Daley Talks "Alone Together" and More
Tue, 19 Mar 2013 08:48:57
Daley does soul music the right way.
On his EP Alone Together, the UK troubadour adds a bluesy elegance to shimmering R&B. At the forefront of this potent fusion, his voice simply soars to immense heights. You can hear it on the title track and first single with Marsha Ambrosius. However, he truly shines on "Those Who Wait"—a heartfelt rumination on his journey thus far. Right now, Daley's gearing up to drop his full-length debut for Republic Records, but he's already proven to be the ultimate 21st century soul man…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Daley talks Alone Together, his influences, the album, and so much more.
Did you approach Alone Together with a specific vision or vibe in mind?
I didn't really put it together in that way. I took my favorite songs from the mixtape, which I put out a year and a half ago. It was a free download, and it initially got people to listen to me. I took the best three songs from that, wrote three new songs, and combined them. You get a preview of the album plus a recap of the mixtape. It's all written in the same vibe. I just placed them together. It's interesting it flowed as a body of work for you.
It did. You paint one cohesive picture throughout.
The only criteria for it was to pick the songs I love and the songs I want people to hear from me as my first statement as a release.
What's the story behind the title track "Alone Together"?
Essentially, it's a song about contradiction and some sort of situation I'd been in a couple of times. It seems to be something a lot of people relate to. It's about two people who for every reason could and should be together. There's nothing keeping them apart except the logistics of their own lives and things like that. They've never been able to quite admit how they feel which is something I've been through. At that point, I felt like love can be such a contradiction when that situation happens. You spend so much time being alone when there is someone out there who you could very easily be with if it wasn't so complicated. That's what it is. People seem to relate to it in that way. I wrote it with Marsha Ambrosius. That was an amazing writing experience because she was on the same vibe as me that day. The way we wrote it really flowed.
Where did "Those Who Wait" come from?
It was the title track of the mixtape so it was a really key song, and it still is. At the time I wrote it, I wanted to write a song that summed up my journey as an artist and a person in terms of my career and having to be patient, wait, and do things the right way. I've been in situations where I felt like I should throw my album out or compromise on things. It's come around, and I'm really glad I didn't do that. It's paid off in the right way. I wanted to make a statement about that. If you're persevering with what you're doing and doing it the right way, eventually it will pay off. I think a lot of people relate to that in a lot of different ways. It's definitely connected with the fans.
Do you feel like this opens the door to the album?
On Twitter, I'm always being asked when the album is going to be out. It's literally 98 percent done. I'm waiting for the last pieces to fall into place. It's going to be ready soon. I can't wait to give people that evolution in the journey and where I'm taking my music. The album takes it to the next level.
Is storytelling important to you within the songs?
The one thing I'm always trying to achieve and the thing that makes songs live on and stay with people is trying to communicate the most honest message regardless of what it's about. If it's honest and it starts from a real place, then people will relate to it. It becomes the soundtrack to people's lives. When I listen to music, it's the soundtrack to my life. I want to understand it and relate to it. That's my only thing. I want to give people something real then it can become a part of their lives.
What else inspires you?
I love classical. I love film scores. I like composers like Danny Elfman, John Williams, and Hans Zimmer. It's music that evokes emotion. You can still hear a story, but you're not bombarded with lyrics. You're not listening to a song, but it takes you on a journey. I get a lot of inspiration from that in terms of feeling. That's something I've incorporated into the album.
What artists shaped you?
I think Prince is the main artist I come back to in some way, shape, or form. When I was younger, he was the first artist I discovered who made me feel like, "That's what it is to be an artist". I needed to hear everything he'd ever done. I wanted to take in how he presents himself and his music. He's very in control of what he does. That's something I've taken from him. I like to be in control of the music, but the way it's put out with the visuals is part of the same thing. Musically, he's covered so much ground. There's endless inspiration to be taken from Prince.
Have you heard Daley?