Day Day got his name from his cousin Nell Palmer due to his hustling habits and abilities. He began rapping in 1991, hanging in groups, and everywhere they went they would freestyle about everything they had seen. Day Day didn’t start writing actual lyrics and songs until 1994 when he caught his first case that sent him to prison. Day Day was introduced to the recording studio by his cousin Kenny Wayne who had his own independent record label – In House Records, where he got signed and remained for 8 years. After again being incarcerated for nearly 3 years Day Day had accumulated more than 400 songs and has since worked with Cameo, Salt-n-Peppa, Foxy Brown, E-40, RBL Posse, UNLV, Cougnut, Xzibit, New Sun Born, Black Market, The Roots, Tribe Called Quest and many more. In a recent interview Day Day gave us the inside story on his thoughts and ways of working.
- How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?
DAY DAY: I began writing music in the early 90’s. My cousin MC Groove was a hit back then and a great influence on me getting into rapping. Another cousin of mine, Nell Palmer, one of the greatest rappers I’ve ever known taught me bars and hooks and how to format actual songs. I quickly learned and began writing my own songs after years of failed freestyling. I loved rap from the moment I heard it and I’ve dedicated my life to mastering my craft.
- Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
DAY DAY: My first musical influences were family but known or famous influences were Kool Moe D, KRS One, Eric B And Rakim, Most notably Tupac, Scarface and Nas have Made the biggest impressions on me. Rappin Ron, Askari-X, San Quinn And E-40 were also major influences on me coming up.
- Which artists are you currently listening to?
DAY DAY: I have tried to give this new age music a chance but I can’t relate to most of it. I still listen to Pac, Nas, Scarface, Biggie, E-40, Keak Da Sneak, San Quinn, Iamsu is great, Mac Dre (RIP), Cougnut (RIP), I Love T.I. Music, Ice Cube, Snoop, The Dog Pound Days. I love 90’s Rap/Hip Hop. It was real music then, Messages and entertainment You know.
- You’ve worked with a host of superstars like Salt-n-Peppa, Foxy Brown, E-40, RBL Posse, UNLV, Cougnut, Xzibit, New Sun Born, Black Market, The Roots, Tribe Called Quest and many more. What is the major thing you learned from those experiences?
DAY DAY: Man. Performing with and on the same stages as some of the great Artists I have taught me never to give up. I got to actually meet ,and in some instances, hang out and actually converse on a personal level with some and in all circumstances they loved my music. It gave me hope and still does. These were Artists that I looked up to and respected coming up. I know firsthand the affect great music has on people and I vow to make a similar impression on the world. I want my music to change lives, touch people and make a difference.
- What are your thoughts on visual media and YouTube? Do think that video is an appropriate marketing tool for your music, and do you have any new videos published for fans to see?
DAY DAY: I Think that Social Media has both helped and at the same time it has watered down the industry. Back in the day you had to literally push yourself, sell yourself if you will. Sell cd’s out the trunk of your car, speak to people, be personable, beat on your chest and let people see your raw talent first hand. I think social media has made Artists lazy and lose character and a detrimental part of the music industry that is like water is to survive. It’s a gift and a curse but a necessary tool to have nowadays and we utilize it. We have Videos on You Tube and a few other media sites available for viewing.
- Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio setting?
DAY DAY: Tough question. I love being in the studio, creating songs, watching them come together and breathing life into them. But, I Have to say that being in front of a crowd of people bobbing their heads, chanting, vibing with my music, feeding me is the best feeling next to seeing my daughter come into the world. I’m a natural on stage. I captivate my audience and they captivate me.
- Tell us something about your lyrics and music production on your releases. Which part of these processes do you handle, and which do you outsource generally?
DAY DAY: I’ve been signed before, independently and I learned a lot. I’ve always written my own lyrics, as well as others. In my early releases I generally just did that, write and perform my own lyrics. Now I write, perform, record and produce all but the music itself. I have, with tremendous help and support of my lady Natashia James, built an entertainment Company. We have learned as we go. We do everything from recording to designing our own flyers for shows and shooting and editing our own videos. We do it all, with the exception of the actual music, that we still outsource, On a small scale, for now.
8. What is the title of your latest music release and where can fans find it?
DAY DAY: In the past year we have released several projects. 2 On Datpiff (Mixtapes) My Solo Project Day Day ‘That’s Me’ And a collaboration album Titled ‘Git wit it u Fukk Niggaz’ We also Released More tHan 50 Tracks thru CD Baby. Available on Itunes, Amazon, Spotify Ect. All released under the Connectin Tha Streets Ent. Umbrella. You can Google Connectin Tha Streets and a list of all our releases and sites will pop up immediately. My latest release ‘T.e.k. & Day Day’ ‘It Happened In The West’ Is currently doing very well and can also be Googled and is available for purchase everywhere Worldwide. Links to all of my releases can be found on our own website at www.connectinthastreets.com
- Which ingredient do you think makes you unique and/or relevant as a performing artist in a genre thriving with newcomers?
DAY DAY: The ingredient that I believe sets me apart is truth and a real love for music. I have lived the life. I tell my story through my own eyes. I’m not just reciting lyrics. I tell a story that most people can relate to. I represent a dying breed that needs to be revitalized, an era of music that, much like R&B, Should never have been discarded but embraced, held sacred, protected and preserved.
- If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
DAY DAY: If I have to choose only one, the one that best describes how I feel would be passion. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Since a kid it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I’ve studied and mastered my craft. I’ve sacrificed more than you know. I’ve lost friends and family, women, money. I’ve never wanted anything else out of life. I’ve rapped broke. I’ve dedicated my life to my music. That’s true passion and I’ve done it all out some sense of purpose, like it was what I was meant to do. Never for the fame but to create and share great music with the world.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
DAY DAY: I’d have to say what excites me the most is my freedom to create freely, the endless possibilities of what I can do. I love making music. I love the process. Everything about it. I’d have to say what discourages me the most is that while true Artists like myself put their all into their music yet sadly may never get noticed. It’s one of the main reasons I started Connectin Tha Streets, to give Artists without the means or knowing someone who can give them a shot a chance to do what they love and be heard. I plan to change all that.
- How do you market and manage your music career currently? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?
DAY DAY: It is really expensive to market yourself correctly and unfortunately we do it all ourselves. Everything is done in house. We pay out of own pockets which is not easy and explains why it has taken so long to get a buzz going. Right now it is myself, my lady and (SupaDave) David Chizholm, a friend who is more than family. They have helped me push and overcome obstacles, without them I would not be where I am. It’s not even close to enough but it’s what we got and we make it work. Because what we lack in Capital or who we know, we make up for with dedication and perseverance. We are tenacious in achieving our goals.
- How do you achieve your sound? Do you work from a private recording environment or do you use a commercial sound studio?
DAY DAY: I have recorded in many places and commercial, professional recording studios are the best by far, especially with a great engineer which is most important to achieving the sound quality you want. I have evolved and having an ear for what sounds good I currently record myself. It’s not a professional studio so I still must seek outside help for mastering to get industry quality sound but I do pretty well. Currently I am using a simple Audio Box with Reaper, a program similar to Pro Tools, which I have also worked on quite a bit. I have portable equipment so the studio can be wherever I am, as long as I have decent space I can achieve a good sound when I record.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
DAY DAY: I think the best advice I got and follow still was From Cougnut (RIP), My Family and its great advice for anyone and that was to stay true to myself and my music. Not to get caught up with the hype, the possibility of fame. Do my music for myself and the people I’m trying to reach. As for advice I got and didn’t follow… I signed with an independent company early in my career and they were no good for me, they taught me valuable lessons but they were deceitful and scandalous. My people tried to warn me and told me not to associate with them and I didn’t listen. They held me back from success early on and I regret it every day.
- If you had the choice which successful producer would you like to work with?
DAY DAY: Oh man. There are so many I would love to work with. Dr Dre is the best ever and would be a dream come true for any real Artist. I am a huge fan of Pharrell and would love to work with him. DJ Dahi, DJ Mustard, No ID. I mean there are too many to list. I would just love to have a producer who can hear what I hear and see what I see and help me produce albums the world would love for years to come
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to independent artists and indie music in general?
DAY DAY: That’s a tough one. For Independent artists it seems that no amount of exposure is efficient. You have to know someone in order for people to give you a chance, even if your music is better! It has to help because its publicity. But unfortunately, unless you have a major name on your album no amount of exposure seems to be enough.
- If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?
DAY DAY: I have, to my chagrin been compared a lot to Jay-z in sound, because of the pitch of my voice when I rap. It’s completely unintentional because I’m not a fan of his. I have been told quite often that I am similar to Pac. Keywords would be Real, Conscious, intelligent, Driven, Unique and charismatic.
- Straight off the top of your head, how would you describe the current state of Hip-hop, R&B and Rap?
DAY DAY: I think that it is being suffocated; the life is being choked out of it by people who don’t have a great love for the art. It’s being overrun by ignorance and selfishness.
- As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or any other tangible milestone?
DAY DAY: I would have to say that Fame does not drive me. Though I understand I need to gain people’s attention in order to get my message out there. My imagination is fired up by the possibility of music being great again.
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
DAY DAY: Man. I am not prepared to trade my morals or beliefs. I was raised with a strong sense of values and that is the one thing I am not prepared to do. I won’t lose sight of why I do music.