UK singer Daley’s debut album Days & Nights officially hits stores on Tuesday, February 11th. The timing couldn’t be more perfect: next week is Valentine’s Day, and we can’t think of a better album to play than Daley’s debut, which includes smoothed out anthems like the lovely Pharrell-produced “Look Up.”
On the eve of Daley’s big week, we talked to the UK singer, who’s definitely building his name up in the States.
In our quick chat, we talked about the project, working with Pharrell, other surprises on the album and if it’s possible to reveal too much in your music.
Check out our interview with Daley below.
GlobalGrind: Tell us how “Look Up,” the first single, came about.
Daley: I had already done most of the album. I was in the States, and I bumped into Pharrell on about three separate occasions: once in New York and twice in L.A. And we were like ‘OK, this is getting a bit weird now. We should probably get in the studio and do something.’ And we just went into the studio and vibed on some stuff, and “Look Up” was the product of that.
He was just really cool. He really wanted to get into my head, make something that fit in with the rest of the album. And then he started to make the music, and I wrote the song, and it turned out really well.
What’s a session with Pharrell like?
A session with Pharrell is very relaxed, actually. It’s just two musicians in a room, like it is with any session, really. The thing I was really impressed with was how humble he is. It became apparent very quickly why he is successful and why he has so much music out there: because he’s just really passionate. He was very respectful of me and my project. It wasn’t like ‘here’s a beat, you should be thankful.’ He just really wanted to make something work for the project.
It’s a beautiful song, but it doesn’t sound like a Pharrell song.
Yeah. I think it’s nice that people can hear it, like it and then find out that Pharrell produced it. I think it would have been a bit cheesy if I was like, ‘OK, let’s be real obvious.’
What are some of the surprises on the album?
I’m hoping people will be surprised by what I’m revealing. I think I’m definitely revealing another side to myself as an artist. People know me as a soulful artist, and I wrote from the soul, just in terms of how honest I’m being on the album. I think people will be surprised by how much I’m letting them in.
So these are real personal stories you’re telling?
Yeah, pretty much.
Some people say you shouldn’t put personal relations in your music. Some say it isn’t right. We’re guessing you don’t agree?
It’s weird because I’m specific in some songs. Sometimes, rather than singing about a person, I’m trying to sing about a feeling I felt with different people, or something that everyone goes through to make it relatable. I don’t think it’s right or wrong: obviously as an artist I’m entitled to write those experiences and more often than not, that kind of thing is what resonates with people because we’re all human, and we’re all going through the same thing, in one way or another.
Who else is on the album?
I have it split between the US and the UK. In the UK, I did some amazing work with Bernard Butler, he used to be in a band called Suede. He made the most unique sounding music on the album. In the States, I did some stuff with The Roots and Questlove and obviously Pharrell and a few other people.
What’s the stuff with The Roots like?
It’s really good, if I‘m allowed to say that. I’m really happy with it. I actually wrote the song a couple of years ago, but it just never felt quite right. It was just never finished to the point where it felt right. We had a few days where we were just jamming on some stuff, and we pulled that song up. And it was actually the first time I recorded a song in one take. Like everything: drums, keys, me singing. We all just sat down and hit record.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty