Amidst the vastness of homemade beats, soulful flows, and extensive mixtapes available on SoundCloud, Daye Jack has been able to carve a space for himself—one that defies the traditional boundaries of genre. The 19 year-old experimental rapper and singer was born in Nigeria, raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, attended school in New York, and now makes music in Los Angeles. He's built a wonderfully eclectic catalog of music on SoundCloud, and with a major record deal under his belt, we're sure this is just the beginning.
"Trapped In Love", premiering today on The FADER, is a simultaneously expressive and aggressive joint off Daye's new release, Soul Glitch, due June 30th on Warner Bros. Daye sing-raps about the pitfalls of love over lush production that combines glitchy synths, 808 drums, and nostalgic riffs of NES 8-bit melodies. Listen below—plus find out what Daye has coming up, and what advice he's taken from label-mate Mac Miller.
What's the story behind "Trapped In Love"? Does it draw on personal experience? It doesn't draw from one particular experience. It's more just the feeling of wanting someone or something so much that it clouds your judgment. It shows the stages of that, from longing to getting what you want, to realizing that it's got you trapped. Honestly there's no point in holding on to toxic relationships. I think too many people are afraid of being alone.
The production feels really summery—what do you look for in a beat? Soul Glitch is its own world. It's got a smooth body and rough edges; it was all about capturing that. I'm into taking nice things into a rougher place and realizing they're more beautiful for it. Perfect is boring. There's soul in a diamond covered in dirt.
You were born in Nigeria, raised in Atlanta, studied in NYC and now live in L.A.—how, if at all, have these musically rich places shaped your own sound? I grew up in Metro Atlanta, the 'burbs outside of the city. It was slow and spread out. New York was the opposite of that, and L.A. is somewhere in between. They all have a different feel sonically. I'm into how angst New York is. There're so many people who have somewhere to be and are in a rush to get there. There's a lot of noise. I think some of my own angst comes from that.
Who would be your dream collab and why? I'd love to do something with Kanye. He's got a great sense of himself, that's awesome. Yeezus was far out.
Why did you choose to sign with Warner Bros.? I spent the better part of last summer meeting with both major and indie labels. To me, Warner Bros. made the most sense—Mike Elizondo has a great musical background. When I met with him, Cameron Strang, Dan McCaroll and Peter Thea everything clicked. They understood me and what I'm trying to do, believed in the plan that my team and I had in place, and gave me the type of deal that gives me access to resources that add to what I'm doing.
I had a conversation about it with Mac Miller, who had just signed and started working with the label. Mac could’ve signed anywhere, but he chose WBR, and his reasons for doing so were exactly what I was looking for in a record label.
What's next for Daye Jack? Soul Glitch is coming out June 30th, I'm focused on getting it out. I'm working on visual stuff for it right now. Outside of that, I've started working on my album. I'm very hyped on it. Last summer I met with Max Martin and he ended up signing me to his publishing company MXM. I met Mike Elizondo a bit after, and he signed me to Warner Bros. and he's executive producing my album. I'm really excited to be working on the album with Mike and getting in with Max's camp. I'm pumped for some shows coming. I'll be performing at Lollapalooza, and a few other places this summer. Tori Kelly and I have a great song together called "Expensive" on her album that's coming out in June, you can probably expect some other things this summer.