Childhood Dreams & Coming Out : Up Close & Personal with Daya
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – good music is about relatability, too. When it comes to a catchy beat and lyrics that always hit home – leave it to Daya. Beyond her exceptional taste in fashion and undeniable musical ability, the 20-year old American singer songwriter continues to prove that she is a force to be reckoned with in the industry. She first caught the world by storm with her debut single “Sit Still, Look Pretty” and won her first (of possibly many) Grammy shortly after.
Little known fact, the singer-songwriter is of Indian descent and ‘Daya’ is actually a Sanskrit word for ‘compassion’ or ‘kindness’. With her warm and positive energy that’s so contagious, it’s a name that fits her perfectly well.
A little over a week ago, Daya, took our nightlife experience to a whole new level when she performed for her promotional tour at Xylo. Luckily for us, we got the chance to get an up close and personal before wrapping her promotional tour in Manila.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest musical influence, singing wise, would be Amy Winehouse. Especially when I was younger, I just love how her authenticity translates into her music. Kendrick is also a big one. Everything that he does. It’s amazing.
When did you realize you wanted to be a singer?
I started playing instruments when I was little. But I think, when I was 10 or 11, I started taking musical theatre. That’s when I realized. That’s really when I got super excited about singing.
Your music is always, always super relatable. Where do you get the inspiration?
It always just comes from everyday life – whether it’s relationships, love or not love, whatever it is that I’m feeling at the time. It usually just starts with a small but really good concept. I’ve always been a writer. I’ve always loved poetry. I think it really just comes naturally to me.
Given that, could you tell us more about the story behind Insomnia?
Insomnia is about being in love with someone for the longest time and having those moments together and not wanting to ever leave, wanting them to be the last person you say good night too and the first time you see when you wake up in the morning. It’s really about the contrast of that with sleeping or waking up alone.
Honestly, it came from a string of shows I did. How it felt staying in hotels throughout the tour and it really just felt super lonely. It felt super isolating. There was this one night I really couldn’t fall asleep. I was tossing and turning all night. Insomnia. That was what it was.
Apart from achieving so much in such a short span of time, Daya inspired millions of fans all over the world too when she bravely came out recently. With such high spirits, Daya shared that coming out made her more comfortable with herself.
“I think it’s influenced me in a way that, I started caring less about what people think. It’s nice to finally expose a part of myself that I’ve been keeping for so long. It feels like I can just be whoever I want to be. It’s a really freeing things and I think it’ll open up a lot of doors for me.
If you could only play one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s a hard one. I think it’d have to be Love Song by The Cure.
If there’s one thing you wish people knew about you? What would it be?
I think it’s that I’m weird. There are a lot of things people don’t know about me. But yes, I am weird.
What’s next for you? What’s your biggest goal for the year?
To perform at SNL, honestly. I really really hope I get to do that this year.
Daya also shared that at one point, she wanted to be a doctor, that she wanted to help people and save people. But now that she’s somehow made her mark in the music industry – she couldn’t imagine herself doing anything else.
Quite frankly, we couldn’t agree more. Inspiring girls all over the world to be their most authentic selves, one song at a time.