Already crowned a serious one to watch as part of Stormzy’s “Class Of 2023”, 22-year-old singer-songwriter feels like one of the most important new voices across the R&B landscape right now. Get familiar via this VIPER interview.

What five words define your sound? 

Relatable, smooth, introspective, creative, euphoric. 

Tell me something unique about your creative process 

I’ll record melodies on a beat, mumbling words and sentences that are pretty much gibberish. I’ll do this on loop until I find a melody or word that cuts through and hits the emotional note I’m looking for. I’ll save that take, and then do it again and again. Once I feel like there’s enough to work with, I’ll structure the mumbles into a hook, verses and sometimes a bridge. I voice note any lyrics I want to remember and then move onto the next idea. I won’t revisit the demo until I’ve almost forgotten the melody and then I finally write lyrics to it with fresh ears. 

Which song of yours would you like people to hear first? 

‘Take Flight’, from the synths, to the drum breakdown in the hook, the vocal harmonies, the simplicity of the verses. I think it all comes together really well. 

What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music? 

I’ve gotten quite vulnerable about my career and state of mind. On songs like ‘Drifting Thru’, I talk about self worth and the feeling of trying to latch onto things and tying your identity to things on the outside when you can feel empty on the inside.

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage? 

My first time performing was when I was 18 at this Unknown T and Friends event. I’d just started making music a few months before, none of which had come out; a few of my demos were circulating around. Anyway, I somehow ended up performing ‘Make It’, it was fun and confirmation for me that this is what I was meant to do. 

Which artist/song/album made you want to make music? 

I have a lot of influences to be fair but the album I remember listening to on loop was ‘CTRL’ by SZA at the time. I think that was the point I was sure that I wanted to release my own art. I was more of a rapper back then. 

What’s the meaning behind your name? 

I wanted my name to capture the persona I had in my music yet still be tied to my core identity. My middle name is Olutemidayo, so I took the Dayo and added an R. The R just gave it some character and made it look better in print. 

What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction? 

Probably when I started working with First Play and creating my EP ‘High Life’. The dynamic really allowed me to hone in the music, and have that peace of mind knowing they have my back and are team Dayor no matter what. 

Where can people keep in touch with you? 

IG, TIKTOK, TWITTER – @dayorartist

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