Daye Jack, a former computer programming major at NYU, is now making his own waves on the internet.
At just 20 years old Daye already has two outstanding projects, a co-sign from Killer Mike and a feature on the popular television show “Atlanta” under his belt. I caught up with the Daye prior to his show last week with fellow emcees Witt Lowry and Watsky.
How do you feel like your sound has evolved?
Daye Jack : Over the last year or so my whole life changed. I left NYU and moved to L.A. and quickly just became obsessed with song-writing 24/7. I started working a lot with Max Martin and his camp. They’re all super well versed in the process and structure of writing “the perfect song” so I just went in with an open mind and tried to figure out what my version of that was and along the way everything clicked and we got “Surf The Web”. I feel like I really hit a wave as far my sound and where I want to go from here.
What was the most important song to you on the album?
Daye Jack : Well, all of them are definitely very personal to me. In particular though , “Bullshit” was an important one for me. It’s a song that I wrote for all the kids that have ever felt like they didn’t fit in. It’s a song about saying fuck all the artificial bullshit, nobody can tell what’s cool and what isn’t. So it’s a special song for me because it’s bigger than me, it’s a song for the kids out there that are trying to pursue something outside the box. You can be whoever you want to be.
Each of your projects has made the internet an underlying theme, do you feel like the internet has changed music and specifically hip hop’s collective culture?
Daye Jack : Definitely. I think technology has transformed art in a lot of ways. I actually started off wanting to be a computer programmer. I went to NYU for computer science and computer programming. I really idolized Steve Jobs growing up, seeing someone whose ideas really led him to the top as opposed to just someone technically inclined was very inspiring. Technology has not only changed how music is consumed, but it’s also opened the doors for everybody. You don’t have to have a “regional sound” to get big or have to impress a certain label to be successful. It’s really opened the door for artists to make weird eclectic music that really means something to them personally. It gives people the chance to truly and freely express themselves and have the world be able to hear it. That’s something that wasn’t necessarily the case twenty years ago.
People might not know that you moved to Atlanta from Nigeria when you were very young, what was the transition like at such young age?
Daye Jack : I lived in Nigeria until I was about six years old. A lot people tell me that I act older than my age and I think a lot of that is because at a very young age I was exposed to the juxtaposition of extreme poverty and extreme wealth. Nigeria is not a place with a solid middle-class so you constantly see the two extremes. When I look back on it that definitely shaped me growing up. Atlanta definitely also helped shape me though, Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below by Outkast is probably my favorite album so to live in a place where all this amazing music was happening when I was growing up was definitely inspiring.
When do you find yourself at your most creative?
Daye Jack: Night time. I’m an extreme night owl so I usually hit a wave around 2am or so. Usually alone too, I work better when I’m isolated. I think it’s because a lot of my music is so reflective about either personal struggles or the idea of loneliness that I really have to put myself in that situation and cut people off to get my own perspective.
What’s the biggest obstacle that you’ve had to overcome?
Daye Jack: I’m a crazy studio rat. Even before I was really putting stuff out my main passion has always been writing. So when I started getting deeper into the music industry and realized that there’s a lot more to it than spending long nights in the studio that was probably the biggest wake-up call for me. That this really is a business and how you have to balance time because if it was up to me I’d just stay cooking in the studio all the time.
Daye’s certainly made his prescience felt in the short time between sitting career paths. After trading in his keyboard for a microphone he’s taken his craft to another level. His unique flow and lyrical ability set apart from the crowd. His newest album “Surf The Web” has quickly become a cult classic and has also propelled Daye to the next level of fandom. He’s currently on tour with Watsky and Witt Lowry for a few more weeks and if you happen to live in one these lovely cities then I’d suggest you go catch this rising star before he’s selling out much larger venues in the near future. You can stream “Surf The Web” below and make sure to give Daye a follow on his Instagram and Twitter for any and all updates regarding the tour, new music and everything in between.