New York City’s Miss Cherry Delight on beginnings, going viral on TikTok and newest music video

Miss Cherry Delight
Photo by Imogen Harwood-Matthews

Editor’s note: This story addresses some mature subjects. Reader’s discretion is advised.

New York City’s Miss Cherry Delight is taking the internet by storm.

Delight has always been drawn into performing. A classically trained singer, Delight was working her way towards Broadway and secured a spot in the Circle in the Square Theatre School, but she quickly learned that this wasn’t what she actually wanted.

“That’s when I realized that I hated it. I had been acting my whole life and working towards Broadway, and it was going to Circle in the Square that made me realize I don’t want to do this with my life because with acting, you’re so disposable,” said Delight. “You’re supposed to be this blank piece of clay that they can cookie cut into anything. I don’t want to do Chekov, and I don’t want to do ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.’ After that, I vowed to only play my own characters that I create from my own imagination and it was creating my own music that gave me the freedom to create my own stories and tell them in my own way.”

From her imagination came Miss Cherry Delight, a shock-rocking performer that lures you in with her sweet name. With bright white contacts and cherries in her hair, Delight is a character that is both sides of the coin: sweet on the surface, but underneath is a horror, slasher babe who owns her power on stage.

“Why just be one note? We have a lot of different parts to us, and if I were one note, that would be boring. My power is in my confidence but I’m not afraid to be vulnerable as well,” said Delight. “Miss Cherry Delight is a powerful character but doesn’t always get what she wants. It makes her more relatable and people connect to her more. She’s an anti-hero but also human, she has witch powers but can’t fly on a broomstick. She’s a fictional character but the character is human with flaws and struggles and suffers a great deal.”

Delight made a name for herself quickly, selling out every live show she put on in New York City pre-pandemic. Delight dropped her first rock album “Eat The Evidence” in 2019 and crafted a show that sought to empower those who listen to her music. A former burlesque dancer, Delight incorporates a lot of burlesque elements into her performances, as well as gore, original rock music, and (if the venue is okay with it) some nudity.

Delight says that the nudity in her shows is not meant to be sexual or for the male gaze, but rather for empowerment and terror.

“I like to catch people off guard and surprise people, I think are expecting this pretty cupcake to come out and titillate you but that is not what you get,” said Delight. “The nudity is not for titillation, it’s about terror. When I show my body, it is a moment of power, a moment of ferocity. Any sexual things that I do are not for the male gaze, it is all about owning my own feminine terror. Regardless of what’s in my pants, it’s really about confidence and control and freedom of expression and knowing exactly what you want in life and never being afraid of taking that.”

Photo by Harley Jade Walker

However, due to the shutdowns caused by COVID-19, Delight set her sights on social media to promote her music. As a result, her music has reached a broader audience with several TikTok users using Delight’s music as background music for their videos.

“TikTok really changed my entire life, and it was because of the quarantine. I don’t think I would have joined TikTok if it wasn’t for the quarantine,” said Delight. “I had no audience anymore because I relied so much on concerts, and it was opening up the virtual audience that changed everything.”

Delight’s character that she created is complex — the character of “Miss Cherry Delight” is a closet cannibal that has killed past lovers in an effort to keep them near her forever. The real life Delight finds cannibalism absolutely terrifying and has done a ton of reading on the subject, however, that knowledge got her some attention on TikTok that she didn’t intend to happen.

“With TikTok, someone did a video and said, what’s a piece of information that you know that feels illegal to know? I read a lot about cannibalism stuff. Why? I don’t know, but probably because it scared me so much. I talked about what I read, told it with conviction while wearing the white contacts and it caused quite a stir,” said Delight. “It got millions of views, people started to believe I was an actual cannibal. I trolled them and created #cannibaltok. Created hashtag to troll everyone who really believed. I never said that I was, my character is. All it takes to know what I know is to type it into Google.”

Delight describes her music as rock and roll and goth industrial, but with elements of soul and jazz due to a huge influence that jazz had on her growing up. A lot of her first tracks really reflected that sound, however Delight’s latest hit “LikeYouHateMe” is a bit of a departure from the usual sound.

“LikeYouHateMe” was inspired by a piece of graffiti on Hart Street in Bushwick that read “Kiss me like you love me, f–k me like you hate me.” As time went on, Delight knew she had to write something based on this message that she passed day after day.

“This is really a confidence song that says you’re missing out. An empowering song about going out and getting all the good feelings you deserve,” said Delight. “My idea was, what if the devil wrote this message to try and get people to indulge and sin and do what they desire. Life is too short, and I don’t want to regret anything.”

Delight describes the track as more “dancey,” like something that you could hear in a club. Though the song has a different sound, Delight tries to not tie herself down to one particular kind of style, stating that “This track is just this track” and her roots in jazz really allow her to play with songs to create the sound she’s looking for in that moment.

The music video for “LikeYouHateMe” dropped on Feb. 11, 2022, and incorporates lots of bright colors and empty subway cars, which Delight and video director Dylan Mars Greenberg achieved by heading into the transit system at 4 a.m., and even the billboard that was the inspiration for the song. The video itself has garnered a lot of attention from the public, including Delight’s friend Teller of magic duo Penn & Teller.

“[LikeYouHateMe] is a fabulous video and a great, elegantly spare and simple, totally edgy song. I love it,” said Teller.

The cover image for LikeYouHateMePhoto by Dylan Mars Greenberg

Delight credits the video’s success to Greenberg and Glitter Macabre, who helped bring the whole video together and styled Delight for the shoot.

“They really understand my brand and the world I’m creating, understand what that looks like and what feels like. I do creepy stuff, but it’s very colorful and wild,” said Delight. “They’re a fantastic team and they really understand Miss Cherry Delight. I’m very grateful to work with them.”

As for what’s on the horizon for Delight, she has a few new tracks coming out this year with Dusty Gannon and Marike Bresseleers. she’d love to maybe do a graphic novel about the Miss Cherry Delight character and hear her songs in movies and television. But most importantly, she hopes that people can take what she’s created and make their own art out of it. 

“My dreams for the future are to have my music in movies and television, especially opening and closing credits kinds of things, and be on the radio. I would love to have my music play in clubs,” said Delight. “As a performance artist, I love to see anyone perform to what I create. I’ve written so much for people to move to, to create their own things too. Whether it is burlesque, pole dancing, puppetry, take my stuff and create your own thing with it.”

For more information about Delight, visit misscherrydelight.com or follow her on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram @MissCherryDelight.