SLUG’s October Localized features three outstanding artists from Utah’s vibrant—and underrated—pop/R&B scene. Featuring co-headliners Detzany and Nicole McMahan along with opener Kimi K., the show will bring these artists’ emotive, sonically explorative music to SLC’s famous all-ages stage. SLUG Localized will take place at Kilby Court on Thursday, Oct. 20 (doors at 7 p.m., music at 8 p.m.) and is sponsored by Riso-Geist.
Detzany’s name has been burbling around the SLC pop and R&B scenes for a few years now, whether you’ve encountered her through her futuristic, genre-blending singles or by following her Instagram for an endless string of highly aesthetic glamor shots and performance videos (often alongside members of the local jazz-pop-funk–et al collective The Niños). From her sounds to her visuals and beyond, Detzany’s total artistic persona balances an individual drive with an inherently collaborative spirit; the artist has a hand in every element of her art (writing, production, video direction, etc.), but no song, performance or photoshoot exists without the input of others. “I want to uplift [others’] art and showcase the best of their art through my music,” Detzany says.
“At a very young age, I lost a lot of close ones to me. That was a way for me to truly heal, through that song, and that’s why I wanted to write a very intimate version of that song,”
A lifelong singer, Detzany grew up listening to and imitating a range of artists—Bon Iver to Selena, Fleet Foxes to Lianne La Havas—whose sonic influences she carries with her to this day. After studying music production at UVU, Detzany caught the ear of formerly local producer Dee Kei, who at the time helmed the music collective A.M.G. and invited Detzany to join their ranks. This community of artists gave Detzany the kickstart she needed to make songwriting and production a serious part of her life. “[It] pushed me to keep putting out music and constantly writing,” she says, noting that she still collaborates with a number of the artists from this circle.
A culmination of her rich musical history, Detzany refers to her work with the evocative marker of “cinematic and futuristic R&B.” This transcendent, medium-blending approach comes through in her depth-filled songs, among them the recently released “Way Out (Special Version).” The song was co-written with fellow Utah songwriters Jay Warren and Talin Everett and released weeks into the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Full of booming drums and trendy hip-hop beats, Detzany found herself revisiting the song’s instrumental as the lyrical meaning shifted over the years. “At a very young age, I lost a lot of close ones to me. That was a way for me to truly heal, through that song, and that’s why I wanted to write a very intimate version of that song,” she says. The “special version” cuts back on the audacious production, amplifying Detzany’s vocals over a piano-led instrumental and exemplifying her “cinematic” descriptor in the track’s swelling climax.
“I want to uplift [others’] art and showcase the best of their art through my music.”
Detzany is the artist’s middle name, the Otomi word for “abundant water,” and signals an effort she makes in her music to honor and embody her heritage and culture. “I think that’s … something that I kind of drew away from when I was little,” Detzany says. “It was hard being proud of who I am because I grew up in a very white-prominent neighborhood. Over the years, I’ve been really proud of where I come from and showing off who I am as authentically as possible,” pointing to the inclusion of both Spanish and English lyrics in her songs and an increased dialog with Latin pop elements in her recent material as examples of how this appears in her work. Combined with her ever-changing sound (contrast the 2000s indie-inspired guitar rock of her latest, “Away,” with the ultra-confident R&B slow jams on 2021’s “Don’t want you around”), Detzany’s injections of her personal story and history creates a distinctive body of music—at once full of anything and everything, but also inextricable from her own life and experiences.
Ahead of her co-headlining performance at October Localized, find Detzany’s music on all major streaming services and follow the artist’s Instagram @detzany_.
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