The Man Behind The Music: Our Talk w/ UK-Bred Artist, Daley
UK-Bred Artist Daley Speaks On His Recent Album, The Spectrum, Collaborating w/ Jill Scott, & Staying True To Himself
Having first come to prominence largely due to his co-write and feature appearance on the Gorillaz 2010 single, “Doncamatic,” Manchester, England, singer-songwriter, Daley has since become one of the UK’s most respected musical exports. This year, alone, the 27-year-old–born Gareth Daley, has already scored an exclusive recording contract with BMG, a major US tour alongside Leela James, a chart-topping Jill Scott collaboration, “Until The Pain Is Gone,” a main stage performance at Essence Festival, a headlining trek of his very own, and, last but certainly not least, the unleashing of his long overdue, eagerly anticipated second solo LP, The Spectrum.
Over seventeen MILLION YouTube views… Over twenty-five MILLION Spotify streams.
“One of the dopest singers I’ve worked with in a long time.” – Pharrell Williams
“If you love music, there’s no chance you’ll resist.” – Maxwell
“Daley is an amazing young talent. One of those voices that don’t come around often.”
– Damon Albarn (The Gorillaz)
We caught up with Daley to discuss the new project and much more…
Parlé Mag: Let’s hop right into this Swindle assisted entry, “Sympathy”. Tell me about this particular composition. How did it come to fruition?
Daley: Swindle is a good friend from London, and we got together in L.A. to have some fun in the studio. “Sympathy” was the result! It was originally written for his own EP, Purple Walls–which is amazing, but, after living with it, I began to love it so much that we agreed we could use it on both of our projects.
Parlé Mag: “Sympathy” comes courtesy of your just unveiled sophomore studio collection, The Spectrum. Conceptually, what does that title represent both to and for you?
Daley: The Spectrum to me represents the realization that I’m free to make whatever kind of music I want. It was me unchaining myself from the feeling of what I ‘should’ be doing and just doing and embracing what I love; the different shades of the music. I also love the word, as it means different things to different people and can be applied to the outlook in many areas of life.
Parlé Mag: The set’s lead offering, “Until The Pain Is Gone,” features Jill Scott. How did this collabo even come about?
Daley: Jill and I met a couple of years ago in London; I opened up for one of her shows, and we connected that way, stayed in touch. After writing “Until The Pain Is Gone”, I just had this feeling from it. It was making me think of Jill, so I just listened to that voice and reached out to her, and she loved it! She did her thing on it. Such an honor to have her involved.
Parlé Mag: Sonically, how does Spectrum either differ and/or compare to previous Daley efforts?
Daley: It’s written from the same soulful core I feel; I tried to approach the songwriting in a similar way as I did for ‘Days + Nights’–relatable feelings and songs that people can apply to their own lives. This time, I just had more experience, different experiences, and perspectives on things and am in a different place. I’m not heartbroken, but I’m still dealing with love in many different ways. Sonically, I wanted to push forward and do some contemporary/futuristic stuff, but also hail back to that undeniable, feel good R&B feeling, too.
Parlé Mag: Reflecting, how did you first discover your musical talent?
Daley: It’s just something I always did growing up, mostly alone in my bedroom. One year, when I was about fifteen, I entered the school talent show and performed an Usher song, think it was “U Got It Bad”! I won, and I think that may have been a seed planted that I could maybe do something with my voice.
Parlé Mag: Who have been your greatest inspirations musically, and why?
Daley: Probably Prince, Chaka Khan, Joni Mitchell, George Michael… they’re all artists who took great care in the creation of their music; the standard was so high. Prince for his fearless creativity, Chaka for her incredible ability to transmit pure feeling/energy with her voice, Joni for the subtleties of her amazing songwriting, George for his timeless vocal delivery and songwriting.
Parlé Mag: In having said that, how do you actually describe the style of music that you create and perform?
Daley: I really don’t know! It’s many things. I’m well known for R&B and soul and obviously lean that way, but I don’t think that encompasses everything I do. I’d just like to be seen as a quality singer/songwriter, making relatable and, hopefully, beautiful, timeless music.
Parlé Mag: Longevity, what do you attribute yours to, at least thus far anyway?
Daley: Well I’m about seven years in, so I’m not sure if that is classed as longevity…yet! But, to get this far, I’ve just tried to stay true to myself, be honest and human in my music, trust my gut feeling, and trust in the things that make me unique to other artists. Oh, and, when you’re really really down, just know that quitting is not an option!
Parlé Mag: What do you want people to get from your music?
Daley: I want it to compliment what is going on in their own world. For them to listen and just feel it and relate, embrace it in a way we all can as humans in love.
Parlé Mag: On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B? And, being that you are native to the UK, do you feel that that in and of itself works for or against you in trying to make a name for yourself here in the states?
Daley: I’ve always felt very accepted in the States, which is a great feeling. It wasn’t any special marketing or gimmicks, just letting the music do the talking. I don’t really know about the ‘state of R&B’. There are many incredible R&B artists flying the flag, and there are also many R&B artists who have lost the emotion, making forgettable music because they are more focused on a lifestyle, look or hype. I think R&B is fine; it is the genre that constantly evolves and continues to influence the biggest artists in the world. It would just be better if the big media outlets gave more shine to the artist reppin’ the real spirit of what it is, as opposed (to) the disposable brand.
Parlé Mag: To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s)?
Daley: I’m really not sure. I think the release of an album is the biggest moment for me; it’s the culmination of so much hard work and creativity. So, honestly, the release of this current album, The Spectrum, feels like my biggest career moment to date.
Parlé Mag: After coming off of ‘The Undeniable Tour,’ opening for Leela James, you performed at this year’s Essence Festival — First off, how has that whole touring experience been for you so far? What are some of your least, as well as most, favorite things about being out there on the road? And, for someone like myself who has yet to experience you performing live, what would you tell that person can be expected from it?
Daley: I really enjoyed my warm up tour this year; it’s a great feeling to go out there and let people know you have new music on the way. Favorite thing about touring is the adrenalin and transcendence of being on stage, mid-note. Least favorite thing is probably dealing with having to eat fast food so much, driving all over the country on a tour bus!
Parlé Mag: As for the immediate, what’s next for you, Daley?
Daley: Well, album just dropped, so in full swing with that and intend to keep pushing it to the max. Next single will be announced fairly soon, I’m sure, so starting the ride all over again! Music videos, a proper headline album tour and all of that good stuff.
Parlé Mag: Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
Daley: Just a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me to date by buying the album(s). It means the world and is what allows me to be here making music. And to anyone who hasn’t, hope they might be persuaded to give it a listen!
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