Maverick Mind: Denise Chaila on Glastonbury, TikTok and succeeding on her own terms

The Ardnacrusha artist on taking on the world, one considered word at a time

“Music isn’t the definition of who I am as a person,” says Denise Chaila, “but an arena wherein I’m able to exhibit myself in a way that I’m not ashamed of”. She wears a Helen Cody silk organza ‘Poppy’ dress, price on application at

Denise Chaila is dressed all in pink – a fluffy hat and tulle dress – with a backdrop of butterflies on the wall behind her (also pink). She’s in her childhood bedroom in Ardnacrusha, where we've spoken many times over the past couple of years, through dodgy WiFi connections, lockdowns, mixtape releases and interviews. It’s here, I’ve noticed, that she’s at her most comfortable; surrounded by her family, in a protected space. At one point ...