Fault recently caught up with new pop megastar Daya as she promotes her brand new album ‘Sit Still, Look Pretty’ which was released on October 7th.
Hey Daya, how’s it going?
Hi! I’m good, how are you?
Not bad thanks! Are you in the UK long?
For the next 2 or 3 days.
Enjoying so far?
Yeah I love it here, we got into London yesterday and went to a musical, and it was good.
I went to ‘Beautiful’, the Carole King one. It was good; it was fun.
You’re going on a long tour soon from end of November all the way through to March?
Yeah I’m doing a lot of Jingle Ball type things around Christmas, and then after that I’ve got a bit of a break. But then I have my first headlining tour in February, which I’m really stoked for.
Sounds great! You even end up in your hometown of Pittsburgh?
Yeah, I think I end there; I love doing hometown shows, it’s the best.
It must feel quite special with your family being there?
Yeah! All my family and friends are there. It’s really the only time I get to go home because I’m just doing so much craziness. But otherwise it’s fun, everyone has supported me there from the beginning so they can see every time I come home what has changed, and how everything is growing and evolving.
How much has life changed since your debut album was released?
Yeah, it was only a couple of weeks ago but it’s just been insane, so incredible and the feedback I’ve received is awesome. I’m just excited for everyone to finally have it and also excited to play the songs from the album live.
How long has been in the making, in terms of recording?
It’s been about a year and a half because I released my EP last year and since then we got on with the album. It’s been like a year on and off, in and out of the studio. It has been a lot of fun and I love the process of it all; so I was very anxious to get it out into the world.
And as you mention, the response has been strong so far?
Yeah it has been amazing. I just toured in Japan for a week or two and played a lot of the songs live for the first time, so they were really well received.
Was it nerve-wracking playing them for the first time?
Yeah I mean it’s always scary to perform songs for the first time but I was so ready to! I’ve been performing the same 6 songs over the past year so I was just ready to move on.
As the new album has 14 songs on, you’ve got a large catalogue now to take from, does that help?
Yeah so much better to have 14 rather than 6, it’s pretty nice.
Are you planning on touring the UK at all next year?
Hopefully. I mean my biggest dream going into all this was to do a world tour so hopefully I’ll be touring Europe, South America, Asia next year or even the year after, I’m not sure yet. That’s the ultimate goal.
After listening to the album, is there an apparent theme or message running through it?
Yeah I think a lot of it is about self-development and empowerment. I’m so young in the industry and I haven’t had too many experiences yet with relationships, love or anything so I write about what I know. I feel the album allows you to depend on yourself for happiness, go and be passionate and also pushing you to work hard and go after your dreams.
Which is exactly what you have personally done?
Yeah pretty much, I hope to inspire others to do the same.
In terms of your collaborations with artists such as The Chainsmokers, how has the response been from that?
Yeah it’s been awesome, that was such a great one to get my foot in the door and to get introduced to a new audience too. I performed at Coachella with them and they’re obviously a lot more electronic dance leaning so I got a lot of new fans from that, which was really cool. I’m super proud of the way the songs hit with everyone, I love that song.
I suppose you’re both on the same journey, as you’re growing up in the industry together and entering yourselves into the mainstream chart audiences.
Yeah, and it was really fun to create with them because they’re great guys. We really connected when we first met.
Does it feel like a quick journey since that collaboration came out?
Yeah so many things have happened over the past year but I definitely wanted to focus on my music after that feature. It was great to feature with them and everything but I definitely wanted the focus to be on the album, and on me. Just to kind of let them know; the world know who I am.
You’ve got new VIP packages available for fans on your upcoming tour, is that an opportunity for them to get closer to you?
Yeah I do. I kind of wanted to make that more of an experience rather than just a “hi” and “bye”. That is something that I’ve always had trouble with during meet and greets. You don’t get to interact with your fans, become friends with them or get to know them at all. Basically for the VIP thing I’m adding to this upcoming tour is to do an interactive sound check experience where they get to ask me questions and hopefully it will be a lot more fun for them too.
Are there any new singles fans can expect to come out soon? Or anything new that you’re recording such as a video?
Yeah I have a new single from the album that I’ll start to promote soon and it’s called ‘Words’. It is my favourite from the album and I think that people will really dig it. Its kind of got a dancey tune and sound to it and it’s really fun to perform in concert. So that’ll be the song I’ll be pushing to radio soon.
You’ve been having huge success on streaming sites such as Spotify, has that been a shock to you or has it been a long journey to get to that status on there?
Its really cool and I guess that’s kind of the direction that music is going in these days. It says a lot when songs are played a lot on streaming sites like Spotify. It’s the future and the present for music. I’ve had a lot of great feedback with the numbers from Spotify, which is awesome. I was with someone the other day and they put on the ‘Top Hits’ playlist and two of my songs came on which is amazing. I’m so grateful for the support from Spotify and from listeners everywhere.
Are you doing a video to support that single?
Yeah I will be, within the next month or so we’ll start filming it.
Any ideas as to the location of the filming, hometown maybe?
I don’t know yet as its been so crazy. We haven’t looked at treatment or anything yet.
You’re travelling lots now, have you got a favourite accent?
I love the UK accent. My make-up artist was doing my glam this morning and she used the term ‘flick’ instead of ‘wing’ for eyeliner and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. [laughs] I thought “this is great”, I mean using that word ‘flick’; its so cool.
Have you tried impersonating the British accent?
Yes, but I’m terrible. “Terrible at it, so terrible at it” [in British accent]. [laughs]
The more you come over the better you’ll get.
What is your FAULT?
That’s another term we really don’t use in the US. I say “like” a lot. [laughs] I’m pretty bad at doing that, especially during public speaking.
Ever had a problem with crowd banter on stage?
I’m really confident on stage, especially when performing on stage. It’s my favourite part of all of this. I love touring and I love performing in front of my fans.
It sounds like you really enjoy the full experience of being an artist.
Yeah, it’s exciting and it’s everything that I’ve wanted to do since I was like 8 years old.
You can catch Daya on her upcoming North American tour running from December through to March 2017. Daya’s debut album ‘Sit Still, Look Pretty’ is out now. View full list of tour dates on her website: http://www.theofficialdaya.com/
Words Stuart Williams
Photography Jack Alexander
Styling Edith Walker Millwood
Beauty Krystle G using Bumble and Bumble