Atlanta-bred rap artist Daye Jack puts creativity first when it comes to making music. The young rapper experiments heavily with hip-hop and soul, in an effort to bring a blended sound to the table. Jack also happened to be in college earlier this year as a computer science major at NYU, all while receiving the type of industry buzz that most veterans still aim to achieve. There’s no denying that Jack is wise beyond his years. His choice in music along with creative vocal deliveries reflect his ability to make any sound his own. Jack’s wordplay is substantive but not forced and his concepts are subjective but highly relatable. Simultaneously influenced by the likes of Fela Kuti and Outkast, Daye Jack has been exploring his sonic journey with a confidence that will manifest itself in 2016. Read our feature interview on the up & coming artist below.
When did you begin your musical journey?
I started making music when I was thirteen in my bedroom in Atlanta. I’d write raps and have melody ideas then sing them to my friends. Everyone was starting metal bands around me about the same time, but I didn’t connect much with the music. I was more into rap, and doing my own thing.
What are some of the most consistent themes you find yourself rapping/singing about in your music?
I usually find myself rapping about relationships, like friendships, family, and girls.
What kind of music/artists did you grow up on?
I grew up on what was on the radio in the early 2000s. I’ve been going back to a lot of that stuff recently: Pharrell, Gwen Stefani, Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake’s Justified album. Outkast is also one of the groups back then that shaped the type of music I’m making now. I was pretty young, so can’t say how much was me consciously picking what I liked then and how much of it was me just listening to what was in front of me. Those artists are definitely a part of the music I’m making right now though.
How was your Soul Glitch project different from Hello World?
Soul Glitch was more contained than Hello World. I had one concept in mind. It was like make a tape about “glitches” — like imperfections in day to day life — and I kinda stuck to that the whole time. I feel like Hello World was a big introduction showcasing a bunch of styles and me trying to cover as much ground as possible.
Let’s talk recent releases. What was the concept behind Piggybank? It’s a great song and talks about money in a non-traditional & unexpected way.
For sure! “Piggybank” is about making money from a bunch of different perspectives. The chorus is like the more money you have the less stress you have. Parts of the verses are talking about the danger in being willing to do whatever it takes to make money while other parts are saying I just want to party. I just wanted it to be one of those songs that people take whatever they want from it. It doesn’t give any opinions, just kinda shows a picture.
Your upbringing was heavily based in Atlanta. How do you feel about Atlanta’s rising alternative music scene that’s starting to embrace sounds besides trap?
I don’t think it’s a rising part of Atlanta, more something that’s always been around through artists like Outkast and Cee-Lo who continued through Gnarls Barkley. It’s real cool that it’s also getting the attention that trap has been recently too. I love Atlanta trap music and I honestly think it’s pulling from the same influences as the more alternative music coming out Atlanta. It’s all Atlanta, no divide.
How has your Nigerian background influenced your sound?
My dad’s really into Fela Kuti and Bob Marley and the Wailers, so growing up I soaked in a lot of that music playing around the house which was Reggae and Afrobeat music.
How are you able to balance education at NYU with your musical creative process?
I took time off earlier this year and moved out of New York to Los Angeles to work on new music. I haven’t had to deal with balancing the two in some time which has been good.
Do you ever get tired of that question? Be honest.
(Laughs) I used to ask myself the same question, so I get it. I remember flying from New York to Los Angeles for a meeting with Mike Elizondo, who’s executive producing the album I’m working on right now. This was before we had had a real sit down. I flew out on a Saturday night, had a lunch meeting with him Sunday afternoon, left that Sunday night on a red eye, got back to New York early Monday morning, and went to class the rest of the day. The whole time I’m like “WTF this is awesome!” but a bit much.
What’s an underrated song from Soul Glitch that you recommend to new listeners?
What’s on your playlist right now?
I just got into the Hudson Mowhawke Butter album. It’s lit.
What can we expect from Daye Jack within the next few months?
Right now I’m working everyday on new music and I’ll keep putting out new music; one-off stuff that feels like a full package. I have some merch coming soon that’ll be real cool, and new show dates in the works.
Instagram: @itsdayejack | Twiter: @dayejack