[Interview] Daley Talks New Single, Musical Influences, Upcoming Album “The Spectrum”, & More



Photo credit: Kieone Young


Singer/songwriter Daley recently sat down with Soul Savviness on April 30th to talk about his upcoming sophomore album, The Spectrum. It is set to be released Summer 2017. We also talked about his new single “Until The Pain Is Gone” featuring Jill Scott—his immaculate songwriting skills— musical influences—and so much more. He is currently on The Undeniable Tour with the incomparable singer Leela James.



Interview by Q. Lynn Green – @qlynngreen




“The audience was really great tonight as well. Obviously, we’ve had a lot of great shows. But definitely tonight was probably one of the best, if not the best. Just in terms of the vibe.” – Daley on House of Blues (Dallas)


Photo credit: Kieone Young


I want to go to back to “Days & Nights”. It was a great album conceptually.




I know you had Larry Gold on the album. He’s done (string arrangements) on Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River”, and so many others. What was it like working with him, and is he on this upcoming album?


He’s the guy. It was amazing. It made sense to get him in the first album, because we had a lot of string heavy songs. And he actually didn’t do them all. He did “Look Up”, “Big News”, “Blame the World”, and maybe one more. And then I had someone else do “Broken”, and “Days & Nights” stuff like that. Yeah, he’s great. He’s just a great guy. I find it a lot of people who’ve been in the game a long time; when I meet them they’re the most humbled ones. And the most kind of down-to-earth ones. And I feel like that must be the reason why they’re around, because they treat people well.


Right. What’s the progression musically from your first album to this one that’s supposed to be released coming up this summer?


I feel like I still want to write from the same place. I kind of approach the songs in the same way in terms of trying to pick out the feelings I was going through, and put my experiences over the last couple of years into the album. In that respect, I think people will feel it’s got familiarity. Just in terms of the songs, and the sonics really. I just had fun with it. It kind of ended up being such a range of vibes really. Like, I started out feeling like I was going to make quite a dark, moody R&B kind of album. I kind of started a couple things out. But as it went, my mood just took me elsewhere. And I just started naturally writing other things. And that’s why I called it, “The Spectrum”. Because, it’s kind of become a spectrum of my feelings. And that kind of mirrors with a lot of other things. Just the spectrum in every aspect of life. Sonically, I think it’s just trying some different stuff. From some program stuff, I’ve incorporated more live elements into it. And I think having been on tour quite a lot over the past two years, that’s fed into the making of the album. Because, I know the kind of feelings that feel good on stage. Yeah. I’ll say that’s the main thing that effected the new album.


The first single is featuring Jill Scott, what was that creative process like making that song together?


It was a song I had already written. Honestly, when I was writing the song.. From the start, as it came together with the music, and melody. I’m a huge Jill Scott fan anyway. I just had this feeling, I didn’t know what it was. I was thinking, “It kind of has a Jill Scott feeling to it.” I didn’t think anything of it, I was just writing the song. There was no purpose at the time, I was just creating. So, I finished the song, and I had that in my head. And then I wrote a few more stuff for the album, and then I came back to it. And I had met Jill a couple years before, and opened for her on a show in London for her. And I had her contact details. So I was like, “You know what? Let me just send it to her to see what she thinks”. So, I kind of got the nerve up to do that finally (laughs). And she said she loved it, and would love to jump on it. So, it wasn’t necessarily creating from the ground up together. If you heard my version of the second verse, it’s very different from her version. She really sort of tweaked it—changed a bit of the cadence—and put her own soul into it. It was still really an amazing experience, and an honor to have her on the song.


Songwriting wise, how does it come to you? Do you create with, or without the music?


Yeah. I usually don’t write songs without music. Sometimes, I’ll have lyric ideas or a couple lines that I think is good and write down in my phone. Or I’ll have a list of lyrics, or song titles that’ll kind of come to me. Then, when I go to make music, and if I”m working with someone that is playing keys or whatever. Once the chords start to come together, either a lyric will come straight away. Or it might just be a melody, and I’ll apply lyrics to it.


What’s one song when you hear it, it immediately transports you back to childhood?


That’s a good question.. I’ve never had to pick just one before.. I think it was more albums then songs. Like an older George Michael album my mom used to play a lot. I think I was always drawn to voices, people’s voices that stood out. It’s probably going to be something else I’m going to think of after you leave (laughs). Yeah. Probably a George Michael album. Or randomly there was a band called, “The Cranberries”. Not really related to my music. But they are just of those bands my dad used to play that kind of really reminds me of my childhood.


Photo from Instagram: @Daley


I know you’ve met Babyface and Maxwell sometime ago at the same time. What was that like?


Well, I’ve known Maxwell for a couple of years now. He’s helped me out a lot. I met him maybe three or four years ago actually. I think it was just after, “Alone Together” came out. And he said he loved the song. And we kind of connected on social media. And I’ve opened up a couple of shows with him, stuff like that. This is at Essence Festival. I had just played Essence Festival, and I went to go see Maxwell (perform), because he was headlining. And then I was in the dressing room, and then Babyface came in. I got to meet them. But I didn’t get to have a long chat with Babyface. But I thought it was definitely cool to meet, and get a picture with the both of them.


What defines soul music to you?


What defines soul music? For me, soul music is a place you sing from. It’s not a sound you sing to. It is definitely a genre, obviously the history behind it, and the origins of it. I do think that in essence that’s why it’s called soul music. Because it comes from somewhere in here (heart). And when you sing, it lends itself so well to emotion, and human relate-ability. So, I would say I would define it as a human feeling. As well as a genre.