengthen my talents further and meet more amazing people!
Where and how can readers of In-spireLS keep up with you?
Firstly my TWITTER I’m an addict my TWITTER is @VexInTheCityUK , everything I am involved in or my friends I put on my TWITTER, I also retweet up and coming events, castings, or anything that I know people will enjoy. I also have a good entertaining rant on there as well!
On YouTube I constantly collaborate with my close friend Scotty, of Swear Down TV, check out our videos together we have got a lot of laughs and love from them.
My blog can be found on FB if you search for “Vex in The City” the group will come up and scroll to the discussion board and they are all there, or my blogspot is www.vexinthecityuk.blogspot.com . Additionally the “Me & My Sis” page is www.meandmysisfoundation.org
Focus can… make you push yourself to a limit you never imagined.
Self belief can… know no limits, I am my biggest critic!
I am at my best when… I am on stage.
I am most confident in… my abilities.
Dreams are like… the paints of a great artist. Your dreams are your paints, the world is your canvas. Believing is the brush that converts your dreams into a masterpiece of reality.
Passion is…what drives me to continue striving.
What drives me the most is… my faith in God, my family, and my friends.
Three words that best describe me are… funny, real, creative.
I am a ‘Wonderwoman’ because… of the Wonderwoman that raised me and those in my family, and to show others that anything is possible if you’re truly passionate about it.
W| Interview by Sasha Shantel I| Courtesy of Delia-All Rights Reserved