The Maori-Aussie artist Day1 has found success since his debut single BOSS. Since, the rapper has steadily been making his mark as the standout artist coming out of the Australian rap and R&B movement, as well as gaining notoriety worldwide. We caught up with Day1 to talk all things coming up as an artist, tour rituals, legacies and more.
Hey Day1! 2022 has been a crazy year for you – touring Australia, flying all over the world from Dubai to Paris, coming out with single after single… What would you say was your biggest takeaway of last year?
I think my biggest takeaway from last year was how big the world really is, and how many different artists are hustling for a spot at the top worldwide as I am.
Speaking of touring, walk us through your pre and post concert rituals.
Before I perform , obviously I set out the track list according to the type of crowd that’s going to be in front of me. I’ll reminisce about times I dreamt of performing when I had nothing , so I can go out and give the best show I possibly can. But I be buying a brand new outfit every show from top to bottom so I can feel new and fresh. After I perform I’ll just go back to the hotel and plot, or go to the studio and work. If I’m not doing those then I’m playing on my PS4.
I want to take it back to the beginning, as you’ve been making music since you were only 9 years old. What was that first interaction with music like? Was it immediately like “I want to do this for a living” or did it take you more time to get into it?
Honestly it was more I loved writing stories and books, I’ve always had a creative mind since young and would draw and all sorts of stuff. Music was never really on my list of things I wanted to do in my life, it was something I just started off as a hobby but kept doing since I was 9. I feel like I was always going to be someone or do something special in my life, so I tried out everything. I mostly wanted to be a boxer or something to do with sports but I’d end up quitting or getting distracted. Whereas music I kept continuously doing. Something was just telling me to keep going and give it your 100.
You were born and raised in Australia, which is where it all started for you. Since though, you’ve found massive success in the UK and even shot the music video for Me, Myself & I in the streets of London with Kaylum. How would you say the Australian rap and R&B scene differs from the British one?
The only thing that really differs is the accent. And we are so far away from every country, we don’t have easy access to travel across to make big moves. It’s harder to make it out of Australia to be honest. I feel like culture-wise, the UK and Australia are very alike. We listen to UK music more so than other music because we relate to it more. Same stories, same struggles and similar slang.
Name three Aussie artists that are coming up in the rap scene you think deserve a shoutout.
GheePlug, Sahxl and Mason Dane if we’re talking melodically. Kahaux, Mr.36, Babyface Mail if we’re talking rap. Honestly I could listen to heaps, but also I believe everyone should tune into Erik Sanders and Lithe, different still.
Since a young age, some of your favourite artists have been PnB Rock, 50 cent, and A Boogie Wit A Hoodie, with who you collaborated on a remix Mood Swings. What was that experience like? Did A Boogie share some kind of wisdom with you?
Crazy thing is, I was on some fan stuff a year before that remix. I met him and said I’m trying to do what he did for his city to mine. He appreciated it and showed love and said he would see me at the top. I didn’t really get to speak to him as much when we seen each other, as I was fairly new into my career and seeing an artist like that was a big wow to me. Nevertheless it was a life changing experience, showed me that hard work pays off.
Inspiration for artists can strike at any time. What do you do when you get an idea for a song? Have you ever had to swerve off the side of the road or hang up on someone to make sure you got your idea down?
Yeah I have actually, I think I’d be listening to a song in the car and I’d make a melody to the beat and I’d quickly chuck on voice notes and record it. Creativity is about catching the moments. I’ll be in a club and think of a song title or a lyric and I’ll write it down in my notes.
Music aside, your style is something else. We’ve seen you dripping in LV, Burberry, Moncler and more whether in your music videos or on Instagram. Who or what would you say inspires your style?
I would say there’s no one really I look up to for style. I think I just like what looks nice and what makes you feel nice. Fashion has always been a passion to me and putting pieces together to create a final product .
We know you’ve got a crazy busy schedule when it comes to your music, but what do you do in your downtime to wind down from a long recording sesh?
I spend time with family or my people.
You’ve talked a lot about the importance of leaving a legacy behind you to inspire the next generation. Let’s fast forward to 100 years into the future, what do you want people to think of when they hear Day1?
100 years damn, I wanna be known in Australian history for being the one to bring culture and life into the country, the reason why fashion culture exists, the reason why music culture exists in the country that supports their own. The reason why overseas countries want to visit Australia is because they have heard of what it’s really like there. I think that is my main goal while I am able to. I got so many things on my bucket list even beyond music I could list a lot but actions speak, I’m only 22 so time will show and things will come into place.
You’re already starting off the new year with a bang, with the upcoming release of DAY N NITE. Tell us about the meaning behind this song.
The meaning behind this song is more so of a love ballad infused with Latina Reggaeton. It’s a flip on the original Kid Cudi song. Day and Night I’m always on stupid s**t but I still need you in my life everyday even when you don’t want that.
You’ve also got an accompanying music video. What’s the idea behind that and what was the process of shooting it like?
This video was more so a giveback thing, I just thought of the shoe I always wanted to get while I was growing up but never had any money to buy it, and it’s even harder to get now cause they sell out, AF1’s Nike. I wanted to give the youth and chance on what I missed out on growing up. But yeah, it was all blessings still.
What else have you got in store for us this year? Any new endeavours you can tell us about?
Definitely better music, I’ve been refining my craft for a while now, but keen to finally start releasing more for everyone. Outsiders are starting to look into Australia now so my goal is already being achieved for this year.
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